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OPT Pending

Receipt notice

You should receive a Receipt Notice of Action immediately. This will prove that you have an application pending with USCIS.  This Notice of Action will include a receipt.  Use this number to check your case status on the USCIS online account you created at any time.  Submit this notice to ISSS.


ISSS advises against traveling while your OPT application is pending.  You will not be able to re-enter the US after the Completion Date on your I-20 without an approved EAD.
If you must travel during this time, talk to an ISSS advisor.

Timeline & Working

The whole application process might take between 3 to 5 months. It is important for students to plan accordingly.  You may check the current processing times on the USCIS website.  Students can check the status application anytime in the USCIS account where they submitted the application.
Students can interview for jobs during this time, but they are not allowed to start working until they have the EAD in hand and it is on or after the start date listed on the EAD card.
After three to five months, the student should receive a Notice of Approval Letter I-797 and shortly after the Employment Authorization Document (OPT card). Again, students must check their EAD for errors, if any, they should contact ISS.

OPT Approved ►