Staying to work after study
Post-study work visa is one of the most important factors for students going to pursue higher studies in the USA. F1 Visa, M1 Visa, and J1 Visa are three types of student visas that allow students to stay in the US for a limited time period after completing their studies.
As an F1 student visa holder, international students can complete up to a year of temporary employment directly related to their major field of study. F1 visa holders can apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT) after completing their studies.
Optional Practical Training (OPT) is a one-year work and stay-back permit given to international students on completion of a degree program in the US. There are two types of OPT – one which can be used during one’s studies i.e. PreCompletion OPT, and another which starts after completing one’s studies i.e. Post-Completion OPT.
OPT: What is OPT in USA?
The OPT in USA allows students to stay back in the USA after completing their studies. For this, you need to get authorization from the USCIS and also from the international student office of the school. Under this program, the student is allowed to work for 12 months once he completes his course In USA. You are suggested to submit your application for OPT in USA nine months after you have started your study in USA. However, students need to receive the Employment Authorization Document or EAD from the USCIS to begin working under OPT in USA.
Types of OPT Extension:
Pre-Completion OPT: The OPT in USA starts before the completion of the program at an educational institute.
Post-Completion OPT: This type of OPT in USA will start once the program is completed.
How to Get OPT? Requirements of OPT in USA:
The student must possess an F-1 visa
The student’s employment should be related to the course he did to study in USA
He must apply for OPT before completing all his work related to his course
You have to complete a certificate course at University for your case to be put forward for OPT. A DSO (Designated School Official) recommends you for the OPT.
You Need to fill Form I-20 to apply for the OPT. University will send your application to SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System) to generate the form.
The candidate must find a job in 90 days of completing the program for OPT Extension.
Post study Work Permit in USA under OPT: The post Study Work permit in USA under OPT is for 12 months after the completion of the program. You are allowed to stay back in USA for 1 year under the OPT.
As per the new rules of OPT, the students pursuing a STEM course (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) have an extension of 24 months. You can read more about OPT extension here: New OPT Rule for STEM students in USA.
Curricular Practical Training: What is CPT?
Curricular Practical Training or CPT is an employment option that is off-campus and is available only for those students who have F-1 visas. To obtain CPT, the candidate needs authorization from the institute’s International Student Help Desk and also he needs to notify the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service, also known as the USCIS. The CPT employment is a paid one which helps students to earn during their stay back after they complete their study in USA.
CPT Rules for F-1 Visa:
The student must get CPT training leading to the attainment of the academic credit
The student must have been studying in USA for at least a year and he should have a valid F-1 visa The student must have got a job offer in his or her field of study before he applies for CPT authorization
Optional Practical Training Jobs in an International Organisation
International students studying in USA and having an F-1 visa can get employment in a reputed international organization if the organization is any one of the following options:
Organizations that are in the Official State Department list
Asian and African Development Banks
World Health Organisation or WHO
World Trade Organization Any other internationally known organization
Here are the conditions that are needed to be fulfilled for working in an international organization:
The academic record of the student should be excellent
The student must secure a job during the duration of his course
He must have a valid F-1 visa
He must have got a job or an internship with a reputed international organization