Optional Practical Training is available for degree-seeking students. An initial period of 12 months may be awarded by Immigration (USCIS) per degree level. You may be eligible for a new period of OPT only if you move subsequently to a higher degree level. OPT can be used during breaks in study or after completion of your final degree requirement. OPT requires that you pursue employment in your area of study, but it does not require a specific employer at the time of filing.