How and When to Apply for a Work Permit After Studying in the United States for Post-Study Work Permit?

Is there anyone who wouldn’t want to work and reside in the United States of America? The majority of overseas students who choose to study in the United States do so with the intention of joining this rich culturally, technologically, and economically. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that job opportunities in the United States will increase by 7.7% between 2020 and 2030. Job seekers in all economic sectors will undoubtedly have better career options as a result of this expansion.

However simple it may seem, getting a post-study work visa in the United States involves advance planning and preparation. This blog will point you in the correct way if you are an international student who plans to remain and work in the United States after completing your education. Here, we’ve covered the topic of work permit visa in the United States following a master’s degree or other degree, as well as the application procedure and necessary paperwork.

Types of student visas needed in the United States for a post-study work permit

You can apply for a work permit after studying in the United States using the F-1, M-1, and J kinds of US student visas. To be admitted to US colleges, international students need to possess one of these visas. Below is a quick overview of them:

  • The F-1 visa is a non-immigrant visa that the US issues to students who want to study there full-time. Therefore, anybody who wants to enroll in a university, seminary, language school, private primary school, or any other academic institution in the US is eligible to apply for an F-1 visa. Following a master’s degree, this visa is needed to get a work permit in the USA.
  • The M-1 Visa is an additional non-immigrant visa available to foreign students who want to attend a recognized non-academic institution, such as a post-secondary vocational or business school, and undertake a non-academic course of study. Vocational studies include lessons in cooking, technology, mechanics, flying school, etc.
  • J-1 Visa: A short-term visa granted to foreign citizens who want to take part in an authorized J-1 exchange visiting program in the United States. This might be for research purposes, research demonstration, teaching, lecturing, learning, training, or observation. You may choose to use this visa in order to pursue studies or training in medicine.

Students can now stay in the United States for up to 12 months after finishing their studies with an F1 visa, while J1 and M1 visas grant a 30-day grace period. The F-1 visa is the most practical option among the three for obtaining a work permit for the United States after graduation. Let’s discuss it in more depth below:

US Work Permit Following F-1 Visa Study

An F1 visa is required if you are seeking for temporary work related to your field of study. You can also remain in the United States for a year beyond the end of your course after obtaining the F1 visa. You can apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT), which allows overseas students to stay and work in the United States for a full year, if you have an F1 visa. Temporary work experience that is closely relevant to an F-1 student’s major is known as OPT. Before finishing their academic studies (pre-completion) or after finishing their studies (post-completion), qualified students may seek to acquire up to a 12-month OPT job permit. All pre-completion OPT periods, however, will be subtracted from the post-completion OPT time that is available.

You have to meet the following requirements in order to apply for an OPT extension:

Employed by a firm that has enrolled in E-Verify, as shown by a legitimate E-Verify client company identity number or, in the event that the employer is creating its E-Verify cases through an employer agent, a valid E-Verify company identification number.

Depending on your STEM degree, you were initially granted Post-Completion OPT job eligibility.

However, you have to submit an application for an OPT extension as soon as you graduate, together with proof that the university where you received your STEM degree is approved by the Student and Exchange Visitors Program (SEVP).

When Should I Apply for an Extension of STEM OPT?

We have made things simpler for you here if you’re unsure about the best time to apply for a STEM-OPT post-study work visa in the United States:

  • After your DSO adds the OPT recommendation to your SEVIS record, you must apply.
  • You must submit an application for OPT within 60 days of your DSO entering the suggestion in your SEVIS file.
  • may apply up to ninety days before to the expiration of your existing OPT work permit.

For STEM OPT extensions, use this. What about OPT that isn’t STEM-related? Let’s investigate:

When Should I Apply for an OPT Extension That Isn’t STEM?

Applying for a visa or an extension of OPT at the appropriate time is essential. The appropriate application deadlines for non-STEM OPT extensions have been covered here:

  • After your DSO adds the OPT recommendation to your SEVIS record, you must apply.
  • After your DSO adds the suggestion for OPT to your SEVIS record, you have 30 days to apply.
  • Application period is 90 days before to degree completion, but must be submitted no later than 60 days following degree completion.

How Do I File for an Extension of OPT?

In order to apply for a postgraduate work visa in the United States, you must submit a few crucial papers to the relevant authorities in order to extend your OPT. They are listed in the following order:

Send in form I-765 together with the necessary application cost. The name of your employer as it appears in E-Verify, your legitimate E-Verify Client Company Identification Number, or the E-Verify Company Identification Number must also be included.

  • Within the previous 60 days, submit Form I-20, Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status, with your DSO’s endorsement.
  • Send in a copy of your degree in STEM.
  • H-1B Visa Work Permit in the USA

In addition to choosing a work permit following your studies in the United States, you can work there with an H-1B visa. Foreign nationals are able to work for American companies under the H-1B visa. However, you must first accept a job offer from a US-based company and find employment in an area that requires specialized training. Jobs requiring a bachelor’s degree or more fall within the category of specialist jobs covered by the H-1B visa. The intriguing aspect of this situation is that the company files an application for the candidate’s H1-B visa with the US Immigration Department. An H-1B visa has a three-year validity period that can be extended for a further six years.

In order to qualify for an H-1B visa, you have to meet the following criteria:

  • own a master’s or bachelor’s degree from an accredited university.
  • have accepted the petitioner’s (the employer’s) job offer.
  • Work in an area where understanding of logic and application are required.
  • Have a state license allowing them to practice in the field of specialization in their employment.

That was all about getting a work visa in the USA after meeting certain requirements.  In the USA, there are several alternatives for student visas that let students work both during and after their degree program. Thus, it’s essential to thoroughly consider each of them to decide which would benefit you in your future career and be the ideal for you to study in the USA. Please contact our counselors at TN Visa Expert if you would want more advice and support.