International students who are studying in USA should have aim of completing their study with high peaks as their next step. The capstone to their education in USA comes when they are allowed to work legally in the USA for up to a year on the optional practical training program or OPT.
It is not easy to find the OPT Jobs for students; they have other struggles in finding such jobs. The most comment student visa is F-1 visa which is a non-immigrant student visa. The students under F-1 visa have the full time opportunities for OPT students to work under some visa conditions under OPT. OPT authorization is a status where an F-1 visa student holds an EAD for Optional Practical Training Jobs. The application can take three to four months, so it is important for international students to begin the application process months before graduation.
There are two types of OPT Employment:
Pre completion– Students who intend to do practical training or working part time while they are pursuing degree.
Post completion– Students who intend to work as full time after they complete program of study. The main use for OPT is the right to work for 12 months after completion of a degree.
You need not to have a job offer to apply for the OPT program, and your OPT employment can take place anywhere within the USA within your related field of study.
OPT Eligibility Requirements include:
- Student must maintain their lawful F-1 status
- Employment must be “directly related” to the student’s major field of study
- Student must apply for OPT before completion of all work towards a degree
- Students who have done 12 months or more of full-time Curricular Practical Training (CPT) are not eligible for OPT
- Should have not used 12 months of OPT for a previous degree at the same level. You are authorized for 12 months of OPT for degree of each level you have achieved as an international student on F-1 visa
- Employment can only be started between the issued start and end dates by their University for the OPT.
Unemployment Period in OPT
Each day the student does not employed in a job counts toward the unemployment after the OPT has been issued. There is a limit of 90 days after which the post completion OPT limit ends except for students with a STEM OPT extension that are given an additional 30 days of unemployment time for a maximum of 120 days. Students on OPT are required to report to their university every time they start or end a job.
Grace Period in OPT
For students whose OPT is approved after their indicated OPT start date, the time between their start date and the approval date of OPT does not count toward the OPT unemployment period. The time between OPT approval and OPT receipt counts toward the unemployment period (as it overlaps with the OPT period).
The international student are given a grace period of 60 days for OPT after the completion of their degree if they have not reached their 90 days of unemployment. For the chance whether they have applied for opt or the opt application may get rejected; within the grace period they can:
- You can prepare to depart from us
- Update i-20 to begin a new degree program
- Apply for change of status to another visa category.
If the Student’s OPT is over and there is no extra OPT period left then even though the student has the grace period, he is not allowed to work and leave the USA.
There are online resources that can help you identify companies that regularly hire employees on OPT and H1B. Many employers do not regularly hire non-US citizens and they may not know what is involved. Alternatively, some employers simply cannot afford the additional expense of hiring a student on OPT. So, a critical part of any OPT job search is targeting employers who have the will and the resources to hire OPT and H-1B employees.
There are many job boards helps in placing large number of candidates in the big companies. To make a bright career it is vital to choose the correct employer which helps student to rise in the career. One of the best job portals is OPT Nation which provides OPT , CPT and H1B jobs. Upload your resume at the OPT Nation and start searching for our dream jobs.