How to work in the US after graduation 

Learn about how to stay back and work in the US after completing your studies.

In this article:

How to stay back in the US to work after graduation?

If you are studying in the US while holding an F1 student visa, you can apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT) and stay back for one year. If you are studying a STEM course (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics), you could extend your OPT for an additional 24 months.

Note that your job must be directly related to your course’s field of study.

What are the eligibility requirements to apply for OPT?

To apply for OPT, you need to be, 

  • Enrolled in a full-time course for at least one year at a USCIS recognised university.
  • Physically present in the US while holding an F1 visa at the time application.
  • Find a job directly related to your course’s field of study within 90 days after finishing your course.

When to apply for OPT?

You need to apply for your OPT within 60 days after completing your course. You don’t have to wait till you have a job offer in your hand. You can start your application process as early as 90 days before finishing your course. 

How to apply for OPT?

Step 1

Download the OPT I-20 form from your university's website, complete it and submit it to the International Services Office.

Step 2

Reach out to the DSO (Designated School Official) at your university and request them to recommend you for OPT.

Your university will forward your request to the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). After the process is completed, your new I-20 form will be generated and sent to you.


You can apply for an H1B visa sponsored by your employer before your OPT expires to continue working in the US.