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As a F-1 Student, When Should I Apply for the Optional Practical Training?

Hi William,

As a F-1 student near the end of the
academic program, when should I apply for the Optional Practical Training?


It is important for F-1 students to be familiar with
Optional Practical Training (OPT) filing requirements and deadlines. A denial in these cases often arrives well beyond the time during which a refiling is possible.

USCIS enforces the requirement to file the OPT application within 30 days of the date the designated school official (DSO) enters the OPT recommendation into the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) record, and within 60 days of the date the DSO enters the recommendation for the STEM OPT extension into the SEVIS record.

There are several deadlines a post-completion OPT applicant should be aware of to ensure the application is not summarily denied by the USCIS. The initial OPT application must be submitted within 30 days of the recommendation being entered into the student’s SEVIS record.

Also, the F-1 student may apply up to 90 days before the academic program end date, but no later than 60 days after the program end date. Students should know both the general filing period and the 30-day deadline for filing following the DSO’s entry of recommendation.

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