No, you cannot work on OPT with an expired F-1 visa. A valid F-1 visa is required to maintain legal immigration status in the United States while participating in the Optional Practical Training (OPT) program.
So let us dig a little deeper
Working on OPT (Optional Practical Training) with an expired F-1 visa is not permissible. To remain legally eligible for the OPT program, it is essential to have a valid F-1 visa. According to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), maintaining a valid visa status is mandatory to participate in OPT.
Applying a famous quote relevant to this context, Albert Einstein once said, “The only source of knowledge is experience.” Similarly, OPT allows international students to gain practical work experience relevant to their field of study, enhancing their overall knowledge and skills.
Here are some interesting facts related to OPT and F-1 visa status:
Optional Practical Training (OPT): OPT is a program that allows eligible F-1 students to work in the United States for up to 12 months (or up to 36 months for STEM degree holders) to gain practical experience directly related to their field of study.
F-1 Visa: An F-1 visa is a non-immigrant student visa granted to international students studying in the United States. It permits them to pursue academic studies and authorize certain employment opportunities like OPT.
Employment Eligibility: During their OPT period, F-1 students are allowed to work either part-time or full-time. The work must be directly related to their degree program, and the employment must be authorized by the designated school official (DSO) through the issuance of an Employment Authorization Document (EAD).
Valid F-1 Visa: Maintaining a valid F-1 visa is crucial for international students as it signifies their legal status in the United States. An expired F-1 visa terminates the legal status, and continuing to work on OPT without a valid visa violates immigration regulations.
Visa Renewal: If an F-1 visa expires while an international student is on OPT, they will need to depart the United States and apply for a new visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad if they wish to return.
As requested, here is a brief table summarizing the key points:
|Can I work on OPT||No, working on OPT requires a valid F-1 visa for legal immigration|
|with an expired F-1||status in the United States.|
Please note that immigration laws and regulations can change over time, so it’s essential to consult with the appropriate authorities or resources to obtain the most up-to-date information regarding F-1 visa status and OPT.
Video response to “Can I work on OPT with expired F 1 visa?”
The speaker discusses options for students nearing the end of their Optional Practical Training (OPT) in the US. They mention that one option is to transfer to an English language institute to continue studying and demonstrate academic progress. The institute offers various courses, including TOEFL and IELTS preparation, business English, literature, and writing. It is clarified that academic progress is only required for US-based degrees. Students holding degrees from other countries do not need to fulfill this requirement. The video also recommends downloading the Skylex app for immigration-related inquiries.
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Visa Stamp Renewal during OPT A valid visa is necessary if your current visa stamp is expired, you are attempting to re-enter the U.S. and you do not qualify for automatic revalidation. Since OPT is a F-1 benefit, an F-1 visa is necessary if you are returning to resume OPT employment.
You are eligible to apply for OPT program even though your student visa is expiring or has been expired. However, if your F-1 visa has expired and OPT or OPT STEM Extension application is pending, you will not be able to apply for a new F-1 visa until the application is approved and you have the EAD. Your F1 Visa expiration does not matter for extension of OPT. You should always work with your school official (DSO) and make sure your status is being updated in SEVIS too.
Re-entry for F-1 Non-immigrants Travelling Outside the United States for Five Months or Fewer Therefore, you are eligible to apply for OPT program even though your student visa is expiring or has been expired. Again, students, who plan to travel with an expired visa once their OPT is approved, would need a new visa to re-enter the U.S.
If your F-1 visa has expired, and OPT or OPT STEM Extension application is pending, you will NOT be able to apply for a new F-1 visa until the application is approved and you have the EAD.
Your F1 Visa expiration does not matter for extension of OPT. There are certain restrictions, read this post about new rules for OPT extension for 29 months. You should always work with your school official (DSO) and make sure your status is being updated in SEVIS too.