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 Students Scholars Administrators


Change in Regulations in

Applying for Optional Practical Training (OPT) after

Completion of Studies or Graduation.

Please note that there has been a significant change in regulations that no longer permits applying for Optional Practical Training (OPT) after completion of studies or graduation.

Effective January 01, 2003, Federal regulations require students who will participate in a period of OPT after completion of their program of study to apply for employment authorization "prior to the completion of all course requirements for the degree or prior to the completion of the course of study." (Code of Federal Regulations 214.2(f)(10)(ii)(A)(3))

All F-1 students who are graduating on January 25, 2004 and wish to engage in Optional Practical Training following graduation must apply for F-1 Optional Practical Training (OPT) before Thursday, January 22, 2004. Since you must mail the OPT application to the USCIS (formerly USCIS) Vermont Service Center, you must allow time for mailing these applications which means you will need to meet with your ISSO advisor before the deadline in order for the application to arrive at the USCIS Service Center before January 25, 2004. Please contact the International Students and Scholars Office (ISSO) to make an appointment with your ISSO advisor so that you may apply for OPT. Please note that many students are applying for OPT and we urge you to make an appointment as soon as possible.

The Code of Regulations is viewable on-line at:

If you have any questions, please contact the ISSO. In addition, you can also check our website for information on Optional Practical Training


Boston University
February 28, 2005

Boston University International Students & Scholars Office