I saw one of the questions asked by the students in the facebook group and I thought of sharing this question and replying to it. The student asked the following question in the group “Guys..I have got visa which is valid for 5 years…but my course mentioned on i20 is of 2 years…so does it mean that I can work for 3 years after studies ??“
I guess many students might have this question in their minds and tI thought of providing an answer to this question. I have written the answer in points so that it would be much more easier to understand.
Answer from Admin:
- F-1 Visa is usually stamped for 5 years no matter the length of your program
- I-20 states your actual length of your program
- Generally after you complete your MS, you apply for OPT.
- OPT Stands for Optional Practical Training which allows you to work in any company for a period of 12 months after MS. The work must be related to your MS Course to get OPT
- When you apply for your OPT, you will get a new I-20 with OPT Start and End Date
- After 12 months, if your course comes under STEM Extension, you are allowed to work extra 17 months after your OPT Period gets exhausted. Again a new I-20 will be issued with STEM Start and End Date.
Important things to Notice:
- F-1 Visa stamp for 5 years doesn’t mean you can stay in USA for five years. There are certain rules which you must abide.
- After the end date mentioned in your I-20, you are given a 60 day grace period in which you can either find a job or pursue higher studies. After 60 days if you aren’t able to find a job or pursue higher studies, you are not authorized to stay in USA even though you have F-1 Visa Stamping for 5 years.
- Yes, you are allowed to work for a period of 29 months in all (OPT + STEM) in USA. Generally during your OPT Period itself students request the company in which they work to apply for H1B Visa.
I guess I made the points clear. If you have any doubts please use the comment box below.