Monday, April 7, 2008

F-1 Students Can Work on OPT for 29 Months

Now students on F-1 can work for 29 months on OPT before they get employment under H1B. That may ease the pressure on H1B just a bit and give a much better chance for Students in Maths/Engg/Technology streams in US Universities to take employment in US.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security released today an interim final rule extending the period of Optional Practical Training (OPT) from 12 to 29 months for qualified F-1 non-immigrant students. The extension will be available to F-1 students with a degree in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics who are employed by businesses enrolled in the E-Verify program.

“This rule will enable businesses to attract and retain highly skilled foreign workers, giving U.S. companies a competitive advantage in the world economy,” said Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff. “By extending the training period by an additional 17 months to students who are employed by businesses enrolled in E-Verify, we are further ensuring a legal workforce in the U.S. and aiding good corporate citizens.”


DHS Release : Optional Practical Training Interim Final Rule(PDF)

Update :: How to apply for extension :
(quoting from the DHS Document linked below)

1. Students who wish to extend OPT must request that their DSO recommend the 17-month OPT extension. DSOs recommending the extension must verify the student's eligibility, certify that the student's degree is on the STEM Designated Degree Program List, and ensure that the student is aware of his or her responsibilities for maintaining status while on OPT. The DSO must make the recommendation to extend OPT for the student through SEVP's Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS), a Web-enabled database for the collection of information related to F, M and J nonimmigrants, certified schools, and State Department approved exchange visitor programs.

2. Once the DSO recommends a student for the extension, the student must submit a Form 1-765 and appropriate fees (as indicated in the form instructions) to USCIS. Instructions for filing the Form 1-765 can be found at USCIS' website at www.uscis.eov.

Please note that your Employer also must meet certain requirements.
Refer to DHS Release : Optional Practical Training Interim Final Rule(PDF) for more information.

5 comments:

  1. [...] If you are a student on F-1, you may be able to work for 29 months on OPT before you get employment under H1B. That may ease the pressure on H1B just a bit and give a much better chance for Students in Maths/Engg/Technology streams in US Universities to take employment in US. Read more. [...]

    ReplyDelete
  2. [...] Previously mentioned as a comment at Thought Garage » F-1 Students Can Work on OPT for 29 Months [...]

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  3. Hi, Could you tell me, if someone has done a PhD in Health Economics, will tehy be eligible to apply for OPT extension? I'm

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi Sonia,

    Please refer to the PDF File linked above. This document has clear listing of what is eligible and what is not.

    Murali

    ReplyDelete

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