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F-1 Important Dates

Important Dates while on an F-1 status

Entering into the United States 

  • No Sooner than 30 days before the Course Start Date mentioned on the I-20


  • Must not have worked for more than 11 months and 29 days on CPT, to qualify for OPT.

Pre-Completion OPT Filing

  • May apply up to 90 days before completion of one (1) full academic year.
  • However, must not start employment before completion of one (1) full academic year.
  • Must be applied before course end date.
  • Must end before the course end date.
  • Can be part-time during school session.
  • Can be full-time during school breaks.
  • Anytime on Pre-completion OPT is deducted from the 12-month OPT authorization period. 
  • Part-time employment of 2 months on pre-completion OPT is calculated as 1 month on post-completion OPT.
  • Full-time employment of 2 months on pre-completion OPT is calculated as 2 months on post-completion OPT.

Post-Completion OPT Filing

  • Can be filed only 90 days before the date of course completion.
  • Should be filed within 60 days from the date of course completion.
  • Must file OPT application within 30 days of the OPT recommendation by the DSO.  

Post-Completion OPT Unemployment

  • Must not have more than 90 days of unemployment on OPT.
  • No Grace Period after 90 days of unemployment


  • Can be filed no more than 90 days before the initial OPT expiration.
  • Should be filed before the initial OPT expires.
  • Must File STEM OPT application within 60 days of the STEM OPT recommendation by the DSO, but before OPT expiration.

STEM OPT Unemployment

  • Maximum 150 days of unemployment, including 90 days of OPT unemployment.
  • No 60-day Grace Period after 150th day of unemployment

F-1 Grace Period

  • Upon Graduation, if not employed or OPT not requested, 60 Days Grace Period is allowed to switch visa status, to leave the U.S. or to apply for new F-1 course.
  • 60-day Grace Period, upon OPT completion.
  • 60-day Grace Period, upon STEM-OPT completion.

F-1 Reinstatement

  • If F-1 is terminated, the F-1 Reinstatement must be filed within 5 months of termination, to reinstate F-1 status and continue studying.

Transfer to new school

  • Must start classes in 5 months of last day of class at previous school.
  • Next available session;

Whichever is earlier.

*Must coordinate and plan the transfer with the DSOs from both schools.

  • You can start working only after you receive your Employment Authorization Document (EAD) and on the start date mentioned on it.
  • Keep your Designated School Official (DSO) informed and consult with them for accurate information and guidance regarding OPT application procedures, dates, and reporting.

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