Optional Practical Training is defined as "temporary employment for practical training directly related to the student's major area of study." An F-1 student who has maintained lawful F-1 visa status for at least one academic year may be eligible to apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT). OPT may be granted before or after completion of their program; however limitations apply. A student is allowed a maximum of 12 months of full-time OPT for each increasing degree level. You do not need a job offer in order to apply for OPT.