Post-completion OPT - before or after thesis defense?


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Hello guys, as the title indicates I have a question regarding post-completion OPT application. I am a PhD student and have completed all the course requirements (credits, comprehensive exams etc). All I am left with is thesis defense, which will likely be in this July. Problem is, I cannot graduate in Summer if I defend in July and there is no way I can defend earlier. So, am I eligible to apply for post-completion OPT right now? On the USCIS website it says so, but some University websites have conflicting statements about such a thing and are saying that one needs to apply for pre-completion OPT if they have not defended dissertation.


I know a quick way to find this would be ask my DSO. But my University, even though a state University, has very few international students and the DSO makes her own rules based on her mood. So please be kind and shed some light on this matter.



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