Destination - United States of America

Visa Application & Work Permit


Work Permit

F-1 students may apply for optional practical training (OPT) during the semester in which they complete their program of study. OPT may be used for a maximum of 12 months of full-time employment after each degree program. An offer of employment from a potential employer is not required to apply for optional practical training. However, once OPT is authorized it cannot be voided or restored even if the F-1 student does not work during the authorization period. F-1 students must either be employed in a position related to their degree or be actively seeking employment during their OPT authorization

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is authorization for paid employment, whichis an integral part of the established curriculum. CPT is available during (not after) a course of study and must be authorized for specific employers. There is no limit to part-time (less than 20 hours per week) CPT. However, a student who does 12 months or more of full-time Curricular Practical Training forfeits all Optional Practical Training. CPT can be availed of only through the following conditions:

• Work must be part of an internship or practicum (whether or not for credit) that is required of all students in a course of study. The duration of CPT can be as long as it can be required for the internship pertaining to course of study.

• Work experience is required by a particular credit-bearing course in which a student is enrolled, such as an internship or directed study. In this situation, CPT can be authorized for a maximum of six months. You can sign up for CPT as many times as your academic program allows you to enroll in such a course.

Students on an F-1 status who wish to work on a longer basis in the United Statesmay apply for an “H-1 B” Visa. This is a work permit that is issued by the USCIS. The student would require employment by a company, which is also willing to file his/her H1-B petition. Initially the H1-B will be valid for a maximum period of three years, after which an extension can be taken for an additional three years.