I wonder how long it takes for a company in the US to get an export license for Iranian F1 student for them to be able to work fulltime for the company in the US via Curricular Practical Training (CPT) or Optional Practical Training (OPT)?

  • 1
    Students don't get export licenses, companies do.
    – littleadv
    Mar 21 at 2:15
  • @littleadv thanks, fixed. Mar 21 at 3:19
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    I’m voting to close this question because ‘how long it takes’ is subjective and highly likely to depend on a variety of factors eg the type of product the firm makes
    – Traveller
    Mar 21 at 8:03
  • @Traveller subjective = based on or influenced by personal feelings, tastes, or opinions. Nothing subjective here. Mar 21 at 8:04
  • @Frank Dernoncourt You omitted a key part of the meaning ’…rather than based on facts’ dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/subjective The premise of your question is wrong, therefore it can’t be answered based on facts.
    – Traveller
    Mar 21 at 12:33

2 Answers 2


Your previous answer is absolutely and entirely wrong, so the premise of this question is wrong.

The company doesn't need an export license for an Iranian student, the company needs an export license to export. See here:

An export license from the U.S. government may be needed if your business intends to export items with defense- or national security-related applications (see ITAR below). Additionally, an export license may be needed for “dual-use” items that have both commercial and military functions (see EAR below).

If the product is restricted for export to Iran, then the Iranian student will not be allowed to work on it.

  • To confirm: you state that an employer never has to obtain some export license/authorization when they hire a new Iranian citizen, if they have already obtain export license to export in the past? Mar 21 at 22:02
  • @FranckDernoncourt I'm claiming that the export license requirement comes from the product/process/IP that the company is working with/on, not the employees it hires.
    – littleadv
    Mar 21 at 22:04
  • Then why 3 users on reddit.com/r/immigration/comments/tiyq98/… and my two Iranian contacts are saying their employers needed some kind of export license for them? I'm still unclear how it works, but it seems the employer must obtain in some cases some authorization when they hire a new Iranian citizen. Mar 21 at 22:06
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    @FranckDernoncourt anecdotal hearsay evidence is not really a good signal, especially when it comes from some anonymized social network. You'll probably need to ask your Iranian friends, but it is more likely than not that they either misunderstood, or their employers misunderstood, or (most likely IMHO) got told something neutral instead of "you're all spies and we can't have you work here". I would imagine that any export-restricted product manufacturer could apply for an explicit license to export to Iran, but I'ld also imagine that they wouldn't want to just to be able to hire an intern
    – littleadv
    Mar 21 at 22:09

I found 2 sources, which indicate ~6 months:

Source 1: 3 to 6 months (private correspondence) for US tech firms in the field is machine learning applied to natural language processing.

Source 2 from Reddit user not_an_immi_lawyer:

To get the export license, probably 6+ months and no guarantee it'll be approved.

  • 1
    1: ~6+ months is approximately 6 months or more, not ~6 months. 2: You already referenced this reddit user in your previous (incorrect) answer, so you know this source (or your understanding of their posts) is wrong. 3: This is wrong because the premise of the question is wrong. Employer doesn't need a license to hire an Iranian OPT student, but if the product needs an export license and the license restricts export to Iran - that student won't be able to work on the product.
    – littleadv
    Mar 21 at 16:23

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