My OPT starts on January 6, 2020. On February 3, 2020, I received my I-526 approval. I filed my I-485 and it was received by USCIS on February 13, 2020. I have not found a job yet for my OPT. Am I still required to find a job within the 90-day of the start of my OPT now?
It is not required, but it''s always a good idea to maintain nonimmigrant status until your application is actually approved.
After filing the I-485 application, you are an applicant for adjustment of status. You cannot be an applicant for adjustment of status and in F-1 status at the same time.
No, upon filing your I-485, your status in the U.S. is as a pending adjustment of status, and you should have also applied for an employment authorization document if you wish to work. You are no longer subject to the OPT terms.
The OPT rules are still applicable to your circumstance until your I-485 EAD is approved. As long as you are under the OPT, the 90-day moratorium of unemployment is still the governing rule. That is you must find a job within 90 days. Otherwise, your OPT lapses. Therefore, you should try to get a job within 90 days.
The filing of the adjustment does not automatically terminate your SEVIS/F-1 record, but you can ask the school to terminate it in which case you no longer subject to the F-1 OPT rules.
Some folks chose to conform with the requirements of their current legal status just in case they are denied adjustment. Once the adjustment application is filed, they remain in legal status until the decision is made. There is no USCIS requirement to hold onto a particular status. But if they are denied and they have no fallback; then they may have to leave the U.S.
If you wish to remain in OPT status, you must comply with the rules and obtain related employment within 90 days. The requirement for I-485 eligibility is that you must have been in valid nonimmigrant status when the application was filed, but it is a good idea to maintain your underlying nonimmigrant status throughout the process if possible.
If you have not already, file an EAD application. Assuming your I-485 was properly filed, including proper evidence of being in status at the time of filing. You are not required to maintain F1/OPT status but can remain in the U.S. in the pending period of the adjustment application.
You are technically a pending immigrant now, but I like it when folks continue to maintain things for their previous status until at least the EAD comes in.
If you do not comply with the OPT rules, you will no longer be in F1 status. If you have a timely filed and pending adjustment of status application, you are allowed to remain in the U.S. until there is a decision on that application.
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