USA F1 students may work for up to 6 years under the OPT program

August 06, 2015

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has been considering the revision of regulations that will allow the foreign students with F1 visas to work in the United States for a period of up to six years of employment/job under optimal practical training program.

F category visas are given to nonimmigrant foreign students to pursue the academic studies or any training programs in the USA. There are two employment programs available such as curricular practical training and optional practical training for the students with an F1 visa.

USA proposals to allow F1 students may work for up to six years under OPT

The OPT visa is given for 12 month period to the students after graduation so that student may work in the field related to their study and can able to find the H-1B sponsor. And for the students belong to STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) category will be eligible for an additional extension of 17 months.

However, CPT allows up to 20 hours of work per week in the related field of their studies, while attending the school.

The ICE officials have briefed the staff of Senate Judiciary Committee at the end of May about the proposed regulations could affect the foreign students.

However, the proposed regulations would allow foreign students with STEM background to get a 24-month extension that is double than the present 12 months under the OPT regulations.

And also, to authorize the foreign graduates of US non STEM degree programs to get an extension of up to 24 months under OPT program.

DHS also proposes to give the same benefit to the F1 visa students that are given to H-1B non immigrant visa holders.

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