What Is OPT? (Optional Practical Training) : OPTNation

What Is OPT (Optional Practical Training)
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What is OPT : Definition And Types Of OPT Jobs

Do you guys know what is optThere are many perks and benefits for international students that dream of working and studying in the USA under an F1 student visa. Among many benefits, the most favorable and beneficial is the work authorization that is provided by the immigration services of the USA.

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services or the USCIS provides work authorization to international students eligible for F1 visas. 

Under the work authorizations, an OPT or an Optional Practical Training is the one that is highly used and opted for.

Under OPT, a student gets many opportunities to work and study in the USA the way they wish and can build their careers. We understand the basics about OPT but let us try to understand what OPT is for international students and how it can affect their lives:

What is OPT : Definition And Its Benefits

Under an OPT, a student from any school, any base of education, and any field of a profession can work and live in the USA. A student with a valid student visa status and an active academic program can apply for OPT.

OPT students are totally different than any other international student that comes and studies in the USA.

The power of OPT is known when the academics are over or when the student is looking for a job in the USA. OPT student jobs are flexible and highly useful for the development of their professional self.

Many students confuse themselves with OPT being a professional visa. But in reality, an OPT is just a temporary permit that allows a student to work under lots of terms and under their own profession.

To get an OPT and to get a job in OPT, a student needs to maintain their legal status as it can highly affect their stay and work in the USA. An OPT is basically valid until the academic program of the student is valid or active.

A student can find a job under OPT at any time of their academic program in the USA. There is no obligation on students for getting their jobs under OPT before or after their program in the university. 

A student can also re-apply for OPT or apply again after their first program is over and their authorization is completed or expired.

OPT Student Jobs

Under OPT, an entry-level student can find entry-level jobs for OPT students with very little hassle. A student with no experience at all can find internships in their field of study that can help them learn.

There are many employers in the USA that look for students with no experience in their field or any other area of profession. Any job under OPT is aimed at training candidates primarily rather than providing them an opportunity for permanent employment.

Any entry-level jobs for OPT students are very useful as the experience in it counts. An internship or any volunteer work under OPT is also counted as an experience.

Jobs under OPT are basically for training purposes and that is why many students look for internships so that they can manage their work with their life.

  1. Eligibility

Eligibility for work authorization for any international student goes through small processes. If we only look at OPT, an international student has to be a student under any American university.

A student with a valid program and an active program is eligible for applying. An OPT only allows a student to work in their field of study no matter what kind of job. 

A student is allowed to work part-time under OPT which is also provided by the USCIS. Students can work during their holidays as well. They are allowed to work in their field of study and that is the most important criteria that every student has to apply.

2. Types of jobs

Under OPT, a student can do different types of jobs. For instance, a student is allowed to work for 20 hours a week during their academic days. This time period is under the part-time job.

During their spring breaks or winter breaks, a student is allowed to work for 40 hours a week, which is counted under Full-time jobs in OPT. A student can work under any employer who is allowed to hire or train international students.

A student can also work as an intern or volunteer if their field of study is linked with it. A student can not work in any job or under any employer during their OPT tenure.

3. Types of OPT extension

There are four types of OPT. Every international student that is aiming for OPT should know all four types of OPT. The first and the most famous type of OPT is STEM OPT.

A STEM is basically a short form for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Any student with either of these subjects in their program or field is eligible for STEM OPT.

Under STEM, a student gets a time period of 24 months for working as a professional in the USA. They also get the benefits of extension under STEM.

Other types of OPT include pre and post-completion OPT that are based on the time when a student goes for a job. If they choose to work before the end date of their academic program then they come under the category of pre-completion OPT.

On the same hand, if a student is going for an OPT jobs in usa after the end of their program under OPT, they are under the category of post-completion OPT.

The last type of OPT is a cap-gap OPT extension that is provided for a student that has an employer who has already filed an H1B visa petition for them.

A student is eligible for all these types of extension with a valid OPT in their hand and then can change according to their employment status.

OPT provides the benefit for every student to get an extension based on their status. An extension can help a student in staying for their job more and also provides them with the option to change employers.

FAQ(Frequently Asked Questions) : What Is OPT

  • What is opt?

An OPT is work authorization for F1 student visa holders. An OPT is a temporary work authorization under which an international student can find a job under their field of study with an American employer.

Students apply for OPT after their F1 is approved and they are physically present in the country.

  • What are the types of OPT?

There are types of OPT extensions that are applicable to students from different countries. There are basically four types of OPT extensions. First is STEM OPT, post-completion OPT, pre-completion OPT, and cap-gap extension for international students.

Hope you guys totally understand exactly what is opt and opt jobs benefits.

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