Pre-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 Pre-completion OPT starts (two consecutive semesters excluding summer unless summer is required by curriculum for all students on the program).
  • You have not used more than 12 months of OPT in the past at your current degree level.
  • No job offer is needed for filing Pre-completion OPT application. However, time approved for pre-completion OPT will be deducted from your total 12 months OPT, even you have not found employment during the approved period. Two months part time OPT equals to one month full time OPT when deduction is calculated.
  • Continuing Full Time Study: You must continue to enroll/study full time and make normal progress toward degree completion during the authorized pre-completion OPT.
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OPT Beginning & Ending Dates
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  • You may not begin OPT employment until you receive the actual Employment Authorization Documentation (EAD card) and until the beginning date indicated on your EAD card has arrived. USCIS takes up to 90 days to process an OPT application. Please plan to apply as early as possible.
  • You must stop working by the expiration date on your EAD card.
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Working Hours and Number of Employers
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  • You can work only part-time (20 hours or less per week) during the academic year while coursework is being taken.
  • You may work full time during school vacation or after completion of all coursework, excluding dissertation, thesis or graduation research project.
  • You may work for more than one employer while on OPT.
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Termination of OPT
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Authorization for OPT is automatically terminated when you transfer to another school or begin study at another educational level even the transfer occurs during the authorized period as indicated on your EAD card.

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Application Procedure
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Key Contacts

Conklin HallRoom 216
175 University AvenueNewarkNJ07102

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 (