Strict Filing Deadlines for OPT Applications

According to the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), USCIS Service Centers have recently become more strict regarding filing deadlines for Optional Practical Training (OPT) than they have been in the past. This has resulted in the "unexpected" denial of applications that previously may have been approved.

When filing an OPT application, in addition to properly filing the application up to 90 days prior to and no more than 60 days after the student's academic end date, the student must also properly file within 30 days of the date the Designated School Official (DSO) enters the OPT recommendation. Previously, when USCIS received applications that were received more than 30 days after the DSO's recommendation, it would often send the applicant a Request for Evidence requiring a new I-20 signed by the DSO. However, it is reported that USCIS has recently been denying these applications outright. As a result, student's must pay careful attention to filing deadlines to ensure that their OPT employment authorization is not one of those that is "unexpectedly" denied.

Categories: Immigration Blog