I want to stay in the US after my F1 visa expires. What are my options?

can international students work in usa after graduation

Are you an international student in the United States wondering about your future after your F-1 visa expires?

It’s a common consideration among students who have built a life and career in the US during their studies.

Fortunately, there are several options available for those seeking to extend their stay beyond their student visa.

In this post, we’ll delve into these options and provide expert guidance on how to manage the transition.


Can international students work in the USA?

One of the primary concerns for international students is if you can work on a student visa. The answer is yes, but with limitations.

While studying on an F-1 visa, students are permitted to work on-campus part-time during the academic year and full-time during breaks.

Additionally, they can apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT) which allows them to work off-campus in a job related to their field of study for up to 12 months.


How long can international students stay in the US after graduation?

Upon graduation, international students have a grace period known as the Optional Practical Training (OPT) period, during which they can stay and work in the US.

This period lasts for 12 months and can be extended by an additional 24 months for students in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) fields.


How long does a student visa last?

Typically, the F-1 visa is issued for up to 5 years. However, this period can depend on your nationality.

On the other hand, OPT is for students who have recently graduated to work in the US for up to 12 months post-graduation.


F1 OPT after graduation

How and when to apply for a work permit after studying in the USA ?

Any Post-Completion OPT application process is usually initiated through the student’s Designated School Official (DSO).

It’s crucial to apply as early as possible to ensure timely processing.

The application should be submitted up to 90 days before the program end date and no later than 60 days after the program end date.

For STEM OPT extension, students must apply before the expiration of their initial OPT period.


Best practices for maintaining your US visa status

Maintaining lawful F-1 visa status is essential for future immigration opportunities.

Some best practices include:

  • Attend all required classes and maintain a full-time course load.
  • Keep your Form I-20 and passport valid at all times.
  • Update your DSO with any changes in your academic or personal information.
  • Adhere to the terms of your employment authorization if on OPT.
  • Avoid engaging in unauthorized employment or activities that violate your visa status.


In conclusion, while the expiration of your F-1 visa may seem daunting, there are numerous avenues available to continue your stay in the US.

Whether through employment opportunities or family sponsorship, careful planning and adherence to immigration regulations can pave the way for a successful transition to your next chapter in the United States.


Who can help me with my taxes?

Whether you are starting work in the US and need help completing pre-employment forms, or you require assistance filing a US tax return, Sprintax has got your back!

We take the stress out of taxes, meaning you can focus on other important things during your time in The States.

Whether you want to prepare pre-employment forms with Sprintax Forms, or file a fully compliant US tax return with Sprintax Returns, we’ve got your back through the entire process!


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