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F-1 Visa Students’ Benefit from OPT for Seeking Permanent Residency

Relocating to United States of America is a dream for every student who comes there to study; however the rules do not permit international students to seek employment for permanent stay.

Nevertheless, in recent times, the immigration laws provide F-1 student visa holders with opportunities that may aide them in securing permanent stay and subsequently become Green card holders. The immigration department has introduced Optional Practical Training (OPT) wherein the candidate is eligible for 1 year of OPT employment for every degree the student earns.

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In case of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering or Math) subject, the candidate is eligible for extra 17 months. Students need to bear in mind that the employment should be directly related to their field of studies, no other jobs should be held that do not confirm to this rule.

Students have the option to undergo practical training either before or after the completion of studies.F-1 Visa

– Pre-completion OPT: F-1 students can take up pre-completion OPT after enrolling for 1 academic year. In order to be able to work in pre-completion OPT, students can work part-time during the academic year and full time when the school is not in session.

– Post-completion OPT: F-1 students can partake in post-completion after completing their studies. As mentioned earlier, it is mandatory to seek practical training in the field of study only.

To further pave path for students, while working, the candidate can request the employer to sponsor them for H1-B temporary professional employment visa. This visa is usually valid for 6 years and above and while working with this visa, the candidate gains the required experience to be able to apply for permanent residency. This is an excellent opportunity for students to display their talent and seek employment from companies in USA.

Students from different fields can now enjoy the OPT program as the US government added additional 90 eligible fields for this program, thus increasing the total to 400. This is a welcome news for immigrants from different parts of the world who not just seek top quality education, but also a permanent residency in US. The government is taking steps to ensure that maximum international students are able to benefit from the land and find employment in the US and further contribute in the nation’s professional growth.

To learn more about the STEM designated fields eligible for OPT you can visit the link and learn more about the same.