I am currently working on curricular practical training (CPT) in my last semester. My CPT is authorized until the end of my program of study, which is in less than one month. I have just applied for optional practical training (OPT) …05 May 2014
… and intend to continue working for my current employer on OPT. Since it normally takes up to 90 days for USCIS to approve OPT and to issue an employment authorization document (EAD), but I will be finishing up working on CPT next month, can I request that my OPT application be expedited? I am also concerned that I will start accumulating days of unemployment towards the 90-day maximum if I wait for the OPT approval past the requested start date.
Not being able to continue employment and transition from CPT to OPT without a gap in employment is not a valid basis for expediting your OPT application. Since you could file your OPT application up to 90 days prior to finishing your study, this would have given the USCIS sufficient time to process your application in time for OPT to start immediately after your CPT authorization is to expire.
Because you are not eligible to start your OPT employment prior to receiving the EAD, you will not be accruing unemployment days for not working while waiting for the decision on your OPT application. (02.May.2014)
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