Optional Practical Training
What is Optional Practical Training?
The Optional Practical Training (OPT) permits students to obtain paid, full-time, professional work related to their field of study for a maximum of 12 months after completion of the degree. You can only start working on the “start date" on the Employment Authorization (EAD) Card. You do not need a job to receive authorization. Optional Practical Training is available to students following each level of education.
- Registered student in F1 status
- Must have been registered at Springfield College full time for at least one academic year.
- Must complete all requirements for the degree
- Employment must be related to your field of study
Applying for OPT
- Begin the application procedure before graduation and no more than 120 before completion. Begin the process early. It can take 6-8 weeks to receive your EAD card.
- Bring the following documents to the International Center for review.
- Completed and signed Form I-765, downloadable here
- Current I-20 and copies of all previously issued I-20s
- Two copies of your I-94 card, front and back
- Two copies of identification page in passport, and renewal page
- Two copies of any previous EADs you have received (if any)
- Two copies of visa page in passport (Canadian students are exempt from this requirement)
- Two “green card" style photographs (full frontal color photographs). Be sure to write your name and I-94 number on the back of each photo lightly in pencil.
- The International Center will issue you a new I-20 and will return all the above documents
- Mail a money order for $175 made out to "US Citizenship and Immigration Services," the original form I-765, copy of I-94 both sides, copies of any previous EAD documents, copy of identification page in passport and renewal page, copy of visa page in passport (non-Canadian), and the two photographs along with to the following address. Be sure to send these documents by certified mail with a return receipt.
US Department of Homeland Security
Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services
Vermont Service Center
75 Lower Welden Street
St. Albans, VT 05479
Things to Remember
- The Vermont Service Center will issue the EAD. You cannot begin employment until you receive this card.
- Once you begin work, you must report any change of address to the International Center.
- Make a copy of your EAD card and send or fax it along with your Employer/Company name and address to the International Center. The card can be faxed to (413) 749-3019.