Student Visas

//Student Visas

No More Shadows of Doubt Casted on F-1 Rule Re: Extension of STEM OPT

Whether you follow the groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil or not, last month on Groundhog’s Day the little herbivore failed to see his shadow and an early Spring season was predicted.  This announcement was hopeful news for those of us still reeling from the blizzard that blanketed the District of Columbia metro area in late January this […]

By | March 9th, 2016|Blog, Blog - Show All, Student Visas|

Is uncertainty surrounding staying in the United States driving away highly educated foreign nationals?

An increasing number of foreign graduates from U.S. universities are electing to return to their home countries or elsewhere after completing their studies. These students have the potential to make great contributions in their relative STEM fields, but many do not want to face the uncertainty of obtaining an H-1B visa.

Vivek Wadhwa, a fellow at […]

F-1 Student Visas and the Slippery Slope of an H-1B Visa Rejection

Filing an H-1B visa petition this April meant that petitioners had about a 50% chance of being selected. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) received approximately 172,500 H-1B petitions during the filing period this year; there are only a total of 65,000 general category cap slots and 20,000 cap slots for those with U.S. […]

By | August 7th, 2014|Blog, Employment Visas, Student Visas|

Student Visas, PART 5: H-1B “Cap Gap” Protection

What happens when an F-1 student is working pursuant to optional practice training (OPT) and it expires while a cap-subject H-1B visa petition is pending and before the approved H-1B start date of October 1?

The H-1B Cap: Congress has allocated 65,000 H-1B visa numbers available every fiscal year. It has also allocated an additional 20,000 […]

By | April 11th, 2014|Blog, Employment Visas, Student Visas|

Student Visas, PART 4: Optional Practical Training (OPT): STEM Extension

How can an international student extend optional practical training (OPT) beyond 12 months? OPT is temporary employment that is directly related to an F-1 student’s major area of study (see my previous blog post for more information on OPT). In general, F-1 students can obtain up to a total of 12 months of practical training either before […]

By | December 18th, 2013|Blog, Student Visas|

Student Visas, PART 3: The Basics of Optional Practical Training (OPT)

How can an international student work after graduation? Students in F-1 visa status are able to obtain practical “hands-on” training in their field of study after graduation based on Optional Practical Training (OPT).  Generally, OPT is authorized for F-1 students lawfully enrolled on a full time basis, in a USCIS service-approved college or university for one […]

By | November 12th, 2013|Blog, Student Visas|

Student Visas, PART 2: Making It Happen: Internships for F-1 Students Using Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

Can I accept an internship off-campus? This is one of the most common questions I received when I worked as a Designated School Official (DSO). The DSO is the university official who issues immigration documents (I-20s), answers questions, and approves certain matters for F-1 students. F-1 students must take the time to plan for the […]

By | October 10th, 2013|Blog, Student Visas|

Student Visas, PART 1: Five Common Mistakes F-1 Students Should Avoid

Bienvenidos/ Hosgeldiniz/ Willkommen/ Bienvenue/! You just arrived in the U.S. from another country, excited to study business, engineering, architecture or whatever is your life passion. You have an F-1 visa, the most commonly held type of student visa. You want to make the most of your academic program and do everything the American students are […]

By | August 29th, 2013|Blog, Student Visas|