Pre-completion OPT

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Pre-completion OPT is OPT that students can engage in before completion of their studies. Pre-completion OPT has the same application process and reporting requirements as other forms of OPT. It is rare for UWT students to apply for pre-completion OPT. Students who wants to gain practical experience during their studies normally apply for Curricular Practical Training (CPT). See the chart below for differences between these two benefits.

  CPT Pre-completion
Application Reviewed by International Student Advisor at UW Tacoma United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
Fee None $410 (the fee increase to $550 is pending a trial)
Offer from Employer Required Not required
Internship Class Required (must register before the deadline to add a class) Not required
Processing Time 5 business days 90 calendar days or longer
Hours per week Up to 40 hours/week Limited to 20 hours per week while enrolled in classes and up to 40 hours per week during breaks.
Post-completion OPT Implication Loss of eligibility when full time CPT is used for 365 days. Otherwise, no impact.** Time spent on pre-completion OPT will be deducted from 12 months of Post-completion OPT.

**Lately, there have been reported cases in which USCIS deducted used CPT time from the 12 months of Post-completion OPT.

Students who are interested in applying for pre-completion OPT should contact their International Student Advisor.