Pre-completion OPT

Pre-completion OPT is OPT used before graduation/I-20 expiration; most often during the summer vacation. Pre-completion OPT is rarely used and we strongly encourage students to look into Curricular Practical Training as an option.


In order to be eligible for pre-completion OPT, you must meet the following criteria:

  • You have been lawfully enrolled as a full-time student at least one full academic year (3 quarters, or 2 semesters)
  • You are currently in F-1 status.


You must meet with an IO advisor before beginning the pre-completion OPT application process.


  • Students on pre-completion OPT can only work part-time during school sessions. You can work full-time during official school vacation, such as summer.
  • Any time used on pre-completion OPT will be subtracted from the 12 months of post-completion OPT
  • You must still wait to receive the EAD before you can begin work. USCIS processing times are 3-4 months.