If you are currently in the U.S. working on a post-completion OPT or if you graduated university and you are currently looking for a job related to your field of study, you may be wondering for how many days in total you can be unemployed while you are in the U.S. on a post-completion OPT status.

Post-completion OPT

If you are currently in a post-completion OPT status, you should not be unemployed for more than 90 days.

Please note that if you currently cannot find paid employment and you need to maintain your F-1 status, getting an unpaid internship may be an option. While having an unpaid internship while on post-completion OPT status is allowed, you and the employer will still have to comply with the F-1 visa requirements such as that the internship has to be related to your field of study and you have to intern at least 20 hours per week. Additionally, the company that will have you as an intern should make sure that it complies with all federal and state laws regarding unpaid internships. Please click here if you want to read more about this topic.


If you were granted a STEM OPT extension, than the maximum period of unemployment is 150 days (but this includes any period when you were unemployed on a post-completion OPT status). For example, if you were unemployed 90 days when you were in the U.S. on a post-completion OPT, then you can only be unemployed for the maximum period of 6o days on your STEM OPT status.

Please click here if you want to find out what is a cap-gap extension.

Please click here if you want to read more about post completion OPT.

Please click here if you want to read more about STEM OPT extension.

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