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University of the Pacific
3601 Pacific Avenue
Stockton, California 95211

When You Don't Complete Coursework Before Your EAD Starts

I plan to graduate in December, and my I-20 does not expire until May of the following year. What happens if I receive the EAD before the end of December, but then I do not graduate as planned?

If your Optional Practical Training (OPT) has been approved but you do not complete the required coursework before the start date for employment, you can return to school but may only use the Employment Authorization Document (EAD) to work part-time (20 hours or less).

The 12-month period of eligibility for Optional Practical Training (OPT) will have commenced. If your full 12 month period of eligibility had already been applied for and approved, you will not be eligible for more OPT, even if you use your EAD only for part-time employment. When you are delayed incompleting your required coursework, you will be unable to use part of your practical training time.


If you do not graduate by the completion date indicated in section #5 of your new Post-OPT I-20, you MUST apply for a new I-20 before it expires or you will be in violation of your visa. In this case, your Post-OPT I-20 will not reflect a completion date of May of the following year, but will actually end on the December conferral date.