Pasadena City College, Home of the PCC Lancers

Optional Practical Training

Who May Apply

  • F-1 International students who have completed their associate degree and certificate program by the end of the current semester (Fall, Winter, Summer, or Spring).

Conditions of Work

  • Work must be related to field of study. 
  • Work can be full time. 
  • Work can be anywhere within the U.S.
  • Student must inform the International Student Center of address, email, and phone number change within 10 days each time any of this information changes.
  • Work is only granted for a maximum of 12 months.
  • Student has 2 months to find employment.
  • Total time is 14 months. If it takes longer than 2 months to find a job, the time is deducted from work authorization.
  • Once you receive authorization, no further on-campus employment is allowed. 
  • Must have Employment Authorization Document card (EAD) in hand.

If you are not in status with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), your application will not be processed.

How to Apply

  1. Please see a International Student counselor at least THREE months before your last day of classes (request a letter to obtain social security card).
  2. Upon completion of both the graduation petition with a counselor AND certificate petition with the department, the student should make an appointment to meet with an International Student Counselor (ask for a copy of Graduation Petition and Certificate Petition at the time of petition).
  3. Pick up application packet from International Student Center (D-204) and obtain a new I-20 and letter of approval.
  4. Complete the attached PDFOptional Practical Training (OPT) packet, including a letter from the department that grants your certificate.

Important Information

  • Once a Optional Practical Training (OPT) application is submitted to the United States Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS), it will be very difficult to change or cancel the application.
  • There are travel risks during Practical Training.