Students graduating with master’s degrees have lots of confusion on when to graduate and how the 17 month optional practical training (OPT) rule will impact them if their H-1B visa is not selected in the lottery.
I spent some time today looking at various immigration attorney websites and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) portal.
I found some useful links and OPT FAQs. Hopefully the information I found will help answer most of the students’ questions about the 17 month OPT extension.
Let’s start with the e-verify program. If the employer is not enrolled in e-verify program, then students cannot file the 17 month OPT extension.
Not all companies are willing to enroll in the e-verify program. Good thing, though, it’s mandatory in some 7 states where companies have to be enrolled in the e-verify program.
Also, I also learned about the possibility that the e-verify program may be removed by March 2009.
Because the immigration rules as a whole are very complex but at the same time are very important, if in doubt, always consult a immigration lawyer.
OPT FAQ Links
- 17 Month Rule to Reduce H-1B Shortage – This article says students can apply more than once if their H-1B Visa is not selected in lottery for the first time.
- OPT Rules – FQSs – Here you can find some very useful information about OPT rules.
- USCIS OPT FAQ – 1.
- USCIS OPT FAQ – 2.
- List of Programs in STEM eligible for the 17 month Extension.
- F-1 Visa CPT Guide.
- F-1 Visa – OPT Guide.
- F-1 Visa – On-Campus Employment Guide.