Immigration Services

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Practical Training OPT/CPT
International Students on a valid Student Visa are eligible to obtain work authorization in the United States while gaining invaluable on the job experience during the course of their studies. The ability to work while studying makes the F1 visa one of the most popular choices for students who want to pursue higher studies in the United States. The work experience helps them to pay a part of their living and school expenses and explore better job opportunities once they go back to their country and find themselves a job.
The Work Authorization for international students comes with several restrictions. The students can only work part-time (20 hours a week) when the school is in session and full time (40 hours) during extended breaks in classes. In addition to this, international students can work only in their field of study while they are on CPT or OPT or STEM OPT. Work Authorization to International students can only be valid for one year to a maximum of 36 months (in the case of STEM OPT)
CPT or Compulsory Practical Training
CPT is a practical training program that allows international students on F1 Visas to get real-life job experience in their field of study. This can take the form of an internship, a project or any work experience that is a part of the study program they are enrolled in. Students are eligible to get CPT ince they have finished one year of school and have a valid job offer.

OPT or Optional Practical Training
Most international students on F1 Visa are allowed to work off-campus after successful completion of their studies in a job associated with their field of study. Students need to inform their employers that they are on OPT and are working as temporary workers. OPT gives an excellent chance to international students to develop relationships with their employers, and often presents an opportunity to apply for a change of status to H1-B, thereby creating a path to securing Permanent Residency in the United States.

STEM OPT
International students pursuing education in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (the STEM fields, collectively) are allowed to get an extension of 24 months on their existing OPT. This is also known as STEM OPT.

Eligibility for OPT
The OPT comes with several restrictions and the international student will need to satisfy the various eligibility conditions including:

The students should hold a valid F1 Visa
The school of study should be an accredited Educational institution located in the United States
The student has completed at least one year of course study
The student can work only part-time when the schools are open
The job needs to be in the field of study
The student has no criminal background
The student has an approved Employment Authorization Document issued by the USCIS

If you are an international student and want to explore your employment options during or after your studies, you must contact your DSO, who will verify your eligibility and submit a request on your behalf to the SEVP (Student and Exchange Visitor Program). After this, the student is eligible to file his pr her Application for Employment Authorization (I-765) with the USCIS, along with the relevant documentation and any relevant fees.

If you are serious about this opportunity, consider contacting us – at Rijal Law Firm, we can assist in making sure your student visa eligibility is secure, and move the process along at a brisk pace.

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