Skip to main content



Can I enroll in classes while on OPT?

Students on post-completion OPT are not allowed to pursue a full course of study with a degree or certificate objective. Gaining admission to another school in the U.S. or enrolling full-time will end the OPT period because your SEVIS record will be transferred to the new school.

However, students can enroll in classes that are incidental (i.e. one or two classes) as long as their primary purpose in the U.S. continues to be full-time employment.

How do I find a job or internship?

Am I still covered by UCSD Student Health Insurance during the OPT period?

As an F-1 student, you are strongly encouraged to have adequate health insurance during your stay in the U.S. If you will be continuing with OPT beyond the end of your UC SHIP coverage, please contact your employer or a health insurance provider directly for information regarding their policies and rates.

Spring graduates only: If you are enrolled in the UC SHIP for spring quarter and complete your academic program in the spring quarter, you are eligible for continued coverage through the summer, up to the start of fall quarter.

Do I need to file U.S. taxes in April?

Students in F-1 status are exempt from Social Security tax (FICA), however they are generally subject to federal and state income taxes. Tax forms are available from February through April of each year. Check the Internal Revenue Service website at for federal tax information and the CA Franchise Tax Board at for California tax information.

For general tax guidance, visit the International Tax Help page.

When can I apply for the STEM Extension

You can apply up to 90 days before your OPT EAD expirtation date, but no later than the expiration date of your OPT. Visit the STEM OPT Extension pkage for more information.

I am in a UCSD Bachelors/Masters dual program with my Bachelors program ending SP quarter and my Masters program beginning FA quarter. Can I still apply for OPT after my Bachelors program?

Yes! If you are continuing at UC San Diego to pursue a higher degree level, you will need to apply for a "Change of Level I-20." However, you do have the option to apply for OPT based on your completed Bachelors degree and to work on OPT until your Masters program begins. Even if you will only be working on OPT for 3 months, you can still request the full 12 months. Contact ISPO for details regarding your timeline.

Also, if you are pursuing a higher degree at another institution in the U.S. after completing a degree at UC San Diego, you can still apply for OPT based on completing your UC San Diego degree. You will then need to request a transfer/release your SEVIS record to the new school before your new program begins. When your SEVIS record has been transferred/released, your OPT will be automatically completed. Contact ISPO for more details.