Are you an undergraduate or graduate student studying in United States on an F-1 Visa? Would you like to get hands-on experience in your field in the real world? Did you know that there is a program called “OPT” that is designed to do exactly that?
OPT stands for Optional Practical Training. It allows someone on a student visa to work for up to a year in the United States, either during school or after graduation.
If you don’t have a job lined up after graduation, that’s okay, because you don’t need to have a job offer ready when you apply for OPT.
There are some tricky dates and timelines you do need to keep in mind when applying, though. For example, you must start your OPT work within 1 to 60 days after completing your degree. There are also restrictions on international travel during the period from graduation until you receive your Employment Authorization Card.
Processing time for OPT can be 3-4 months, and applications won’t be accepted if you submit them more than 90 days before degree completion, so you need to start your application early and also be careful with timing. There is an unemployment period of up to 90-days permitted for OPT candidates, so you do have some flexibility with beginning your training.
The duration of OPT is 12-months, but if you majored in certain science, technology, math, or engineering areas, you may be eligible for a 17-month extension to gain more experience in your field by working in the United States.
OPT is a great way for international students to spend time in the United States, working in their field, and learning valuable skills. Students can spend time learning real world skills that will help them to excel in their field. Plus it’s a great way to gain work experience for your resume or C.V. If you have questions about if OPT is an option for you, feel free to get in touch with us, and we can help you with every step of the application.