Category: Jobs (page 1 of 2)

Optional Practical Training: Application, STEM OPT Extension, and Rules

What is OPT? Is it the regular part-time job students take up at..let’s say Dairy Queen?  Well, unless you are a retail major, working at a DQ doesn’t qualify as OPT. And we have heard so many questions like these that it’s about time we clear them once and for all, shall we?

IN THIS BLOG:

1.     What is OPT?
2.     What is STEM OPT?
3.     Who is eligible for OPT?
4.     STEM OPT eligibility
5.     Pre-completion OPT
6.     Post-completion OPT
7.     STEM OPT Extension

What is OPT?

OPT stands for Optional Practical Training and refers to a 12-month time period in which current or graduated students in the US with F-1 visa status are allowed to work part-time (20 hours per week or less) or full-time and gain experience in practical training that is closely related to their major or field of study.

As an example, an English major might work at a publishing company and a film major can work on a movie set.

Let’s get to the next obvious question – Do you get paid for an OPT?

Well, OPT can be both paid and unpaid but that’s not the point of an OPT. OPT should be seen as an excellent opportunity to gain valuable practical experience to help build your resume.

What is STEM OPT?

STEM OPT is OPT but for students who receive a qualifying degree in STEM fields that is, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. STEM OPT can be extended up to a period of 24 months (36 in total). The STEM OPT visa status is also F-1.

Who is eligible for OPT?

You are eligible for OPT if you –

  1. Maintain valid F-1 status at the time of application
  2. Enrolled full-time for one full academic year at a college or university certified by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
  3. Have not used 12-month OPT at the same degree level previously (except in case of STEM OPT extension)

If you are a student living in the US under Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) you don’t necessarily need F1 status, a non-immigrant status during that time is valid to claim OPT.

STEM OPT Eligibility

You are eligible for OPT if you –

  1. Maintain valid F-1 status at the time of application
  2. Enrolled full-time for one full academic year at a college or university certified by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
  3. If you have earned a STEM degree included on the USCIS STEM Designated Degree Program list.
  4. Have not used 12-month or more OPT at the same degree level previously.
Can’t decide between CPT and OPT?

Have you taken the GMAT before?

Pre-completion OPT

Pre-completion OPT is an optional practical training that you use while pursuing the degree, enrolled full-time in a college or university. And because pre-completion OPT is pursued during the session it is mostly part-time or 20 hours per week.

Pre-completion OPT can be used full-time during summer or other breaks, as long as the student is making normal progress towards the degree.

Students can apply for pre-completion OPT up to 90 days before they complete a full academic year that is, as long as you don’t start OPT employment until you complete one full academic year at the university.

Post-Completion OPT

Post-Completion OPT is a type of work authorization for F1 students who have completed their degree in the US. Students can choose to work full-time or part-time for the dates mentioned on their Employment Authorization Document (EAD) card issued by USCIS.

You can apply for a Post-Completion OPT up to 90 days before you complete your degree but no later than 60 days after the program’s end date.

If you are enrolled in a non-STEM degree course you are eligible for a 12-month OPT. Out of which if you have participated in pre-completion OPT for a short duration you are still eligible for Post-Completion OPT as long as the overall OPT does not exceed 12 months. The entire duration of pre-completion OPT will be removed from the available post-completion OPT period.

On the other hand, STEM graduates have the option to apply for STEM OPT Extension, this is further explained in the next section.

STEM OPT Extension

If you have earned a degree in certain science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields, you are eligible to apply for an additional 24-month extension of your post-completion OPT employment authorization, provided you:

  • Are employed by an employer who is enrolled in and is using E-Verify and
  • Received an initial grant of Post-Completion OPT employment authorization based on your STEM degree.

Have more questions about studying and jobs in the USA? Our counsellors are ready with answers. Call us for a free 15 minutes session and we will guide you through!

Curricular Practical Training: Application, CPT Registration, and Rules

What is CPT? Is it the regular part-time job students take up at..let’s say American Eagle?  Well, unless you are a retail major, working at an American Eagle doesn’t qualify as CPT. And we have heard so many questions like these that it’s about time we clear them once and for all, shall we?

In this blog:

1.     What is CPT?
2.     CPT Rules
3.     Who is eligible for CPT?
4.     CPT Registration
5.     CPT and OPT: Difference

What is CPT?

CPT stands for Curricular Practical Training and it is a program in which international students currently with F-1 visa status can gain experience through practical training in internships, co-ops, and part-time or full-time jobs. CPT is semester-oriented and it can be taken up either in fall, spring, or summer. It can begin with one semester and extend for up to 12 months in duration.

As an example, a film major can intern on a movie set and if you are a retail major, you could intern part-time at the mall. As long as the employment or experience gained through CPT is integral to the curriculum of the degree or program you are pursuing.

Unlike OPT Curricular Practical Training or CPT can be only undertaken during the college session that is, before your coursework ends. CPT allows students to pursue an internship during the college session but you have to find an internship first, post which the college will issue you a CPT.

CPT Rules

Before applying for CPT here is a quick checklist of rules that you should be aware of:

  1. CPT requires prior authorization from your university’s International Student Office and notification to USCIS is required.
  2. You must have been enrolled full-time in a university for a minimum of 1 year on valid F-1 status or
  3. You are a graduate student where the program requires you to immediately participate in a CPT.
  4. The CPT employment must be an integral part of your degree program or requirement of the course for which you receive academic credit.
  5. You must have received a job offer that qualifies before you submit your CPT authorization request.
  6. Your job offer must be in your major or field of study.

Who is eligible for CPT?

You are eligible for CPT if you –

  1. You must have completed one full year in school on a valid F1 visa(except those programs that require immediate CPT employment).
  2. Employment must be an integral part of your degree coursework and a requirement to secure academic credit.
  3. You must have received a job offerbefore you submit your CPT request.
  4. The CPT employment offer must be related to your major subjects in your area of study.
Can’t decide between CPT and OPT?

Have you taken the GMAT before?

CPT Registration

Given below are a few steps for CPT registration or to apply for a CPT:

  1. Connect with your Student Advisor to find out about the available CPT programs.
  2. Get an employment offer letter from the company.
  3. Apply to the CPT program through your university and keep the necessary documents ready.
  4. After the approval of your CPT application, you will receive the CPT document with the duration, post which you can begin your CPT program.

The CPT is authorized by the International Student and Scholar (ISSS) through the issue of a new I-20 with CPT recommendation. And is typically processed within 5-7 business days. Employment through CPT is allowed only within the duration specified in the I-20 and the SEVIS.

CPT and OPT: Difference

If you can’t choose between CPT and OPT, we can help. Given below is a list of differences between CPT and OPT:

  1. You must complete a CPT before graduation whereas you can do an OPT during your coursework (pre-completion OPT) or after graduation (post-completion OPT).
  2. CPT requires a job offer OPT does not.
  3. CPT typically requires an internship class and OPT does not.
  4. CPT generally requires payment for tuition and OPT does not.
  5. CPT is for a specific employer, OPT allows you to work for any employer.
  6. CPT permit is part of the I-20, OPT permit is called the Employment Authorization Document (EAD)
  7. CPT is authorized by the international office, generally in a few business days whereas OPT is authorized by USCIS.

Have more questions about studying and jobs in the USA? Our counsellors are ready with answers. Call us for a free 15 minutes session and we will guide you through!

Related Articles: 
https://www.jamboreeindia.com/know-how/opt-and-cpt-how-to-work-while-you-study-in-the-usa/
https://www.jamboreeindia.com/know-how/what-is-opt/

OPT and CPT How to work while you study in the USA?

At least 8 out of 10 Indian students going to universities in the US wonder about job opportunities available after graduating. CPT and OPT are the two options they can avail in this regard. CPT is taken up as an internship and OPT is undertaken in the form of post-study work. Since the rules of these two programs are very similar, there is a lot of confusion amongst students regarding them. This article talks about both programs, their features, eligibility, and the application process.

What is CPT or Curricular Practical Training?

Curricular Practical Training allows foreign students to obtain employment training and undertake paid internships. Students can work full-time (over 20 hours per week) or part-time (20 hours or less per week). They can earn money and gain invaluable work experience in their field of interest and expertise. Since CPT allows students to take part-time or full-time jobs, CPT must be completed before graduation.

What is OPT or Optional Practical Training?

Optional Practical Training indicates temporary employment that is closely connected to the international student’s major field of study. Eligible students can apply for OPT either before completing their studies (pre-completion) or after completing their studies (post-condition).  Students are allowed to work for 12 months under OPT but those who have a STEM degree can extend it up to 24 months. The entire duration of pre-completion OPT will be removed from the available post-completion OPT period.

How to Choose Which is Right for You? CPT vs OPT

Important Features of CPT

  • CPT allows you to pursue an internship during the course period. Once you find an internship, the college will issue you a CPT.
  • CPT can be undertaken only during the course curriculum before you finish your studies.
  • You may complete your CPT with your F1 visa.
  • The employment or experience gained through CPT must be integral to the curriculum of the degree program you are pursuing, or the student must be registered for a course relevant to the employment.
  • CPT is semester-oriented, it can be taken up either in fall, spring, or summer. It can begin with one semester and extend for up to a year.
  • CPT students can work part-time that is 20 hours a week or less when college is in progress or full-time during the summer break.
  • CPT students can work only for those employers who are listed on their I-20 and the SEVIS.
  • The CPT is authorized by the International Student and Scholar (ISSS) through the issue of a new I-20 with CPT recommendation.
  • A CPT is typically processed within 5-7 business days.
  • Employment through CPT is allowed only within the duration specified in the I-20 and the SEVIS.

Important Features of OPT

  • OPT is a year-long work permit given to the students after they finish a degree program in the US. But they must find a job within 90 days after graduation.
  • OPT may be taken up during your studies (Pre-completion OPT) or after completing your studies (Post-completion OPT).
  • The job through OPT must be directly connected to your field of coursework.
  • Both USCIS and ISSS must authorize OPT. ISSS issues an I-20 with OPT recommendation and USCIS issues the Employment Authorization Document (EAD) card.
  • OPT is generally processed within 1-3 months.
  • Employment is permitted on the dates mentioned in the EAD card post which you must apply for the H1-B visa.

What are the eligibility requirements for CPT?

The eligibility requirements for CPT employment are:

  • You must have completed one full year in school on a valid F1 visa (except those programs that require immediate CPT employment).
  • Employment must be an integral part of your degree coursework and a requirement to secure academic credit.
  • You must have received a job offer before you submit your CPT request.
  • The CPT employment offer must be related to your major subjects in your area of study.

What are the eligibility requirements for OPT?

The general eligibility requirements for OPT employment are:

  • The OPT employment must be directly connected to your major.
  • You must maintain a legal F1 status.
  • You must apply for OPT before finishing all the work towards procuring your degree.
  • If you have undertaken CPT training for 12 months or more, you are not eligible for OPT.
  • If you take up part-time OPT, it reduces the time of full-time OPT by half of the part-time OPT.

Requirements for pre-completion OPT:

  • You must be enrolled in a school full-time.
  • You are allowed to work only for 20 hours a week while school is in progress.
  • You can work during Summer and other breaks under the condition that you return to school post the break.
  • You may work after completion of coursework even if a dissertation or thesis is pending.

Requirements for post-completion OPT:

  • A post-completion OPT must be undertaken after finishing your degree and it must be full-time or 40 hours per week.
  • Post-degree OPT must be finished within 14 months after you complete your degree.
  • You must submit your post-completion OPT application to the USCIS before you finish your degree course.

How to apply for CPT?

Here are the steps to apply for a CPT:

  • Connect with your Student Advisor to find out about the available CPT programs.
  • Get an employment offer letter from the company.
  • Apply to the CPT program through your university and keep the necessary documents ready.
  • After the approval of your CPT application, you will receive the CPT document with the duration post which you can begin your CPT program.

How to apply for OPT?

Here are the general steps to apply for an OPT:

  • Connect with your Student Advisor to find out about how to apply for an OPT.
  • Request your designated school officer for an OPT recommendation and updates in the I-20 form and the SEVIS.
  • Fill up form I-765 and send it to USCIS with the essential documents.
  • You will receive your EAD once your form I-765 is approved.
  • Begin your OTP program on the stipulated date.

The Final Word

After considering all the above factors, you must decide whether CPT or OPT is right for you depending upon your degree program and its requirements and by talking with your student advisor. CPT and OPT can help you navigate unique career opportunities during your stay in the USA and gain valuable work experience. Good luck!

Have more questions about studying and jobs in the USA? Our counselors are ready with answers. Call us for a free 15 minutes session and we will guide you through!

Graduate Route Visa: The essential guide to post-study work opportunities in the UK

Working abroad after your degree isn’t easy, if there is no 20-hour-work rule, your employer probably has to jump through hoops to hire you, but the United Kingdom is now a refreshing exception to that. “Why?” you ask.

Graduate Route Visa is an exciting development in the UK’s immigration system that allows international students to advance in their careers the way they want to instead of how their visa allows them to. This blog answers all your questions about Graduate Route Visa and more. Let’s go!

What is Graduate Route Visa, UK?

The Graduate route visa is a post-study work visa that was announced in 2020 by the UK Home Secretary Priti Patel as part of the immigration scheme. This post-study work visa came into effect on July 1st and is now open for applications for all recent international graduates from any recognised UK university.

This new Graduate route work visa offers international students an opportunity to stay and work or look for work after finishing their course study in the UK for a minimum of 2-years (3 years for PhD students), effectively transitioning into the UK job market and Skilled Worker Route for an extended stay.

What work can you do and do you need a job offer to apply for Graduate Route Visa?

You don’t need to have been offered a job in the UK to apply for Graduate Route. Students can simply apply for Graduate route before their Student Visa Expires. As far as the work is concerned Graduate route offers a lot of flexibility, this includes self-employment, voluntary work, part-time, fixed-term, or casual contract.

Who is Eligible for Graduate Route Visa?

You can apply for the Graduate route visa if you satisfy all the following conditions:

  • You currently reside in the United Kingdom.
  • You hold a valid regular Student visa or Tier 4 Student visa.
  • You have undertaken a Bachelor’s degree or a Postgraduate degree, or any other eligible course in the UK for a minimum required period through your Tier 4 Student visa.
  • You have successfully completed your coursework in the UK as of or after 1 July 2021

Which Courses Qualify for a Graduate Route Visa?

  • If you have been pursuing your course virtually from your home country due to covid, you can still apply for the Graduate visa provided other conditions are met.
  • Students who began a maximum of 12 months distance education course in 2020 or 2021 who did not previously enter the UK to study can apply for the visa provided they enter the UK before the visa terminates or by 27th September 2021, whichever is earlier.
  • Students who are pursuing a course for a maximum of 12 months or less in 2020 or 2021 who have existing permission to study the course as a student can apply for a visa provided they are in the UK before their permission date expires.
  • Students who are pursuing a distance education course from the UK for a duration of over 12 months between 24 Jan 2020 and 27 Sept 2021 cannot apply for the Graduate route.

How long can you stay on a Graduate Route Visa?

A Graduate Route visa is valid for 2 years but if you have a PhD or a doctoral degree, it is valid for 3 years. Your visa will begin to take effect from the day your application is approved.

If you wish to stay longer in the UK, you cannot extend your graduate route visa, but you can shift to a different visa such as a Skilled Worker visa or Start-Up visa.

What are the Documents Required to Apply for a Graduate Route Visa?

To apply for the Graduate visa, you will need:

  • A valid passport or any other travel document that proves your nationality and identity.
  • Your biometric residence permit, from when you applied for the Student visa or Tier 4 Student visa.
  • Your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies or CAS reference number from your Student visa or Tier 4 Student visa application.

Some other documents you may need are:

  • Proof of relationship with your children or spouse if they are applying with you.
  • A letter from the sponsor approving the application if they paid your course fees or living costs in the last year.

How to Apply for a Graduate Route Visa?

Once you get your documents ready, you must apply for the Graduate visa online by filling up the application form and submitting the supporting documents. Typically, you will receive an email regarding the decision within 8 weeks.

Once your application is approved, it serves as proof of your right to live and work legally in the UK.

How much does Graduate Route Visa cost?

You will typically incur the following costs when you apply for the Graduate visa:

  • Application fees are usually £700.
  • The Healthcare surcharge is usually £624 for each year you stay in the UK.

What Happens After Graduate Route Visa Expires?

Once the UK Graduate Route visa expires after the allotted 2 years, you must leave the country or try to secure another type of visa such as a Tier 2 or General Work Visa to continue your stay.

The work experience gained during the tenure of the Graduate Route visa will help you in securing the Tier 2 visa. If you are not eligible for the Tier 2 visa, you cannot apply for the Graduate route visa for the second time.

What are the benefits of Graduate Route Visa?

  • Once you secure the Graduate Route visa, there are no restrictions on the kind of work you can do, the number of hours, or the salary limit. You can spend any time you need looking for work and can switch or leave jobs without impacting your visa.
  • There is no maximum limit or a cap on the number of people who can apply for the Graduate Route visa.
  • Your university does not need to offer any kind of sponsorship for your Graduate Route visa.
  • EU students (also EEA and Swiss) can apply to the Graduate route in the same manner as international students.
  • The Doctorate Extension Scheme is incorporated into the Graduate Route so that the PhD students get three years of post-study entitlement instead of two.

Can students studying outside the UK during pandemic apply for Graduate Route Visa?

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the UK government is permitting students who are studying outside the UK to apply to the Graduate Route once they complete their course. But to avail of this facility, the students must have entered the UK before:

27th September (if their course began in the 2020-21 academic year).

6th April (if their course begins in the 2021-22 academic year)

The Graduate route program is the initiative by the UK government to increase the influx of international students pursuing higher education in the UK. This immigration rule also enables startups and big companies to recruit the talent they need to grow and is definitely a step in the right direction.

Couple Years Experience: Can you Get a Job Abroad?

Chances are you’ve followed the traditional route to success so far. You’ve studied at a prestigious university, got a degree, and bagged your dream job. But at this stage if you’re looking for a personal and professional challenge you might want set your sights abroad.

Working Abroad

Every year, millions of well-educated and experienced professionals leave their native place for better opportunities and higher pay abroad. Experience, education, age, and financial stability are all deciding factors when trying to immigrate. But what if you only have a few years of experience? Here’s what you need to know:

How to get a job abroad from India without experience?

Have you taken the GRE before?

Age:

Almost every country prefers younger immigrants. Earning power hits its peak between 20 to 35 years of age, which means if you’re young you’re more likely to contribute to government revenue through income taxes. Many developed countries also need younger workers to support their older, pension-dependant population. So, if you’re young your chances are better.

Field of Study:

Another key factor is your field of study. There’s a global war for STEM graduates, which means it’s easier to find a job in a developed country with only a few years of STEM-related experience. Graduates in business, finance, medical, and marketing communications are also in demand. If your degree is related to a field facing a shortage, you may find it easier to find a job.

work with us

Countries You Can Apply To:

The United States, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom, are winning the global war for talent, according to the World Bank. These countries are attracting more talented young professionals than ever before. These countries also have a vibrant startup scene, so young professionals looking to gain experience in young companies are highly valued. Countries like Canada and Australia offer permanent residency if you have more than a year’s full-time work experience in a field facing labour-shortages. Other countries like New Zealand prefer graduates with local experience, so you can apply for permanent residency after 2 to 3 years of experience working there.

Post-study Visas:

Most countries appreciate the need for talented professionals. Over the years a number of post-study work visas have allowed graduates to stay back and gain local experience. These programs make it easier for international graduates to gain a few years of experience and find permanent employment abroad. Germany, New Zealand, and Canada have all made it easierfor international students to find work if they’re recently graduated and have no work experience.

There’s a global push for talent, so you can hope to get a job abroad even if you have only a few years of experience in the right industry.

Ways to figure out your next career move?

India’s home to the largest labour pool in the world, but it’s a deeply dissatisfied lot. Nearly 60% of employees are dissatisfied with the current jobs and 80% are looking for some sort of change in the coming years, according to research by TimesJobs.

If you’re part of that dissatisfied group, here’s how you can figure out what your next move should be:

Plan your ideal day

Always start a journey by thinking about the destination. Think about your ideal workday and figure out what sort of role suits you best. Understand your desire for structure, leadership, and compensation and weigh them against your ability to take risks and stress.

Set a ‘happiness’ ranking

Not all jobs are created equally. Every move you make comes with certain oppor-tunity costs, so it’s best to focus on what makes you happy. Assign different career moves a ‘happiness ranking’ to see which ones you like best. Doing what makes you happy will help you move beyond data and financial considerations.

Keep track of dislikes too

You must consider your dislikes if you want an easier transition. There’s no making sacrifices to the point that you’re dissatisfied with the end result. If you don’t want to learn a foreign language, hate doing taxes, or commuting daily, build that into the plan. better prospects, better pay, and easier visa programs to attract people with the right skills. A move abroad could be the best way to take your career to the next level.

Look abroad

There’s a wealth of opportunity for educat-ed and young professionals. If you’re dissatisfied with the pay and work culture, you might want to set your sights abroad. The rate of emigration to OECD countries has been consistently rising over the years. Many developed countries are offering.

Upgrade yourself

Investing in yourself could be the best investment you ever make. Considering studying for a higher degree or a profes-sional qualification in your field of work. You’ll be surprised how much of a difference this can make.

Focus on the medium-term

Traditional advice is usually about thinking long-term and following your passion. But the most pragmatic approach to deciding the next step in your career is the think about the next 5 to 8 years. Make incre-mental moves to improve your career over time.

If you create a transition plan based on these steps making the next big move in your career should be a lot easier.

 Good luck!

Working Abroad: Countries with Best Job Opportunities

If you’ve graduated recently, working abroad may be the best experience you could hope for. A lot of countries are looking to boost the number of graduates in their population. Some even offer permanent residency outright.

Broadly speaking, your ability to get a job abroad depends on your experience and field of study. Your language skills and ability to support yourself also play a key role. But consider this a general guide to a job abroad:

 

germany

Germany is actively trying to increase graduate numbers. In 2014, the government decided to increase foreign graduate numbers by 25%, and has since relaxed rules around post-study work visas. The country is the largest economy in the Eurozone and its relative stability offers better prospects for international graduates willing to learn German.

Australia

Although graduates in Australia are pessimistic, the country continues to shift away from a mining-based economy to a service-oriented one. International graduates with skills and experience on the labour shortage list can easily apply for permanent residency (at least for now) and seek out jobs in an environment with less than 5.6% unemployment.

 

Jamboree-Education

New Zealnd

After decades of emigration the tide is finally turning in New Zealand as more foreigners flock to the island nation than ever before. New Zealand is one of the most prosperous nations in the world and job prospects are abundant for graduates with the right skills. Immigration is easier for people with professional skills, a graduate degree (preferably earned in NZ), and a willingness to live outside the crowded city of Auckland. Job growth in certain sectors has been phenomenal over the past few years.

canada

Another country that is relatively open to immigrants is Canada. Canada has managed to keep its economy stable and gradually wean itself off oil-sector revenues. This means better job prospects for graduates in the service and professional sectors. In a bid to encourage talented foreigners the country has raised the quota for skilled immigration in 2017 and beyond. In the coming year Canada is projected to have higher real wages and lower unemployment.

united states

Despite the political turmoil, America is still an immigrant’s best bet. High skilled workers able to get the coveted H1B visa can expect excellent job prospects. Unemployment rate is nearly 4.6% and GDP growth is back on track. Now might be the perfect time to head to the land of opportunities before Trump clips its wings. Based on economic growth, job prospects, and labor shortage, these are some of the best countries for international graduate job-seekers.

 

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