Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey
What are the pre-conditions for OPT?
  • You must be in F-1 status at the time of the application.
  • You must be in good F-1 status.
  • You must have been lawfully enrolled on a full-time basis at a DHS-approved school for one full academic year.
  • It is available before and after completion of your educational objective, but different rules apply to pre- and post-completion OPT.
  • Students in English language training programs are not eligible.


What is OPT?

OPT is defined as “temporary employment for practical training directly related to the student’s major area of study.” [8 CFR 214.2(f)(10)(ii)] OPT allows F-1 students to gain practical experience in their field of study for one year following program completion. All students are eligible to apply for OPT as long as application procedures are followed.  Students who study English are not eligible for OPT.

When can I begin the visa application?

The Department of State can issue the visa for your program no more than 120 days prior to the start of your program as indicated on the I-20 or DS-2019. It is recommended that you apply for the visa as soon as possible.

When should I schedule my flight to the United States?

It is advisable that you schedule your flight to the U.S. after obtaining the F-1 visa and not before. Furthermore, the U.S. federal regulations mandate that you arrive in the U.S. no more than 30 days before the school report date listed on your I-20 or DS-2019. Please schedule your trip accordingly.

Who is considered a dependent? What do I need to do to bring them with me to the U.S.?

A dependent is considered your spouse (wife or husband) and children under the age of 21. Each of your dependents will be issued an I-20 or DS-2019. We must know their names, birth dates, city and country of births, and country of citizenship as they appear on their passports before issuing their Form I-20 or DS-2019. Each dependent will receive a separate Form I-20 or DS-2019 in order to apply for the F-2 or J-2 visa. You can include this information in the CFR.

When will I receive the Form I-20 (F-1 student) or DS-2019 (J-1 student)?

Once your Certificate of Financial Responsibility requirement is complete and your tuition deposit is paid, your I-20 or DS-2019 will be created. After your I-20 or DS-2019 has been created you will receive an email with an attached copy of the document along with a request to verify preferred mailing address.

What is the SEVIS fee requirement?

U.S. Embassies and Consulates are required to collect a $200 (F-1) or $180 (J-1) SEVIS fee before issuing F-1 or J-1 visas for first-time visa applicants only. For students who need F-1 or J-1 visa renewal while attending the Institute, this SEVIS fee is not applicable.

The SEVIS fee can be paid either by mail or on-line at www.fmjfee.com.

Please visit the SEVIS website for additional information on fee requirements.