Recently, the rumors that the United States may cancel the OPT have caused a heated discussion in the study abroad circle. Studying abroad has also received a lot of questions and doubts from the students. Can OPT really be cancelled? What if I cancel it? What can I do now? Study abroad will take you step by step to analyze the status quo and find the answer.
1. What is OPT?
What are the precautions for applying for OPT? OPT is called Optional Practical Training, which refers to the internship period in which American international students stay in the United States after graduation. International students must apply for OPT qualifications when they graduate. They can only work and earn income in the United States after they have been approved. They cannot work without OPT permission.
The time limit for applying for OPT is: no earlier than 90 days before graduation, no later than 60 days after graduation. Graduates are required to submit an application to the International Student Office of the school. After the application is approved, the EAD badge (Employment Authorization Document) mailed to me by the Immigration Bureau will be obtained, and the card will be used as a voucher to participate in the work. The entire application process for completing OPT needs to be set aside for at least three months. Graduates must prepare in advance a few months before graduation and start applying. If you have not successfully applied for OPT after graduation, you will not be able to participate in the work even if you have already obtained the offer from the employer.
The OPT period is based on the start and end date marked on the EAD card face. In general, graduates have a one-year internship period. For STEM students, an additional two-year extension is available after the one-year deadline. It should be noted that after graduation, you must hurry to find a job.
If you have not found a job within 90 days after successfully applying for OPT, OPT will expire. If you have not applied for OPT within 60 days after graduation, or have not received Offer within 90 days after applying to OPT, you must leave the United States immediately, otherwise it will be considered as overdue, causing a series of troubles.
During the OPT period, graduates can work in any company and can quit any job, but it must be noted that the work must be related to their professional background, otherwise it will be considered illegal.
OPT is not a type of visa, but a transition from student status to work status. International students with F1 visas retain their status during the OPT period, so they should keep in close contact with the International Student Office of their school to keep abreast of changes in policies and procedures.
2. From OPT to H-1B
The full name of the H-1B visa is Specialty Occupations/ Temporary Worker Visas (H-1B), a special professional/temporary work visa. The H-1B visa is issued to a foreign company employed by a US company. It is a non-immigrant visa and is valid for three years. It can be extended for another three years after the expiration. The number of H-1B visas is limited, with 85,000 places per fiscal year, including 65,000 undergraduate students and 20,000 graduate students and above.
The number of applicants per year is usually much higher than this number. Under normal circumstances, the application for the next year’s H-1B visa will be accepted on the first working day of April each year. Usually, the immigration office will close the receipt within one week, and then decide which applicants will succeed in the form of lottery. Get a visa. According to USCIS data, a total of 201011 H-1B applications were received this year, an increase of 5.7% over the same period last year. From April 1st to 5th, the receipt was full in only 5 days.
To apply for an H-1B visa, you need a US employer’s guarantee. Normally, when you join a job, your company will submit your materials to the USCIS for an H-1B visa in the name of the company. However, not every company is willing to help foreign employees apply for a visa.
The OPT phase is a good opportunity for international students to transition from an F1 student visa to an H-1B visa. During the OPT internship phase, you have the opportunity to continually hop to find the best job unit and the employer who is willing to help you apply for an H-1B visa. Obtaining an H-1B visa means not only having a longer time to stay in the US, but also a step closer to getting a green card.
3. Only one day left until the deadline for appeal comments
Recently, the news that the United States will cancel the OPT has spread widely on the Internet, causing concern and panic among students studying in the United States.
The source of the incident dates back to a lawsuit in 2014. In the same year, the Washington Tech Workers Union (Wash Tech) filed a lawsuit against the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in the US District Court of Columbia, DC, challenging the legality of OPT for international students with F1 visas. This year, this old case was once again revisited. In August 2019, The Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration issued a statement saying that the federal court is considering abolishing the internship permit for international students after graduation. Currently, the federal courts allow the relevant universities to provide complaints about the plan, and the deadline is October 11 (this Friday).
Once the news appeared on the Internet, it immediately fermented. The students who stayed in the United States complained that they would suffer from hardships. Those who planned to study abroad would not consider going to the United States to study.
The influence and importance of OPT is self-evident. Being able to stay in the US for one to three years after graduation is an invaluable opportunity. Even if you don’t plan to stay in the US for a long time, this work experience can greatly add to your resume after returning home, thus enhancing your employment competitiveness and getting a higher salary. If you return directly to China after graduation, there will be no internship experience in the United States, and the competitiveness will be greatly weakened. This possible consequence has caused many international students to say “not worth it.”
4. What can I do now?
With the spread of news, more and more international students and self-medias who care about the interests of international students have voiced their voices and called on everyone to fight for their rights.
The following is a link to the complaint: Https://www.presidentsimmigrationalliance.org/amicus-opt/
Appeals are limited to schools and higher education institutions. What students can do is actively communicate with the school’s international department and express their opinions. You can actively get in touch and make your own voice about the school you are attending, the school you attended, or the school you are planning to attend.
The deadline for submission of comments is October 11th. International students who have not yet voiced should pay close attention to the final time.
5 . OPT is unlikely to be cancelled
Don’t worry too much
Although the news about the possible cancellation of OPT has caused a great shock to the study abroad circle, according to the analysis of many expert teachers in the industry, the possibility of OPT being cancelled is not great.
The OPT policy was born in the 1950s. As a policy with a long history, OPT will not be easily cancelled. If cancelled, it is not only international students but also the economic development of the United States that is the first to be negatively affected.
The cancellation of OPT will greatly reduce the attractiveness of the United States to international students. A large number of excellent international students will flow to other countries, and the United States’ leading position in the field of international education will be seriously challenged.
After graduating from the United States, outstanding foreign talents who have been educated in the United States cannot stay in the United States and have to return to their own countries. This will also have an adverse impact on the development of American companies. The impact of brain drain on the US economy will also be enormous.
Therefore, the cancellation of OPT will also face strong resistance from schools, enterprises and other aspects in the United States.
6. Even if OPT is really cancelled
Nor does it mean losing all the way out
Retreat 10,000 steps, even if OPT is really canceled, it is not necessary to feel desperate. At that time, colleges and universities in the United States may introduce countermeasures to provide students with convenient conditions and guarantees for local internships; companies may launch strategies to fight for outstanding talents; the US government may propose new visa policies for the original model. Reform.
Even if the situation can’t be improved, studying in the US is not so “value”, and students can make other considerations.
Songzi Li/ Editing Manager