What is Optional Practical Training?

Optional Practical Training or OPT is a program that allows F-1 visa holders to remain in the United States for 12 months beyond their graduation while working for a U.S. employer.

If you recently graduated from an American university, then you may petition for OPT to gain work experience. Once your OPT is completed, you must either return to your home country or find an employer willing to sponsor you for a work visa.

Certain students – particularly in STEM degrees – also have the option of applying for an OPT extension allowing them to remain in the United States for up to 24 months beyond the conclusion of their course.

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