Do I have to be full time enrolled the year before I apply for OPT?


New Member
Hello, my name is Jay. I completed most of the courses required in my master program with J2 visa. Now because of changes from my wife's work (J1), I will need to change to F1 visa, and apply for OPT after graduation. I have been full time enrolled in the program for last two years. Now the International Student Center told me they can issue me a RCL (reduce course load) and I20 for me to apply for F1 visa. But they are not sure whether or not I'm qualified for OPT, because I won't be full time enrolled this semester and maybe next semester if things get stretched. I will probably need to register some 0 credit 0 tuition placeholder courses to maintain my student status. OPT requirement is "after you have been lawfully enrolled on a full-time basis for one full academic year". They are not sure if this means as long as you were full time enrolled for one full year during the program, or you have to be full time enrolled the year before you apply for OPT.

The advisor I talked to would like to check with the F visa program director when she come back. What do you guys think? Am I qualified for OPT if I'm not full time enrolled for the last year, but had been full time enrolled for 2 years in this program?

Thanks a lot!