OPT jobs offer international students in the United States a chance to gain practical work experience. Administered by USCIS, OPT allows up to 12 months of post-degree work, with STEM fields eligible for a 24-month extension. These opportunities not only enhance skills but also open doors to potential U.S. careers.
Eligibility for OPT Jobs:
To qualify for OPT jobs, F-1 visa students must maintain good academic standing, have an active F-1 visa, and complete at least one full academic year in the U.S. OPT comes in two forms: pre-completion (during studies) and post-completion (after degree completion). Both types require an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) from USCIS.
Types of OPT Jobs:
1. Pre-completion OPT:
Part-time or full-time work during studies.
Limited to 20 hours/week during the academic year.
Full-time allowed during official breaks.
Requires prior authorization through an EAD.
2. Post-completion OPT:
Full-time employment post-degree completion.
Initial grant for 12 months; STEM fields may extend to 24 months.
Application for post-completion OPT and EAD required.
Mandatory reporting of employment changes.
Tips for Success in OPT Jobs:
Start Early: Begin OPT exploration and application preparation early.
Networking: Attend events, fairs, and connect with professionals in your field.
Polish Documents: Tailor your resume and cover letter to showcase relevant experiences.
Gain Experience: Seek internships or part-time jobs aligned with your field.
Stay Informed: Stay updated on immigration regulations to maintain legal status.
OPT jobs serve as a crucial pathway for international students to gain practical experience in the U.S. Following eligibility criteria and success tips, students can choose between pre- or post-completion OPT, setting the stage for a successful career in the United States.