Unfunded Optional Practical Training

Here we discuss one way to begin Optional Practical Training.

Optional Practical Training (CPT) is the primary way for International Students with F1 Visas to obtain work in industry in this country after completion of a degree at Syracuse University.
  1. Disclaimer:

    For all details about obtaining Optional Practical Training please consult the Slutzker Center for International Students. Here, we describe one way to begin while you are seeking more permanent employment.
  2. Unemployment:
    You will be granted a limited amount of time to seek employment after the completion of your Program of Study. If you have not found employment by the end of that period you will be required to return to the country of your origin.
  3. Unfunded Optional Practical Training (UOPT):
    You may extend that time by accepting an offer of Unfunded Optional Practical Training (UOPT) for a period up to one year. Accepting an offer of UOPT counts as employment, though you will not be paid for that work. It serves to help you make additional preparations while seeking longer term paid employment.
  4. How to Apply:
    Find a faculty advisor willing to supervise your work. Once you have an agreement for that send your advisor an email that contains a brief (usually one paragraph) description of the project on which you would like to work. Usually you will have a verbal or email conversation with your advisor to arrive at that description. In the email also provide your physical mailing address so we can mail an offer letter.
  5. Offer Letter:
    Your advisor will draft an offer letter, using a template provided by the College of Engineering and Computer Science. That gets sent to the College for the Dean's signature. In about two weeks you will receive the official offer letter that you must sign and return to the College. You should notify Slutzker Center of this employment so that it becomes part of your record.
  6. Conducting Unfunded Optional Practical Training:
    Once you have completed the above, you should begin work on the project, which will require part-time work that may be conducted remotely. You will be asked to submit a monthly status report and when completed a final report describing your accomplishments during your UOPT. You do this by email, including your advisor and a designated staff person in the email address.

    Should you receive an offer of more permanent work, and we expect that you will as you will be actively seeking employment concurrent with your work on the UOPT, you notify us that you are terminating work on the project and you supply a report that describes the work completed. The nature of the report is a matter decided by you and your faculty advisor.

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