Change in OPT Deadlines

Optional Practical Training (OPT) allows F1 students to work for another one year on full-time basis even after their course of study is over in the field that they majored during their studies.
For post-completion OPT, in which employment begins after completion of academic program, the student must carefully file his/her Form I-765 up to 90 days prior to his/her program end-date.
The deadline for the application to be received by U. S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is up to days after his/her program end-date, and within 30 days of the date the Designated School Official (DSO) recommends OPT into his/her Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) record.
Until now, once USCIS received an OPT application more than 30 days after the DSO recommends the OPT in SEVIS, the applicant was often sent a Request for Evidence that required a new Form I-20 signed by DSO.
Then the DSO reprints the Form I-20 from SEVIS and signs it for the applicant to submit to USCIS.
However, recently USCIS has taken a stance maintaining that it is not the correct approach, and applications submitted more than 30 days after the DSO recommends OPT in SEVIS should be denied.
It was further confirmed at I-536 Stakeholder Engagement Meeting that took place on June 9, 2012.
Hence it is very important that the student must apply for OPT with USCIS within 30 days from the date DSO recommends in SEVIS.
If it happens that the student is unable submit the Form I-765 and the required Form I-20 within 30 days from the date DSO recommends in SEVIS, then the DSO should cancel that recommendation and enter a new one in SEVIS.
Issuing a new Form I-20 like before will no longer be suffice.


Reddy & Neumann, P.C. is an immigration law firm in Houston, Texas. For over 15 years, our firm has successfully represented corporate clients across the United States in their efforts to bring foreign workers and business professionals to the United States. Our experienced team of immigration lawyers in Houston & Dallas advises clients throughout the H-1B visa application process, including responding to various requests for evidence and consular processing issues. From filing, through approval, and on to appeal, we do everything possible to ensure that your company can bring the best and brightest in the world to the United States.