Optional Practical Training (OPT)

Los Angeles Trade-Technical College offers Post-Completion Optional Practical Training for eligible students. OPT is defined as “temporary employment for practical training directly related to the student’s major area of study.”  Basically, once your OPT application has been approved by USCIS, you may work in the United States for up to 12 months after you complete your program.  Students who would like to apply for OPT are required to mail their application to USCIS or apply online (www.uscis.gov ).  USCIS estimates that the application will take between two to four months to process.

The earliest you may apply for OPT is 90 days before your program end date.  The latest you may apply for OPT is 60 days after your program end date.
Please see your Designated School Official (DSO) if you have any questions about this deadline!

Because of the long processing time, we recommend that you speak with a DSO at the beginning of the semester that you expect to graduate from LATTC.  The DSO will determine if you are eligible to apply for OPT.

What are the requirements to apply for Post Completion OPT?

  • Enrollment for at least one (1) full academic year.
  • Completion of your course of study as listed on your I-20 – you should be enrolled in your last semester.
    • Student must file a Graduation Petition to the Admissions & Records Office and bring the yellow receipt to the International Students Center (ISC).
  • Although you do not need to have a job offer in place in order to apply for OPT, your intent should be to pursue full-time employment in the area of your major.

To schedule an appointment and for additional information, call (213) 763-5345.

Documents to Submit to USCIS

You will need to submit the following documents to USCIS in order to apply for Optional Practical Training:

  • Form I-765 with item 16 marked with (c) (3) (b)
  • I-765 Filing Fee ($380 USD)
  • 2 immigration-style photographs
  • I-20 with OPT validation from DSO
  • Copies of all former I-20s
  • Copy of both sides of your I-94
  • Copy of ID pages from your passport/visa
  • Copies of previously issued EAD cards (if applicable)

Please note that this list serves as a guide.  Read all directions on Form I-765 before sending in your completed application to USCIS.  You must submit your application to USCIS within 30 days of when the DSO recommends OPT in SEVIS.

What do I need to do after I am approved for OPT?

Once you have been approved for OPT, please remember that you are required do the following:

  • Submit a copy of your EAD card to the ISC as soon as you receive it
  • Report your employer information to the ISC within 10 days of finding a job – OPT students are required to report the status of their job search to the ISC within 90 days of their OPT start date (see EAD card for this date)
  • Report any employer changes or periods of unemployment within 10 days of the change
  • Maintain health insurance coverage

If you need assistance finding employment, visit our college Student Employment Center.