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) …

… 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)

Questions frequently reach us from students on a variety of matters. This is a sample question, answered by an attorney in our firm. More information can be found in the student section of MurthyDotCom.

Access more FAQs here.

Copyright © 2014, MURTHY LAW FIRM. All Rights Reserved

Disclaimer: The information provided here is of a general nature and may not apply to any specific or particular circumstance. It is not to be construed as legal advice nor presumed indefinitely up to date.