Post-completion OPT

In This Section

It is mandatory that every F-1 student should attend one of the OPT workshops OISS offers throughout the academic year before applying for Post-completion OPT 

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  • You must be an F-1 student in good academic standing who have enrolled full time for at least one full academic year when Post-completion OPT starts.
  • You will have completed all degree requirements by the time your Post-completion OPT starts, OR
  • You will have completed ALL course requirements excluding dissertation, thesis or graduation research project by the time your Post-completion OPT starts. In this situation, you must continue to make normal progress toward degree completion during the authorized Post-completion OPT.
  • You have not used more than 12 months of OPT in the past at your current degree level.
  • You must not have been authorized for more than 12 months of full-time Curricular Practical Training (CPT) in the past at your current degree level.
  • No job offer is needed for filing Post-completion OPT application.
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Beginning & Ending Dates of Post-completion OPT
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Note: Your program COMPLETION date is NOT graduation/commencement date, and NOT diploma issuing date. It is the date you COMPLETE all degree requirements, or all course requirements excluding dissertation, thesis or graduation research project.

  • You must complete the OPT within a 14-month period following your program completion date. Therefore, you may not request a start date that is more than 60 days after your program completion date.
  • OPT application must be filed with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) with a fee, currently $410, for an Employment Authorization Documentation (EAD). Employment authorization will begin on the date you requested or the date the employment authorization is adjudicated by USCIS, whichever is later.
  • You may NOT start employment prior to the approved starting date on your EAD, AND you must receive the EAD card before you may start employment .
  • You must stop working by the expiration date on your EAD card. You will have a 60-day grace period after OPT ends for preparing to leave the U.S., start a new education program or file change to another immigration status. 
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Application Deadline
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  • You may file your OPT application 90 days before your program completion date or within 60 days after it. An application that arrives at a USCIS Processing Center 60 days after your program completion date will be denied.
  • You must also file the application within 30 days of the issuing date on your new I-20 bearing the OPT recommendation.
  • USCIS takes up to 90 days to process an OPT application. Your OPT may be cut short as a result of late filing. So, plan accordingly and file as early as possible.
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Maintaining Legal Status While on Post-completion OPT
Termination of OPT
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Authorization for Post-completion OPT is automatically terminated when you transfer to another school, begin study at another educational level, or if you depart the United States for more than 5 consecutive months. Your Employment Authorization Documentation (EAD card) will no longer be valid. SEVP will notify USCIS your EAD termination date even the ending date on the card is still in the future. Continuing to work on a terminated EAD is considered in violation of F-1 visa status. 

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Travel on Post-completion OPT
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  • Do NOT travel outside the U.S. after you complete the degree program but before you file for Post-completion OPT, because your departure will be considered as completing your F1 status and you will not be eligible for OPT after you leave the U.S..
  • You may travel and return to the U.S. to resume employment after a period of temporary absence with the following documents:
    • Form I-20 bearing OPT recommendation endorsed for reentry by OISS within the last six months.
    • Valid F-1 visa
    • Valid passport
    • Job offer letter from employer 
    • Valid EAD card if available
  • For traveling abroad during OPT application pending period, please contact OISS for advices.
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Application Procedure
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  1. Use your Rutgers NetID and password to login to your RGLOBAL account and select OPT Application E-Form.
  2. Complete the required information, and upload scans or photos of your passport biographical page and I-94.
  3. Within 10 business days, OISS will verify your eligibility, make OPT recommendation on SEVIS and issue you a new I-20 bearing the OPT recommendation.  OISS will email you when your new I-20 has been processed.
  4. While waiting for your new I-20, download the form Form I-765 Application for Employment AuthorizationInstruction for Filling out Form I-765 and G-1145 e-Notification of Application/Petition Acceptance. Make sure to fill these forms electronically. If your in-browser PDF reader doesn't support filling, open the forms with a reader that supports filling. Handwritten forms are highly discouraged.
  5. Refer to the OPT application checklist and compile all required materials.
  6. If using a credit card to pay the $410.00 fee to the Department of Homeland Security, please download the form G-1450 Authorization for Credit Card Transactions.
  7. Collect your I-20 and verify your complete OPT application by scheduling a remote appointment with an OISS advisor.
  8. Mail your OPT application packet to USCIS following OISS' instructions to be provided when you receive your new I-20.
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Checklist for Filing OPT Application with USCIS
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  • Original Form I-765: Application for Employment Authorization typed and signed (signature in ink).
  • Photocopy of current Rutgers Newark I-20 and ALL previous I-20s, including I-20s issued by previous schools. I-20 INSTRUCTIONS page NOT required.
  • Photocopy of all previous Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) granted by USCIS.
  • Most recent I-94 Form printed from CBP website:
  • Photocopy of most recent visa page in passport.
  • Photocopy of picture page of passport.
  • Photocopy of passport page with expiration date if not on picture page.
  • IMPORTANT: Passport must be valid at least 9 months into the future from filing date.
  • Two passport photos, less than 30 days old. Refer to passport photo guidelines and examples on Travel.State.Gov. Print your legal name and your SEVIS ID on the back of each photo with pencil.
  • G-1450 Authorization for Credit Card Transaction or check / money order in the amount of $410 payable to “Department of Homeland Security.” Write your SEVIS ID Number & “OPT Application” in the memo section.
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Key Contacts

Honors Living Learning Community (HLLC)226 & 227
48 New StreetNewarkNJ07102

OISS In-Person Walk-In Hours:

* No appointment necessary. *
Monday - Thursday: 10:00am – 3:00pm

Friday, Saturday, Sunday: CLOSED

Virtual one-on-one appointments available at  Rutgers Newark - OISS (