Am I allowed to work legally after my F1 OPT expires while I am waiting for my permanent EAD to arrive?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Am I allowed to work legally after my F1 OPT expires while I am waiting for my permanent EAD to arrive?

I have applied for adjustment of status (I485) and concurrently applied to I-765. I got my fingerprinting done on the 6th. I am currently employed on F1 OPT and it is expiring on the 14th. I am waiting for my permanent work authorization and I have heard that it usually takes 3-5 weeks after submitting biometrics. I’m worried that there would be a gap of few days after my current OPT expires and till I get the new one.

Asked on January 7, 2016 under Immigration Law, Washington


SB Member California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

It really depends on what basis your I-485 is based.  If it is through marriage to a US citizen, then yes you can.  If it based on an employment-based visa, then you really need to wait for the EAD to arrive before starting or resuming work.

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