- 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.
- The job you get after finishing your course must be directly related to your field of study. You have to find the job within 90 days after graduation.
- Duration to stay back – You get to stay in the US for one year after completion of your course on an F1 visa.
- Extension – For students studying STEM courses (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) a new rule allows a 24-month extension. This means you can continue to stay in the US for three years after finishing your course of study.
How to get OPT permit
- The first thing is to have the Designated School Official (DSO) at your university recommend your case for OPT. A DSO is someone who assists and manages the status of international students. To be put forward, you will need to complete a certification process at your university. This includes submitting OPT I-20 request form to International Services Office. You can download this form from your university’s website.