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I am in the U.S. on a post completion OPT and I filed a STEM OPT extension. Can I keep working after my OPT EAD expires and while the application is pending?

By July 22, 2020March 24th, 2021Questions & Answers
Photo courtesy of Evonne on Flickr, labeled for reuse: https://www.flickr.com/photos/evoo73/9140462500

Let’s analyze the following scenario: You are currently in the U.S. working for Company X on your post-completion OPT. Your work authorization card is expiring on July 15 and you and your employer (Company X)  filed a STEM OPT extension application on July 1. The question then arises: Can you keep working for Company X after July 15 if your STEM is still pending?

The short answer is yes. If you timely filed a STEM OPT Extension and applied for a work authorization based on the STEM OPT and the extension application is currently pending, you can keep working for Company X up to 180 days. If USCIS denies your STEM OPT application, you have to stop working for he company immediately.

Please click here if you want to find out whether you can get an unpaid internship if you are in the U.S. on a post-completion OPT.

Please click here if you want to find out whether cap-gap extension applies to you.

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