OPT FOR “COURSE-COMPLETE” STUDENTS
“Students in a bachelor's, master's or doctoral degree program who have completed all course requirements for the degree (excluding thesis or equivalent) are eligible to apply for OPT.” [CFR 214.2(f)(10)(ii)(A)(3)]
A “course-complete” (only thesis, final project or dissertation remaining) student may apply for post-completion OPT while completing the thesis or equivalent/dissertation. A master’s student’s final project is equivalent to a thesis or dissertation.Post-Completion OPT for course-complete students:
- May work full time.
- Must be registered for thesis, final project or dissertation and certified as a full-time student by the Graduate School for each semester or term until they graduate. Will be eligible for the cap-gap extension if approved for H-1B.
- May apply for the STEM extension if they are otherwise eligible.
- Will be subject to the unemployment provisions.
- Will be unable to receive an extension of their program end date if they do not graduate by the end date of their Post-Completion OPT.
Important note: If a course-complete student on post-completion OPT does NOT finish his or her degree during the 12 months of Post-completion OPT, he or she is NOT eligible for a program extension. This means the student would need to prepare to change status, change education level and/or transfer to a new U.S. school, or depart the country prior to the end of the 60-day OPT grace period.If you have questions about your situation e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.