It is highly recommended that students submit their OPT application to the ISO 3 months before a student’s requested OPT start date. You may submit your OPT application to the ISO as early as the submission date indicated for the graduation term.
Currently, USCIS requires approximately 3 – 4 months to approve an OPT application. We recommend that you apply as early as possible to avoid any delays.
Your OPT start date can be as early as the day after your degree completion date, or as late as 60 days after.
Contact us for more details.
You may risk losing your EAD card in the mail if you file a change of address with USCIS after submitting your OPT application to USCIS for processing. Please note that the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) does not forward federal mail, even if you request mail forwarding services from USPS. We recommend that you provide an address for your OPT application that will be valid for at least 4 months from your application submission date.
It depends. Yes, if you have received your OPT application I-797 Notice of Action Receipt Notice from USCIS, your re-entry date to the U.S. is before the degree completion date stated on your OPT I-20 and you have all of the required re-entry documents. No, if your re-entry date to the U.S. is after the degree completion date stated on your OPT I-20.
Yes, you may travel abroad, but you must apply for a new F-1 visa from an overseas U.S. Embassy or Consulate, as you will require a valid F-1 visa to re-enter the U.S. in valid F-1 OPT status. It may be more difficult to obtain a new F-1 visa while on OPT, especially if you have not secured OPT employment. Please expect extended wait times for F-1 visa application processing.
U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) leaves this discretion to students to determine. Should DHS audit your OPT employment and find that your employment is not related to your degree, you will be in violation of your F-1 status.
Working in a field that is not related to your degree (e.g major) is considered unauthorized employment and is a serious violation of your F-1 status, which may result in the accrual of Unlawful Presence and/or being denied future immigration benefits in the U.S.
No, you may not engage in any employment in the U.S. until you have received your EAD card and your OPT start date has been reached.
You must apply for a replacement EAD card from USCIS, which will require a new I-765 form, $410.00 filing fee, and supporting documents.
Your 90-day unemployment period begins on the first day of unemployment after your OPT start date (as stated on your EAD).
We recommend the following options: transfer to another school, depart the U.S., or change your visa status. For other options, please consult with an immigration attorney.
Report your OPT employment status through the SEVP Portal.
Please report any changes in address or phone number within 10 days of the change through the SEVP Portal.
After your OPT ends, you have an additional 60-day grace period to: transfer to another school, depart the U.S. or change your visa status. For other options, please consult with an immigration attorney.
Please verify that you have received the extension of your work authorization to September 30 in your SEVP Portal account. You may continue working while your Cap-Gap Extension I-20 is pending with the ISO.
if an H-1B petition filed for an F-1 student with a cap-gap extension is denied, rejected, revoked, or withdrawn, the student will have the standard 60-day grace period (from the date of the notification of the denial, rejection, revocation, or withdrawal of the petition) to depart the United States.
The 60-day grace period does not apply to an F-1 student whose accompanying change of status request is denied due to a status violation, misrepresentation, or fraud. In such cases, the F-1 student is ineligible for cap-gap extension of status and the 60- day grace period. Similarly, the 60-day grace period and cap-gap extension of status does not apply to an F-1 student whose petition was revoked based on a finding of a status violation, fraud or misrepresentation discovered following approval. In both of these instances, students are required to immediately leave the United States.
Yes. The 90-day (for post-completion OPT) and 150-day (for STEM OPT) limitation on unemployment continues during the Cap-Gap Extension.
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