Often asked: What Is Opt Visa Status?

Optional Practical Training (OPT) is a period during which undergraduate and graduate students with F-1 status who have completed or have been pursuing their degrees for one academic year are permitted by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to work for one year on a student visa towards

How long is an OPT visa good for?

Training/work can be completed anywhere in the U.S. after the OPT EAD card is issued. How long does OPT last? Standard OPT is available for a cumulative maximum of 12 months per educational level. A one-time extension of 24 months (for a total of 36 months) is available to certain STEM degree recipients.

Is OPT a visa type?

Optional practical training (OPT) allows students on an F-1 visa — students studying abroad in the United States temporarily — to take temporary employment in an area directly related to their studies. Any time spent in OPT pre-completion will count toward the total 12-month period.

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What is OPT and how it works?

OPT stands for Optional Practical Training. OPT allows international students to work in the USA for an initial period of 12 months, with the possibility for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) students to extend this by a further 24 months.

Can you be unemployed on OPT?

F-1 regulations state that students who have been authorized for post-completion OPT must leave the U.S. before they accrue an aggregate of more than 90 days of unemployment. No 60-day grace period is allowed. Days of unemployment will be counted from the start date indicated on the EAD card.

Can I travel to Canada while on OPT?

An F-1 student in OPT following completion of studies who travels to Canada temporarily (less than 30 days) can be admitted to resume employment for the remainder of the authorized training period, provided the student presents the endorsed I-20 and an unexpired EAD.

Can I work for any employer on OPT?

Students may work for more than one employer, but all employment must be related to the student’s degree program. Employment during pre-completion OPT cannot exceed the allowed per week cumulative hours.

Is OPT considered F-1 status?

Optional Practical Training (OPT) is a period during which undergraduate and graduate students with F-1 status who have completed or have been pursuing their degrees for one academic year are permitted by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to work for one year on a student visa towards

How long does it take for OPT to be approved 2021?

According to the USCIS, the processing period for an OPT EAD card could last up to 30 days from the time of acceptance. Nevertheless, a majority of cards arrive within 7–10 days. An OPT application is expected to take 90–120 days in total.

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How do I know if my OPT is approved?

USCIS will mail you a receipt notice (I-797C) with your OPT application case status number. You can track your case status at www.uscis.gov. Request a tracking number when you mail your OPT application to USCIS. Track the package delivery and save the delivery confirmation with a copy of your OPT application packet.

Is OPT a sponsor?

OPT is a type of F-1 off campus work authorization for degree-seeking students who wish to gain experience in jobs directly related to their major area of study. Other Characteristics of OPT: No employer sponsorship needed. Students must be enrolled for one year before applying for OPT.

Is OPT a work permit?

Optional practical training is one type of work permission available for eligible F-1 students. It allows students to get real-world work experience related to their field of study. If the OPT is approved, USCIS will issue an Employment Authorization Document (EAD).

What if I lose my job during OPT?

During the period of OPT authorization, a student should be working or actively seeking employment. If you decide to quit your job, or if you do not find a job, keep the unemployment rules in mind. Students on post-completion OPT may have up to 90 days of unemployment.

How long can you stay without a job on OPT?

Federal law limits how long F-1 students on post-completion optional practical training (OPT) or science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) OPT can be unemployed. The limits are: Post-completion OPT: 90 days. STEM OPT: 150 days, which includes any days accrued while on post-completion OPT.

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What if I can’t find a job on OPT?

If you cannot find a job within 90 days of the start of your OPT, then you must make plans to depart the US immediately or change to some other status in the US. Keep in mind that the 90 days of unemployment is for the entire OPT period.

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