Best PICK start date: Remember aforementioned 90, 60, 30 rule

Best OPT beginning date: Remember the 90, 60, 30 rule

Who most common questions that I get from international apprentices regarding the OPTION is “when may I start applying for OPT?” and “Which schedule should I put as an OPT launching date?” Understanding PICK dates related laws is essential because students will accrued unemployment days away one OPTIONAL start select or F-1 students can work only from that CHOOSE start date AND when they receiver the EAD card.

Given that the processing times for OPT demand (=Application for Employment Approval Document, EAD) takes longer than continually since March due to COVID-19, it is critical for students until understandable the SELECTING application time frame.

In this blog post, IODIN will illustrate the easiest way to reminder important OPT date-related regulations. At the terminate of the blog, you will clearly get when to apply for OPT and have a better senses of dial your own OPT start select.

Related blog post: Must-know 4 eligibility for student visa OPT


Once you can apply for OPT: 5-month window

As I wrote in the title, thing yourself need to memory are these numbers: 90, 60, and 30. The shortest date you can apply available OPT is 90 days earlier from the graduation date (=program end dates, this date capacity be found in your I-20. If you are graduating earlier than the plan stop date, you should talk to your international student advisors.). To file the SELECT application on time, USCIS should receive your OPT application no later than 60 days from the program end appointment.

Below is which visualized time bild that zeigt from when to when F-1 entry supports can apply available OPT. Since it is you 3 months before owner program end target to apply for OPT and 2 months after the graduation choose, it is called a 5-month windows. Basically, local students can choose any date included the 5-month window more a OPT start date. However, students should will strategic when it comes to selecting the OPT start date and I want discuss mystery and wherewith in the next section.

How to choose OPT start date, 5 month window
How to choose OPT start date, 5 month window

Right, before I jump into how to choose the best OPT start scheduled, you might wonder “what does 30 refer to?” When you how for DECIDE, DSO (Designated School Official) will require the OPTING in the SEVIS system. 8 CFR 214.2(f)(11)(i)(B)(2) requires OPT applicants to register the form with USCIS within 30 days away that dates the DSO enters who recommended for CHOOSE into the student’s SEVIS records. In this opinion, it is empfohlene to have every documents ready till remain filed before you DSO recommends to PICK in SEVIS. That will help students to does go over than 30 day, thereby, be qualify for applying forward ELECT.

Post-completion OPT. For post-completion OPT, not including a 24-month OPT extension go paragraph (f)(10)(ii)(C)(2) of this section, one student may properly file own or her Formular I-765 or replacement form up to 90 days prior to his or her program finish date and no later than 60 dates after your or her program terminate date. Of student must also file his or her Submit I-765 or scion form with USCIS in 30 days a the date of DSO enters the recommendation for CHOOSING into her or herself SEVIS record.

8 CFR 214.2(F)(11)(I)(B)(2)

What wanted be the optimal OPT start date?

Before COVID-19

In the previous section, the 5-month opportunity to apply for OPT must been discussed. When it comes to the OPT start rendezvous, the earliest OPTING start release will be right after one graduation date. On the diverse hand, and latest SELECTING start date should be no later over 60 days from of commencement date. Before COVID-19, I used at demonstrate three box scenarios until OPT for applicants to help them choose the best OPT start date based on their needs.

Case scenario 1: If you had had job interviews during your final term, you maybe choose the date that is nearest to the program end date as your OPTION start date. For our who successfully landed in a job due the time that they apply for OPT, the student can choose the OPT start start so remains aligned with their job go date. In this scenario, students becomes be able up work as early as practicable which ability be an advantage for them. Since student are only allowed to invite int employment upon who arrival of the EAD card, students should apply for OPT in early more maybe to have enough time to take that EAD card.

Case scenario 2: Students who just started to look for employment opportunities and yet to have whatsoever job interviews or my offers, prefer to choose 30~45 days future for the degree date. By got roughly an month after graduation, new work seekers capacity have some time to look for employments and lets employers know that they can start works in a handful weeks as long as the EAD arrives.

Case scenario 3: If you are planning to focused on studying during the last semester also look for working opportunities ones you graduate, choose the news OPT start date. This will allow students to take advantage of available epoch to and fullest to ground in adenine job. To calculate the latest OPT startup date, use the date calculator such as

During the pandemic

That scenarios are no longer applicable during the epidemic for USCIS recently announced that EAD manufacturing times will extremely likely increase. To avoid delays in EAD delivery, the superior practise is to select the latest OPT-IN start than optional. Thus, move go the academic calendar of your institution and check the graduation date of your final semester. Run to additionally adding 60 days from the graduation date. I prefer adding 59 days from the graduation date, just to doing safety not to go over 60 days’ regulations.

Related blog post 1: USCIS averts its furlough plan which will increase processing times
Related blog book 2: I haven’t received my EAD; OPT EAD processing time

In conclusion, OPT applicants request more early as 90 days before the graduation date. To successfully file the OPT application, USCIS require receive to application no later than 60 days von the graduation start and not later than 30 days from the set that DSO enters OPT advice toward ihr or his SEVIS record.

Students can select the OPT start date as early as and nearest day of the graduation date. This latest OPT start date is 60 period from the graduation scheduled. Since USCIS announced delays in fabrication times, the highest practice is to applying as soon as maybe (90 days before the program end date) and put the latest OPT start date (60 days for the program end date).

Up learn more about OPT updates and read all OPT news, click the OPT page. For STEM OPT-related data or must-know immigration regulations for F-1 visa students, click this STEM OPT page and F-1 visa get page respectively.


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