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OPT Timeline

Pre-Completion OPT

A qualified student can apply for pre-completion OPT up to 90 days prior to their desired start date, but not more than 90 days prior to completing one full academic year in the US.


Post-Completion OPT

  • A qualified student can apply for post-completion OPT up to 90 days prior to the completion of all degree requirements and up to 60 days following degree completion.
  • The OPT start date must fall between the date on which the student completes all degree requirements and the 60th subsequent day.
  • A student does not need to have a job starting exactly on the requested start date, but the selected date will be noted on the EAD card (work permit). Students will only be allowed to work between the dates noted on the EAD card. 
  • Please note that your OPT application must be received by USCIS within 30 days of the I-20 issue date.

USCIS Processing Times

USCIS processing times can vary. Always check the official USCIS website for the current processing time.

Check the processing time with the following information:
  • Form: I-765
  • Form Category: Based on a request by a qualified F-1 academic student [(c)(3)]
  • Field Office of Service Center: Potomac Service Center

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