F-1 Practical Training


Recent graduates from U.S. colleges and universities in the F-1 student visa status may request authorization for employment to begin after they graduate. Such employment is called Optional Practical Training.

  • The individual initiates the request for practical training through the U.S. school from which they will graduate prior to graduation.
  • It can take up to three months for the authorization to be processed by Immigration.
  • The individual can be granted up to 12 months of employment permission.
  • F-1 practical training allows employment with any employer so long as the job is directly related to the area of the individual’s degree.
  • There is no obligation for the individual to return to their home country upon completion of their period of practical training.
  • UCSB students in the F-1 student visa status cannot be employed at UCSB after they graduate unless they receive authorization for practical training prior to graduating.

More about OPT here.

What is E-Verify?
E-Verify is an Internet based system operated by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in partnership with the Social Security Administration (SSA) that allows participating employers to electronically verify the employment eligibility of their newly hired employees.

Is UCSB registered with E-Verify?
Yes, UCSB is registered with E-Verify.  UCSB's E-Verify number is 260221 and company name is listed as:  University of California, Santa Barbara. This information should only be used for paid UCSB employees.  For additional information about E-Verify at UCSB, please visit UCSB’s E-verify web site.

F-1 Dependents

The F-1 student’s dependents are eligible for the F-2 visa status.

  • An F-2 visa dependent is not allowed to work.
  • If the F-2 dependent wishes to study, they will need to change their immigration status from F-2 dependent to F-1 student status before they can enroll at an institution.