You’re reading an excerpt of Admitted by Soundarya Balasubramani. Written by an Ivy League graduate from India, this is the proven guide for students worldwide looking to pursue undergraduate or graduate study abroad in the U.S., Canada, or Europe. Purchase for instant access to the guide and other exclusive resources—including sample SOPs, sample resumes, scholarship lists, and a private community with other readers.
OPT is offered to students either during (pre-completion OPT), or after (post-completion OPT), the completion of the program. Similar to CPT, you must obtain approval from your DSO, get your new I-20, and then apply for something called an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) from the USCIS. However, unlike the CPT, you don’t obtain a course credit on an OPT.*
statsOn pre-completion OPT, you can work for up to 20 hours a week, since your program is still in session. On post-completion OPT, it’s the opposite. You have to work at least 20 hours a week in a field that is directly related to your field of study.
Stem OPT Extension
If you remember, in the chapter Choosing the Universities, we introduced something called a STEM OPT extension. Let’s recap once more: if you are an F1 student earning a degree in Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics (STEM), you may be eligible for a 24-month extension to your employment authorization in the U.S.
You can find a list of all STEM verified majors on the Immigration and Customs Enforcement website.*
thinkIf you’re wondering why someone would apply for a STEM OPT Extension, here’s why:
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