image for Get advice
Invest in the United States with BAI Capital Get free and confidential advice Get advice
Author: ignacio

F-1 Student Visa: How to move from Optional Practical Training (OPT) to Green Card

The experience of studying in the United States under the F-1 visa is an invaluable opportunity for international students from around the world. However, the subsequent path to practicing the profession is very complex. We tell you how to go from an OPT to the Green Card.

In addition to quality education, the F-1 visa has given hundreds of thousands of students the opportunity to explore and immerse themselves in the cultural diversity of the United States.

The F-1 visa, however, has its limitations regarding long-term stay in the country. It is essential to understand these limitations from the beginning and plan carefully for the future, especially for those who wish to settle permanently in the United States.

Understanding the F-1 Visa and OPT

The F-1 visa is a stepping stone for international students who want to take advantage of educational opportunities in the United States. In addition to demonstrating academic and financial capacity, applicants must also demonstrate the intention to return to their home countries after completing their study programs.

This underscores the non-immigration nature of the visa. However, many students, during their time in the United States, decide that they want to build their long-term future in the country.

The Optional Practical Training (OPT) Program opportunity becomes a crucial asset for those looking to gain work experience and explore options to stay.

OPT Practical Training: Before and After Graduation

Pre-completion OPT allows students to work up to 20 hours per week while continuing their studies, providing them with valuable work experience before graduation.

This phase is essential for those who want to integrate into the American workforce progressively. Students can apply after completing their first academic year, and it is crucial to understand that any time spent on this type of OPT will be subtracted from the total 12-month post-completion OPT allocation.

This detail highlights the importance of strategic planning from the initial stages of your stay in the United States. On the other hand, post-completion OPT provides the opportunity to work full-time in specialty-related jobs after graduation.

STEM graduates can apply for a 24-month extension, providing them an additional window to pursue job opportunities and consider options for transitioning to a green card.

What happens after OPT?

At the conclusion of OPT, participants have a 60-day grace period to prepare for departure from the United States. This time is crucial for making important decisions about the future.

Those who do not meet the requirements to adjust status or enter an approved graduate program may face deportation proceedings and the possibility of being barred from returning to the United States.

This grace period also highlights the importance of strategic planning for those who wish to transition to a green card. Each decision during this period will affect your eligibility and the subsequent process, making legal guidance and consultation with immigration advisors crucial.

Transition to Green Card during OPT

Transitioning from OPT to a green card is a crucial step for those who wish to permanently settle in the United States. The green card application must be submitted in advance, and the length of the process may vary depending on the applicant’s country of origin.

This aspect highlights the importance of being informed about legal developments and understanding how they may affect green card eligibility and wait times.

However, it is crucial to note that the process involves close coordination with the employer, as how quickly they act in the process can be decisive in obtaining permanent residence status before the OPT expires.

EB-5 Program: The best solution to achieve the Green Card from OPT

It is important to highlight that the EB-5 Program is one of the most direct and safest ways to obtain Permanent Residence from the F-1 student Visa for several reasons:

Immediacy of the process:

The EB-5 Program may provide a faster path to a Green Card compared to other methods, such as adjusting status from the F-1 visa. While other processes may take several years, EB-5 can lead to obtaining a Green Card in a shorter time frame, generally around two years after the investment.

Fewer work restrictions:

The F-1 visa has limitations on the work allowed for international students, such as the requirement to work in jobs related to their field of study and restrictions on work hours during the academic term. With EB-5, there are no specific employment restrictions, giving investors more freedom to choose job opportunities.

Avoid F-1 visa limitations:

The F-1 visa generally has a limited duration and may require extensions or changes of status to continue living and working in the United States. The EB-5 Program offers a more direct route to permanent residence, avoiding the need to renew visas or face uncertainties associated with changes in immigration status.

Fewer job and educational requirements:

While obtaining a Green Card through an F-1 visa involves meeting certain work and educational requirements, the EB-5 Program focuses primarily on economic investment. While there are certain criteria that must be met, such as job creation, there are no strict requirements related to field of study or work experience.

If you are interested in learning more about the EB-5 Program and its benefits in obtaining a Green Card, complete our form and an agent will contact you.

Add Comment

* All fields are mandatory.

Todavía no hay comentarios en esta publicación.

Facebook BAI Capital button Instagram BAI Capital button Linkedin BAI Capital button

Related Articles

Get our news

Find out about the American market with us

BAI Capital newsletter image