FAQ: What Happens If Employment Ends Before Opt Period?

What happens if I apply for OPT but don’t complete my degree as planned by the I-20 end date?

Post-Completion OPT (after your program ends): USCIS must receipt (not receive) your application no later than 60 days after your I-20 end date. If you are outside of the U.S. or leave the U.S. after your program end date and you have not applied for OPT, you will lose your OPT eligibility.

How long can you be unemployed between your OPT start and end dates?

Students on post-completion OPT may have up to 90 days of unemployment. The 90 days start counting from your approved OPT/EAD start date (not the recommended start date nor the program end date on your I-20) and are cumulative. If you accumulate 90 days or more of unemployment, you are in violation of your F-1 status.

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Can I stay in US while waiting for OPT?

Students may remain lawfully in the U.S. beyond the end of the 60-day grace period if their OPT application is pending at USCIS.

What happens if I become unemployed while on my OPT?

Exceeding the 90 day unemployment limit on OPT may have serious immigration consequences. You may lose your immigration status, become ineligible to change your status to other employment-based immigration categories, such as H-1B status, or be denied visa applications in the future.

Can I work 2 jobs on OPT?

Are multiple OPT jobs allowed? Multiple post-completion OPT jobs can be carried out once you complete your studies in a college or a university. You may work for more than one employer or job, but all employment must be related to your degree program. The cumulative number of hours should be 20 or more in a week.

Does OPT get rejected?

It is unlikely your OPT application will be denied if you avoid errors on your application, but if you do receive a denial, please contact OISSS immediately. You may be able to reapply if there is still time for USCIS to receive your application before your grace period ends.

How is OPT start date calculated?

When it comes to the OPT start date, the earliest OPT start date will be right after the graduation date. On the other hand, the latest OPT start date should be no later than 60 days from the graduation date.

Can I work more than 40 hours on OPT?

There is no maximum number of hours that can be worked while on STEM OPT, but because there is a minimum, it may be difficult to work for more than 2 employers. For example, if you work for two qualifying STEM OPT employers, at a minimum, you would need to be working 40 hours per week.

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Can I work less than 20 hours on OPT?

If you are authorized to participate in pre-completion OPT, you may work part time (20 hours or less per week) while school is in session. You may work full time when school is not in session. If you are authorized for post-completion OPT, you may work part time (20 hours or less per week) or full time.

How long can I stay in US after OPT denied?

If your STEM OPT extension application is denied, and you have been granted the 60-day grace period, you will have several options. You can choose to leave the U.S. after your OPT has expired and will have 60 days to prepare for your departure.

Can I work while my OPT is pending?

Can I work while my STEM OPT application is pending? Yes, you can work after your first OPT period ends and while your STEM OPT application is pending up to 180 days provided USCIS receives your STEM OPT application by the expiration of the first OPT period.

Can I hire someone on OPT?

Hiring F-1 Students. As soon as an F-1 student completes a degree program, he or she is eligible to apply for 12 months of work authorization called Optional Practical Training (OPT). This means that the position for which you hire the student must be related to the student’s major.

How many days do you have to find a job on OPT?

If you cannot find a job within 90 days of the start of your OPT, then you must make plans to depart the US immediately or change to some other status in the US. Keep in mind that the 90 days of unemployment is for the entire OPT period.

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How long can you work on OPT?

Students eligible to work through the OPT program can submit applications to work for up to 12 months either before or immediately after they graduate. Some OPT students may also be eligible for an extension, depending on their degree.

How long can a candidate work on OPT?

Optional Practical Training (OPT) Although students are allowed to work for 12 months, however, students with a STEM degree are allowed to extend it to 17 months. Moreover, all periods of pre-completion OPT will be deducted from the available period of post-completion OPT.

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