What You Need To Know About Optional Practical Training – OPT For International Students

What You Need To Know About Optional Practical Training – OPT For International Students

Every year, over one million students from all over the world attend schools and universities in the United States to further their education. Optional Practical Training (OPT) enables graduates to get important hands-on experience while immediately contributing their knowledge and training to the United States. Without OPT, most overseas graduates would be forced to leave the United States and lend their talents to our worldwide competitors. Protecting overseas graduates’ OPT options is vital to attracting, teaching, and retaining promising people from throughout the world who are on a jobs search.

Get Jobs In Spite Of Limited Immigration Options

If international graduates want to permanently reside and work in the United States, obtaining a green card is quite difficult. The F-1 student visa does not allow for “dual intent,” which means that individuals cannot come to the United States on an F-1 visa to study if they also intend to stay permanently, but must instead apply for a different visa after finishing their studies.

Once their F-1 status has expired, graduates may seek employment that will sponsor them for a green card or a temporary skilled work visa such as an H-1B getting them jobs for OPT students. Even when businesses are prepared to sponsor someone for a green card right out of college, backlogs make it extremely tough, thus the H-1B temporary work visa is frequently the only alternative.

However, the lower annual supply of H-1B visas is continually outstripped by demand, giving applicants a one-in-three chance of having their application read. Even if they get the H-1B, those grads will still have to wait in line for a green card and eventually citizenship, which might take a decade or more. However, with OPT jobs in Texas and other parts of the USA, students stand a better chance to get a citizenship as they are doing their bit in the progress of the country.

Optional Practical Training (OPT) is an important but imperfect bridge that allows graduates to enhance their abilities and network with possible employers while deciding their future immigration choices. It does not provide a clear road to permanent residency on its own, but it can provide individuals with the time and expertise they need to manage the restricted options available.

OPT can provide international students a chance to live in the US temporarily

OPT allows international students studying at or graduating from U.S. universities and colleges to maintain their F-1 student status and get OPT jobs in Texas or other parts of the USA. Students in any sector are eligible for “post-completion” OPT for up to 12 months, while those with a degree in science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM) are eligible for a two-year “STEM extension” for a total of 36 months.

Graduates using OPT apply their knowledge in a real-world situation, obtaining significant work experience and further improving their talents in the United States. This jobs search and work experience is crucial for fresh graduates as they build their talents and begin to chart their career path.

Approximately 180,000 OPT initial and renewal work authorization applications were approve in fiscal year 2020. Around 130,000 of them were for post-completion OPT, while little over 50,000 were for the STEM extension. The majority of OPT participants have bachelor’s degrees in technology, engineering, or business, and more than half have master’s degrees.

Americans Benefit From International Graduates Working In The US

Everyone gains when international students are permit to work and contribute in jobs for OPT students. In the 2020-2021 academic year, international students contributed $28.4 billion to the US economy and supported over 300,000 employment. According to experts, a high number of OPT participants in a region is connect with higher salaries. And lower unemployment for specific US workers. According to the Business Roundtable, limiting OPT may cost 443,000 jobs over a decade, including 255,000 positions held by native-born workers, as well as decreases in hourly salaries and GDP.


The possibility of hands-on training and a route to employment in the future is critical in attracting and retaining international students with high skill levels at a time when countries such as Canada, Australia, China, and India (which offer their own post-graduate work programs) are competing for that talent. OPT also allows US firms to assess fresh graduates as potential employees and contributors.