Recent events related to Coronavirus (COVID-19) have placed Harvard, and the world, in unchartered territory and as expected have led to a great deal of uncertainty. To help answer your questions, the Harvard International Office (HIO) has compiled a comprehensive FAQ for any visa-related issues connected to COVID-19, including general travel and visa concerns, student issues, work authorization applications, etc. You may follow updates on the Harvard/MIT Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) Lawsuit here.
Students may apply as early as 90 days before the proposed start date of the employment.
Students completing a program of study can apply as early as 90 days before the date of completion and/or graduation. For May degree candidates, the date of the graduation ceremony is the program completion date.
Completed OPT applications must be received by USCIS no later than the 60th day after graduation/program completion.
You are advised to apply for OPT well in advance of your anticipated employment. A job offer is not required to apply for OPT.
For students completing their programs at other points in the academic year, their HIO advisor can assist in determining the program completion date for OPT purposes.
Students who have had a break in their F-1 student status (such as a leave of absence outside of the United States) should work closely with their HIO advisor to confirm their eligibility to apply for OPT.