Optional Practical Training

If you are an F-1 student, you have the option of working in the United States by engaging in practical training during your program or after it ends. Practical training can provide valuable work experience by sharpening and adding to the skills you are learning in school. Here is a list of companies where our graduated students engage with during their OPTs.

  • OPT must relate to your major or course of study.

  • You can apply for 12 months of OPT at each education level, (i.e., you may have 12 months of OPT at the bachelor’s level and another 12 months of OPT at the master’s level).

  • The Office of International Admissions will provide you with a new Form I-20 that shows the DSO recommendation for this employment.

  • For work authorization, you must mail a completedapply for work authorization Form I-765, “Application for Employment Authorization,” with to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and paying a filing fee. USCIS will send you a Form I-766, “Employment Authorization Document,” (EAD) upon approving your Form I-765.

  • Wait to start work until after you receive your EAD.

  • While school is in session, you may only work 20 hours per week.

Reporting Requirements for OPT

All students on Post-Completion OPT (including Cap Gap and STEM extension students) are still considered to be in F-1 status for the period authorized and during the 60-day grace period afterwards.

F-1 regulations require all students who are on Post-Completion OPT, Cap Gap, or STEM OPT to report any changes in employment or personal information to the Office of International Admissions within 10 days.  

How to apply for an Optional Practical Training (OPT)?  (Easy!  It only takes 9 steps!)

Please complete the following steps before scheduling an appointment with the Office of international Admissions at international@sunypoly.edu. It will take 5 business day to process your I-20 with OPT authorization.

Step 1: Fill out the OPT application form (pdf). Do not submit this form to the USCIS 

Step 2: Read the Instructions for I-765, Application for Employment Authorization before you begin to fill out the I-765 form.

Step 3: Fill out the I-765 form (Tips for filling out this form:)

  • I am applying for: Permission to accept employment
  • US Address:  Must be your own address.  Your correspondence and EAD card will be mailed to this address.  Please do not use SUNY Poly address.
  • Item 16. Eligibility Category ( c ) ( 3 ) ( b )

Step 4: A copy of Form I-94, Arrival-Departure Record (front and back), if available

Step 5: All the I-20s in your possession, including the most current I-20 with OPT authorization

Step 6: A copy of your last EAD (front and back). If no prior EAD has been issued, you must submit a copy of your passport showing your picture, name, and date of birth

Step 7: You must submit two identical color photographs of yourself taken within 30 days of filing your application. The photos must have a white to off-white background, be printed on thin paper with a glossy finish, and be unmounted and unretouched.  The passport-style photos must be 2" by 2". The photos must be in color with full face, frontal view on a white to off-white background. Head height should measure 1" to 1 3/8" from top to bottom of chin, and eye height is between 1 1/8' to 1 3/8" from bottom of photo. Your head must be bare unless you are wearing headwear as required by a religious order of which you are a member. REMEMBER!!! Using pencil or felt pen, lightly print your name and Alien Receipt Number on the back of the photo.

Step 8: The filing fee for Form I-765 is $410.  The check or money order must be drawn on a bank or other financial institution located in the United States and must be payable in U.S. currency; and

Step 9: Make the check or money order payable to U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Where to file?

If you live in:

Mail your application to:


Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado,
Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, South Dakota,
Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming,
Guam, or the Northern Mariana Islands.

USCIS Phoenix Lockbox

For U.S. Postal Service (USPS) deliveries:

PO Box 21281
Phoenix, AZ 85036

For Express mail and courier deliveries:

Attn: AOS
1820 E. Skyharbor Circle S
Suite 100
Phoenix, AZ 85034


Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi,
New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico,
New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania,
Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina,
Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont,
Virginia, U.S. Virgin Islands,
or West Virginia

USCIS Dallas Lockbox

For U.S. Postal Service (USPS) Deliveries:

PO Box 660867
Dallas, TX 75266

For Express mail and courier deliveries:

Attn: AOS
2501 S. State Hwy. 121 Business
Suite 400
Lewisville, TX 75067

Form G-1145. Use this form to request an electronic notification (e-Notification) when U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services accept your immigration application. This service is available for applications filed at a USCIS Lockbox facility.


Tze-Teck Sim, PDSO
Deputy Director, International Admissions & Student Services
Undergraduate and Graduate programs
Email: tsim@sunypoly.edu
Tel: +1 315-792-7219
Fax: +1 315-792-7221


Request More Information

Detailed information, brochures and forms can be mailed to you upon request.


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