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Students on OPT status do not need new work visa if they do not leave the US – Times of India

The US mission in India has lately introduced {that a} file 82,000 pupil visas have been issued in 2022 and Indian college students have obtained extra US pupil 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. In accordance with the Open Doorways survey in November 2020, which tracks worldwide pupil 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 immediately associated to the applicant’s main space of examine. College students on F-1 visas who end their programs within the US, don’t want a job provide to use for OPT. The applicant may match for multiple employer or job, however all employment should be associated to the diploma programme that they’ve studied. Employment should be for at least 20 hours per week.
Whereas all worldwide college students can apply to obtain as much as 12 months of OPT employment authorisation earlier than finishing their research (pre-completion) and/or after finishing their educational research (post-completion); the STEM (science, expertise, engineering, and arithmetic) OPT programme permits F-1 college students incomes bachelors, masters, or doctoral levels in sure fields to stay in america for as much as 36 months to work of their area of examine. To be eligible for the 24-month OPT STEM extension, the applicant should be employed by, or have a job provide 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 should be paid and full-time.
At the same time as OPT offers flexibility for Indian college students to stay within the US after they end their examine programmes; candidates want to take care of authorized F-1 OPT standing throughout your complete interval of employment. “Proof should be acquired from the employer to confirm that these on OPT standing labored no less than 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 authorisation 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 programme finish date whereas pre-completion is any portion of OPT used earlier than the coed’s programme 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) pupil portal as a way to cease the unemployment counting in Scholar Trade & Customer Data System. “Any time spent outdoors america, 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 a further 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 durations, are given a 60-day grace interval following the completion of the OPT. “This grace interval is supposed to provide time to arrange for departure from the US until the holder of the OPT visa efficiently adjusts their standing to a unique sort of visa or has enrolled in one other accredited graduate programme,” Chothani mentioned.
In a current interview to a information company, US minister counsellor for consular affairs in India, Don Heflin, mentioned that Indian college students who’re within the US on OPT and have been travelling again to India, would want 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 implies they don’t have to seem for in-person visa interviews to get their passports stamped. Nevertheless, Indian college students within the US, who’re accredited for OPT and have work authorisation (EAD) and a legitimate pupil visa standing each with their college and United States Citizenship & Immigration Providers (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. “Steadily, 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,” says Chothani.
Whereas OPT is a good thing about 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. “Typically, as soon as the H-1B visa petition is accredited, the coed’s standing modifications 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. Nevertheless, 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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