US OPT Programs for Students on F-1 Visa

OPT program is a form of provisional job that are made available to the students on F-1 visa which is directly related to the study program of a student. The job is often paid, and might take place during or after conclusion of degree program.

The overarching idea is that the OPT program would afford entitled foreign students and latest graduates a chance to get practical experience for supplementing what they had learned during their study program. Students on F-1 visa might be authorized for entire one year of full time OPT at every level of education.

The process of application is reasonably straight forward. The student should first request for approval from their designated school officer who would make a suggestion to the SEVIS by endorsing a Form I -20.

Students should file a Form I-756, applications for job authorization, support documents, a filing fee with the USCIS.

OPT extension and changes to it

Since the year 2008, entitled students who graduates with STEM related degrees and are currently engaged in duration of approved post completion OPT program might have a choice for extending their OPT program for duration of 17 months.

This is existing extension of STEM related OPT, and this is what the latest rule vary. These amendments would affect entire parties involved in process of STEM related OPT extension. This includes students and employers in the US with whom students would train during the course of approved duration of STEM related OPT.

The latest rules

The new rules offers a comprehensive renovate to STEM related OPT program. Many rules expand the STEM related OPT program, helpful to entire parties that are involved. Most particularly, these include:

  • The extension of STEM related OPT program might now be issued for a period of one year in place of earlier 17 month duration.
  • Entitled students might now be eligible for two lifetime extensions of STEM related OPT programs. But students might not apply for these extensions back to back, they might get OPT separately at two various levels of education.
  • The list of STEM related degree categories is extended, permitting students in broader range of study programs to qualify for extension of STEM related OPT. The updated list might be viewed on the web portal of the US Customs and Immigration Enforcement (ICE).
  • Entitled students might, under certain situations, apply for an extension of STEM related OPT based on earlier concluded degree.
  • The limit on number of days a student might be jobless during STEM related OPT has been raised, now adding up about 150 days over the course of combined three years of regular in addition to STEM related OPT.

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