College students on OPT standing don’t want a brand new work visa if they don’t depart the US

The US mission in India has lately introduced {that a} document 82,000 scholar visas have been issued in 2022 and Indian college students have acquired extra US scholar visas than some other nation. Even because the variety of Indian college students going to campuses within the US goes up, the quantity on optionally available sensible coaching visas, too, has seen a pointy rise over the previous few years. For Indian college students, OPT is an choice to work within the US after their research. Based on the Open Doorways survey in November 2020, which tracks worldwide scholar numbers, there have been 81,173 Indian college students enrolled for the OPT programme.
Worldwide college students on F-1 visas at US universities are eligible for OPT, momentary employment straight associated to the applicant’s main space of ​​research. College students on F-1 visas who end their programs within the US, don’t want a job supply to use for OPT. The applicant may go for a couple of employer or job, however all employment have to be associated to the diploma program that they’ve studied. Employment have to be for no less than 20 hours per week.
Whereas all worldwide college students can apply to obtain as much as 12 months of OPT employment authorization earlier than finishing their research (pre-completion) and/or after finishing their educational research (post-completion); the STEM (science, expertise, engineering, and arithmetic) OPT program permits F-1 college students incomes bachelors, masters, or doctoral levels in sure fields to stay in the US for as much as 36 months to work of their subject of research. To be eligible for the 24-month OPT STEM extension, the applicant have to be employed by, or have a job supply from, an employer who’s registered with the E-Confirm employment verification system operated by the Division of Homeland Safety (DHS) in partnership with the Social Safety Administration. Such employment have to be paid and full-time.
Whilst OPT supplies flexibility for Indian college students to stay within the US after they end their research programmes; Candidates want to keep up authorized F-1 OPT standing throughout all the interval of employment. “Proof have to be acquired from the employer to confirm that these on OPT standing labored a minimum of 20 hours per week in the course of the interval of employment. As soon as the submit course completion OPT interval begins, one should not accrue greater than 90 days of unemployment inside the dates on the EAD (employment authorization doc),” says Mumbai and Florida based mostly immigration lawyer Poorvi Chothani. Put up-completion OPT is any portion of OPT used after the coed’s program finish date whereas pre-completion is any portion of OPT used earlier than the coed’s program finish date.
Chothani provides that candidates ought to submit an OPT replace and report employment on the workplace of worldwide college students and students (OISS) scholar portal as a way to cease the unemployment counting in Scholar Change & Customer Data System. “Any time spent exterior the US, if not employed by a US employer, is counted in the direction of the 90-day interval of unemployment.
Unemployment days are cumulative, so if the OPT holder is employed for lower than the size of the OPT time and begins to search for one other employer, they don’t get an extra 90 days of unemployment,” Chothani says.
Those that haven’t been unemployed for 90 days of post-completion OPT or 150 days of post-completion and STEM OPT extension intervals, are given a 60-day grace interval following the completion of the OPT. “This grace interval is supposed to provide time to organize for departure from the US except the holder of the OPT visa efficiently adjusts their standing to a unique sort of visa or has enrolled in one other accepted graduate program,” Chothani mentioned.
In a current interview to a information company, US minister counselor for consular affairs in India, Don Heflin, mentioned that Indian college students who’re within the US on OPT and had been touring again to India, would wish to get a visa stamped on their passports earlier than returning to the US. This summer season, Indian college students on F1 OPT visas, who journey to India, have been given the flexibleness of dropbox appointments, which suggests they do not have to seem for in-person visa interviews to get their passports stamped. Nonetheless, Indian college students within the US, who’re accepted for OPT and have work authorization (EAD) and a sound scholar visa standing each with their college and United States Citizenship & Immigration Companies (USCIS), don’t have to get a brand new visa if they don’t seem to be leaving the US.
F-1 OPT holders might change their standing to different visa classes. “Incessantly, OPT holders change their standing to H-1B work visas relying on whether or not they want to proceed working with their OPT employer who’s prepared to sponsor them or if they’ve discovered a brand new employer who’s prepared to sponsor their H-1B. Both means they’ll have to be chosen within the H-1B lottery,” he says Chothani.
Whereas OPT is a advantage of F-1 standing that permits college students to work for one 12 months (probably longer if the coed is eligible for an extension), H-1B is a separate non-immigrant classification particularly for employment. The sponsoring employer should file an H-1B visa petition as ‘change of standing’ inside a stipulated time. “Usually, as soon as the H-1B visa petition is accepted, the coed’s standing adjustments from F-1 (OPT) to H-1B from October 1 of that 12 months. There isn’t any want to acquire a visa stamp to start engaged on H-1B standing. Nonetheless, if the person leaves the US, she or he will want a brand new H-1B visa to return to the US to work on H-1B standing,” Chothani says.

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