Late opt approval: Things To Do and Know

Late opt approval
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Optional practical training or OPT is sanctioned to the F-1 visa holders who are students. By OPT, a student after completing the degree or program in a specific field can reside in America and have employment.

A student can directly gain on-field experiences related to their education field with the help of OPT.

For getting approval for OPT one must be enrolled in a full-time degree or program in active F-1 status for at least two semesters. Arrival in the U.S. within 30 days from the start of classes during the first semester of entry in order for that term to count toward practical training eligibility is advisable.

In case OPT approved after the start date, the EAD will provide a new start date so one can start working from the new start date. One cannot work until the EAD is received whether it’s their start date.

With the practice of work authorizations, students can apply to work in the USA for the purpose of gaining practical experience in their major field of study. Even this practice of working to learn requires specific work authorizations.


Applying for OPT:

The first way is with the help of recommendation along with that one have to include OPT start and end dates on this form.

​​One must consider the start and end dates according to the proposed OPT job start date and class schedule.


For post-completion OPT, your OPT start date has to be between the day after your end date and 60 days after your end date.

Verification of Completion Form and completed I-765 application should be uploaded as a priority.


Types of employment for OPT approved after start date


A very important arrival record in the form of I-94 needs to be filled by the F-1 holders. The OPT holders should be aware of the types of employment that will be available in the United States.

One should be aware of the types of employment or opportunities they will get after the start date. These are for the F-1 visa holders that will be converted to OPT.


Under OPT work authorization, students can work for a time period of 12 months. A student under OPT has to find the employees under their field of study even if OPT approved after start date.

Types of employment a delayed OPT approval includes all the same types of employment. The jobs include full-time, part-time, campus placed, and CPT employment.


One can work on their entrepreneurship or self-employed plans linked to their educational background. Other types of employment can also include working in NGOs, unpaid jobs, salaried OPT jobs, internships, and many other types.

Even if the OPT approved after the start date, one can manage and apply for such jobs. The application under process does not stop or prohibits anyone to start working.


OPT approved after start date


Many students face the situation where the work is approved by the legal authorities without the approval of OPT EAD. One must be prepared and aware of the OPT expected date for approval.

OPT approved after the start date will not cause any legal issue but working before the approval can create legal questions.

One can only start working when the date is released by OPT EAD. This should be taken lightly as the issue can affect the residence or other visas.

OPT approved after start date can be between the day after your end date and 60 days after your end date.

Things you can do

You can apply a maximum of 90 days before the completion date for OPT and around 60 days after the course or program is over.

One can easily travel but has to be physically present for the OPT EAD or preapproval for OPT.

Even if the application is pending or under process, one can move around and search for jobs. OPT approved after the start date automatically will approve the beginning of working at any place.


OPT approval does not mean that the student got the final green light for employment. After the expiration of OPT, one has liberty for 90 days in which they can be unemployed.

After the completion of OPT, there are few things that one can do till the approval is received.


As one must know that the USCIS takes around 90 days to process an application but few delays could take place.

If the EAD has not arrived then that could cause a delay in OPT delivery start date. USCIS will send the EAD using regular mail you should expect to wait a week or more for delivery of the EAD.


One can Double-check mail and ask people around them such as neighbors, the apartment complex manager, etc.

Calling the USCIS customer service number and ask about the status. For that one has to keep all the recorded conversations with the customer service agent, including the date, or any information that was given by them.

One can also inquire by email with a detailed account of the situation and steps you have already taken, including notes from your conversation with USCIS customer service.

All the steps can be taken if the EAD is delivered late or does not arrive at all.


Things to know about OPT approved after start date


The SEVIS is an automated system that calculates unemployment days based on the SEVP Portal account. It also marks the days in which student has done some extra activity.

Students also face issues related to the grace period. If they do not have it then they exceed the 90-day unemployment limit may not transfer their F-1 status to begin a new academic program.

As it is clear that generally, it can take up to 90 days after the application is received by USCIS to be approved. With the help of an OTP card, one can start working. The date given on the card is the one by which the start of employment is counted but sometimes it can be delayed.

The USCIS could take time to approve the OPT start date, but it is important to keep few things in mind.

If the grace period expires then it will also lead to the loss of OPT time as unemployed.


Many international students wish to apply for an F-1 visa or OPT with the futuristic approach of settlement. Many students with the wish to study and work in the United States go for OPT programs.

Optional practical training (OPT) is the program in which a student has to choose employment related to their field of study. This program is for the duration of 12 months and it requires many legalities from USCIS.

An OPT card is also issued in which the start date and the end dates are also mentioned. But when the graduation or the program ends, a student is provided with 90 days leap before the extension of the OPT.

Sometimes, students receive OPT approved after start date which also leaves them with queries.

All the processes that take place in approval might be lengthy and take time. The duration is that’s why provided so that the student can find or process few employment options by themselves.

The OPT approved after start date of an employment does not affect much if it is under the duration provided.

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