OPT (Optional Practical Training) is a type of permission to work for F1 students after the completion of their academic program. Students can use this period of time to work or actively seek employment. There are only 90 days allowed for students to be unemployed (additional 60 days for STEM), including the situations where the student quits the job and is unable to find a job. The 90 days (or 150 days for STEM) are cumulative and including the time when the jobs are fewer than 20 hours per week.
Due to Covid-19 pandemic, many students have a hard time finding a job or keeping a job. Therefore, many students who are currently on OPT status are facing the possibility of accruing days of unlawful presence. The consequences for unlawful presence can be very serious depending on the length. OPT students should think about their situations practically and plan wisely once they lost their jobs or did secure a job after OPT status started.
The best situation is to find a job before the status expires. Students should seek jobs actively and practically. As long as the job is related to the major, unpaid and part-time (at least 20 hours per week) jobs are allowed for first-year OPT. OPT students should broaden the types of jobs they seek, including research assistants, volunteers, interns, etc.; as well as types of employers, for examples, universities, non-profit, startup….
Sometimes it can be really hard to find a job, especially under the impact of covid pandemic. If leaving the US is not the plan, OPT students should start to consider adjusting to other status. Depending on the situation, OPT students could consider B1/B2, or F2, J2, H4, L2, O3… or apply for green card. Most unmarried students choose to go back to F1 visa and continue to study.
To sum up, OPT students should be aware of the possibilities of being unemployed and stay away from accruing time of unlawful presence or visa fraud. If you have any concerns or questions, you should talk to your school timely, and consult an experienced immigration lawyer if necessary.
Law Office of Hong-min Jun is a dedicated team of experienced immigration attorneys. In the 17 years of practice, Attorney Hong-min Jun have helped many clients getting green cards. Our team is good at not only preparing immigration forms and supporting evidence, but also finding options and making wise decisions. Please feel free to contact us via email, facebook, our website, or call us!

OPT期间没有工作怎么办
OPT是F1留学生们毕业后的一种工作许可,同学们可以用这段时间来找工作、工作、调整身份等。OPT期间只有90天是可以处在没有工作的状态的(STEM同学有额外的60天),包括没找到工作的和丢了工作失业的状态。这90天(STEM同学的150天)是累积计算的,并且包括了每周工作少于20小时的时间。
由于新冠疫情,很多同学都面临了工作难找和失业的艰难处境。因为非法滞留的后果可能很严重,正处于OPT身份的同学们应当未雨绸缪,避免没有工作而失去身份,累积非法滞留时长的情况发生。一旦失去工作,或毕业后还没有找到工作,同学们应当理性思考,做好应对措施。
最好的情况当然是在身份失效前找到了工作,所以同学们要积极努力地找工作,目标也可以适当降低,不一定要找到大所或大公司,只要工作是符合OPT要求的,与专业相关,每周工作不少于20小时的,unpaid的都可以。同学们可以拓宽寻找范围,包括RA,志愿者,实习生等。雇主方面同学们也可以拓宽至院校,非盈利组织,startup等。
同时,如果找工作确有困难,又没有计划回国,同学们应该及时制定保底方案,考虑并着手转换身份。根据自身情况,同学们可以考虑转成B1/B2, 或者F2, J2, H4, L2, O3等等,符合条件的也可以直接调整身份申请绿卡。大部分单身的同学还是选择转回F1继续深造。
总之,OPT同学们应当留意保持好自己的身份,避免因为失业而累积非法居留天数,更不要选择挂靠,否则后患无穷。如果有任何顾虑或问题,同学们应该及时跟学校联系,必要时咨询靠谱的 移民律师,早做打算。
全洪敏律师事务所拥有专业的移民律师团队。在全洪敏律师执业的17年间,许许多多的客户用最少的花费和最短的时间获得了绿卡。我所团队不但专业于准备申请表格和支持文件,更可以为客户们提供多种选项,帮助客户制定明智的申请策略。欢迎大家通过email,网站,脸书,电话等方式联系我们!我们将竭尽所能帮助您。