F-1 OPT. Rules and Regulations for Optional Practical Training. Visa and Immigration Services. E5310 Melville Library (5 th Floor) Office Hours: M-F--8:30 to 4:30 Tel: 632-INTL (4685) Fax: 632-7243 Email: [email protected]
Rules and Regulations for
Optional Practical Training
PRE – Completion OPT
POST – Completion OPT
*NOTE: You can divide up your 12 months OPT.
2 months of part-time equals 1 month of full-time OPT.
If eligible, you will be notified via e-mail to pick up your
Additional items needed for the STEM extension:
Mail the following documents to USCIS. They must receive your application before the 30th day from the date your Forms I-20 were issued for OPT:
You may begin working only after the EAD card is in your possession AND the authorized start date has begun.
Determine your program end date, usually last day of finals in the term in which you complete all your degree requirements.
The earliest end date that an I-20 for post-completion OPT can be issued is 120 days before your program end date.
If the end date is not currently printed on line 5 of your I-20, it will be updated when your OPT I-20 is issued.
Your complete application for post-completion OPT must not arrive at USCIS MORE than 90 days before your program end date. (You must carefully manage the application process between both our office processing time, as well as USCIS’s.)
Better to apply sooner rather than later!
Federal regulations state that post-completion OPT must be completed within 14 months.
If you decide to apply for OPT AFTER the completion date of your program, USCIS will still take 90 days to process the I-765 application.
The time that USCIS takes to adjudicate your request will be taking time away from when you would have been working on OPT.
You have 60 different choices, starting from the day after your program end date until exactly 60 days later.
The date you select does not influence USCIS—they will process your application on a first-come, first-serve basis.
You want to maximize the amount of time given to them to process your request, usually 90 days.
Once you mail your I-765 application to USCIS, you cannot change your start date, so carefully consider your choice.
Consult your employer, if you already have one, regarding your start date.
Once you submit your I-765 application to USCIS you will have to work with them to withdraw your request and is time sensitive.
Please be in touch with your adviser for further information.
U.S. law can protect you from abusive employers
Example: forcing you to work without pay through violence, threatening to report you to Immigration, or confiscating your immigration documents
Contact Visa and Immigration Services; or
Call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline at 1-888-373-7888 (24 hours) if you need help
For more information: State Department Nonimmigrant Rights, Protections and Resources pamphlet
Duration of status and work authorization will be automatically extended for students on OPT who are the beneficiaries of a timely-filed cap subject H-1B petition requesting an employment start date of October 1 of the following fiscal year. Presentation on our website: www.stonybrook.edu/iaps/international/index.shtml
If you are in your OPT grace period when the H-1B is filed (usually April 1), only your duration of status will be extended, not your work authorization.
Cap-gap applies to all students on OPT, not just STEM students. The extension of duration of status and work authorization would automatically terminate upon the rejection, denial, withdrawal or revocation of the H-1B petition filed on the student's behalf.
STEM students who file OPT extension must include the name and address of their employer.
If you change employers during the 17-month extension, you are not required to submit a new application for employment authorization.
All STEM employers (if you get a new job) must be in E-verify.