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OPT & AT Post-Graduation Employment


BYU–Hawaii ("university") may sanction international students to work in the United States for an established period of time after graduation. Students who hold an F-1 visa may apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT). Students who hold a J-1 visa may apply for Academic Training (AT).

1. Employment Opportunity Criteria

An employment opportunity which is connected to a company or industry in the student’s home region is highly preferred. A student must have no outstanding balance with the university or have made payback arrangements prior to application. The following criteria must be met for post-graduation employment to be considered. The employment opportunity

  • Must be related to the student’s major.
  • Must require an earned bachelor's degree or equivalent skill level.
  • Must significantly increase the student’s marketable knowledge, skills, and abilities.
  • Must have support from the student’s faculty department chair or dean.

2. Campus Position Criteria

BYU–Hawaii or Polynesian Cultural Center departments must have an existing or an approved position prior to offering a job to a student. Positions must have a clear description of duties and objectives. See OPT & AT Post-Graduation Employment Procedure for the steps to obtain position and/or candidate approval.

3. Employer Criteria

Providers will be screened to be eligible according to the Eligible and Ineligible Employer guidelines found in the Employer Recruiting Policy (See Section II.D. and II.E.).


Optional Practical Training

OPT is an endorsement for F-1 visa holders to work up to 12 months after graduation in the United States. The endorsement is not tied to a specific employer. The university has no governance over a candidate changing employers once the endorsement is granted. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security requires a fee and the approval process may take three to four months. Students may apply 90 days before their end of program.

Academic Training

AT is an endorsement for J-1 visa holders to work up to 18 months before and after graduation in the United States. If a student completes a six-month AT as a student, they are only eligible for 12 months of AT after graduation. An AT is tied to a specific employer, and the length of the experience can be determined by the university. No fee is required and the approval process may take two to three days.

Optional practical training and academic training must be approved by the responsible officer, alternate responsible officer, or designated school official (RO/ARO/DSO) according to government regulations. Applications are not officially approved until sanctioned by the RO/ARO/DSO in International Student Services. Consult International Student Services for more information.



OPT & AT Post Graduation Employment Procedure
Experiential Learning Policy


Policy Owner: Head of International Student Services

Executive Sponsor: Student Life Vice President

Approved by President’s Council: 10/11/2012

Modified: 2/20/2020

Full revision history maintained by Human Resources.