CPT OPT student employment
Employer Guide to OPT and CPT

A workforce solution powered by ASU talent

OPT CPT stem students

What is OPT and CPT?

Optional Practical Training permits U.S. employers to hire recent college graduates and current undergraduate and graduate students who are not U.S. citizens for a period of one year (with extension possible for STEM-related jobs).  

Curricular Practical Training is similar, but it provides employment or internship opportunities for currently enrolled students prior to graduation as part of the student’s academic major.

Benefits to employers


Why should you consider hiring via OPT and CPT? OPT or CPT provides companies and organizations access to emerging professionals who are motivated, skilled and educated in ASU’s top undergraduate and graduate programs. OPT and CPT participants possess English language proficiency, diversify your workforce and bring a global perspective to your teams.


A robust talent pool


ASU international students hired on OPT and CPT since 2017.


Number of employers hiring ASU talent on OPT and CPT since 2017.

Top majors

Business, management and marketing

Business data analytics

Engineering (chemical, civil, software, mechanical)


Top employers hiring ASU students on OPT and CPT


Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.

Apple, Inc.

Oracle America, Inc.

Meta Platforms, Inc.




American Express


Tata Consultancy Services



On Semiconductor



Top Public Sector Employers
Arizona Department of Child Safety

Arizona Department of Health Services

Arizona Department of Transportation

City of Casa Grande

City of Dallas

City of Philadelphia

City of Phoenix
City of Worcester


How do I hire via OPT and CPT?

Supply them with an employment offer letter that is on official letterhead and includes the name of the position, location, start date, number of hours per week, how work will be conducted and tasks required.

  • Supply them with an employment offer letter that includes the information listed above.
  • Provide the student with a completedCPT Information Sheet.
  • Supply them with an employment offer letter that includes the information listed above.
  • Assist them with completing pages 1-4 of the Form I-983.
  • Once approved, you must help the student complete two self-evaluations during the 24-month period, found on page 5 of thee Form I-983.

Employer guide for hiring international students and graduates

Download a detailed OPT and CPT hiring guide for employers developed by ASU’s Career and Professional Development Services.

Employer FAQs

There is no need for employers to apply for or sponsor any visas during OPT periods. Hiring students on OPT brings additional value to employers’ organizational culture such as the ability to value, respect, and appreciate the diversity and inclusion of a workplace.

Many future employers looking for special talents, such as STEM specialities, seek out international students on OPT. Amazon, Microsoft, Intel, Walmart, Apple, Golman Sachs, and American Express are some examples. For the full list see this data set.

They must be in the U.S. for at least one academic year (two semesters) to be eligible to apply for OPT. Most students use the 12-month full OPT benefit upon graduation. They work with their International office to obtain a Form I-20 then apply for work authorization with USCIS.

OPT students can do any kind of job in their field of study for at least 20 hours per week, in paid or volunteer positions.

Yes, OPT students have a high level of English as they are studying in an academic program in the U.S

  Applying for OPT is the responsibility of the student and therefore no action or cost falls on the employer in the hiring process. Students can receive OPT authorization with or without an offer of employment.

The only difference is that students studying in STEM fields get an additional two years of OPT called STEM OPT.

An employer can hire international students to continue to work for them in the H-1B visa category for a total of six years. There are also other visa categories available. Visit issc.asu.edu/beyond-opt-h-1b-and-other-visas.

F-1 students on OPT/STEM who seek to change to H-1B status starting October 1 may be eligible for Cap Gap extension. This allows them to continue with their employment until September 30. Visit Cap Gap/H-1B | ISSC | ASU.

Resources for students