OPT Graduate/Master Students
The US Citizenship and Immigration Services have authorized the employment in the major subject of the field after completion of your graduation or Post Graduation in US. Optional Practical Training is offered for all the graduates or post graduates while they are still pursuing their graduation or masters or you can also go for post graduation or master OPT.
Have a look at the details about post graduation OPT –
- You must have completed your graduation or post graduation course.
- The status of your F1 visa should be valid and you must be present in US when you are applying for this Optional Practical Training program.
- You should not have done the CPT program for twelve months or more. Students who have done CPT for 12 or more months are not eligible for OPT program.
- If you have done any OPT course during your graduation, then that time period would be deducted from the current OPT program. The total period of OPT program is 12 months.
- The employment has to be only on the major field of your study.
- During the OPT period, you should either be working with any employer or you should be in search of any employment. You cannot stay unemployed for more than 90 days during the OPT program
Duration of the OPT Course –
- The OPT course duration is for 12 months in total.
- The STEM students get an extension of 17 months for OPT program apart from the 12 months OPT program.
- You can apply for OPT program after completion of every education level. That means you can apply for OPT program after graduation and another OPT after your masters.
Time Frame for applying EAD card for OPT programmes-
- You can apply at least 90 days before the completion of your graduation or post graduation (Masters)
- Or you should apply within 60 days after completion of your graduation or post graduation course.
- One important point to remember about the time frame is it is going to take at least 3 or 4 months for the EAD card to arrive. So it is always good to plan in advance and apply for the OPT program.
Things to take care –
- When you want to travel outside US during the Optional Practical Training, you will have to submit the offer letter of your job.
- You can stay unemployed only for 90 days during your OPT program, so make sure that you complete your thesis in time as you will have pressure of both job and thesis. Make sure that your OPT statement date is after the end date of I-20.
- The I-20 cannot be extended, so make sure that you complete your Thesis on time. If you don’t complete it, then your F1 visa will expire as soon as you complete your OPT program. You will have to get another F1 visa to continue and complete your studies.
Take the advantage of the Optional Practical Training program and get a chance to work in any US based company just after completion of your graduation and gain a lot of real time experience.