Obtaining OPT authorization takes around 90 days, whereas CPT is much shorter (~2 weeks). Why is obtaining OPT authorization much longer than for CPT?


OPT requires getting an EAD card, so that you can work for any employer. The application for an EAD, I-765, has long processing times, sometimes taking 5-6 months these days.

CPT, on the other hand, does not involve getting an EAD. When working on CPT, your I-20 authorizes you to work for a specific employer. Your school can issue the I-20 fairly quickly.

  • Thanks, interesting, I wonder why there is no option to start an OPT without having received the EAD card yet, as the 90-delay has quite some negative impact on students trying to work the US. – Franck Dernoncourt Aug 25 '18 at 7:14

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.