Jump to content
  • advertisement_alt
  • advertisement_alt
  • advertisement_alt

F-1 renewal while on OPT: volunteering or employment?

Recommended Posts

Hi everyone, so I have graduated recently with Master's and left the US with my OPT application pending. Now, I'm back to my country and it's been about 3 months since I've graduated (and since the program end date mentioned on I-20). So, my EAD card has arrived to my US address and my roommate is gonna mail it to me very soon. Now, here are 2 problems:

  • My F-1 visa has expired in the beginning of August
  • So far, I have accrued 41 days of unemployment (out of 90)

But now I'm very close to getting a job offer from some company (but it's not guaranteed yet). And to be honest I don't have many good job opportunities here (at my hometown), so I really want to make things work if I get this job. 

Now, here is the other thing that I want to know your opinion about. So, I want to talk to my adviser and agree about volunteering for him so I could fill the necessary forms online and report to the university's ISS that I'm volunteering for my adviser (all this, while I'm in my country) just so I can save my unemployment days and just so my OPT doesn't get cancelled. And then I could start my visa application. So basically I have 2 options on my mind: 1) I either sign up for this volunteering thing and fill the visa application accordingly and maybe even get some letter from my adviser about this which I could present on visa interview OR  2) I wait for this job offer that I've been talking about and then fill the visa application and answer the questions based on this.

So which way I should go? How should I design this whole visa renewal process? What should I do and I should not do?

I also have some specific questions about visa application:

  1. Should I fill DS-160 in the same way I did before? Should I change anything?
  2. Would it hurt if I put "No" for "Have you made specific travel plans?", and put only "Intended date of arrival"? (this is in DS-160 form)
  3. Should I check or uncheck the sentence "[Name Surname] renewing his or her visa either to: continue participation in the same program even if at a different institution; or attend the same institution even if in a different program." ? Note that if I check this it won't require me to schedule an interview. (this is on us usvisa-info.com)
Edited by oqowa
changed OPT card to EAD card
Link to comment
Share on other sites

P.S. the other problem is what if this potential employer ask me to attend an in-person interview? I'd have to have F-1 visa approved by that time so I could travel for the interview. I guess it'd be stupid to tell the officer that I'm travelling for the job interview.

P.P.S. btw, will ISS give a new I-20 after I report them that I'm volunteering for my adviser? In that case, I'd have to have the new I-20 mailed to me and would have to present on visa interview?

And one more thing, guys: before any of you says that I should ask ISS or seek for the advise of the professional, I AM going to talk on the phone with school's ISS official. But I was just wondering maybe any of you had similar experience

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 11 months later...

Guys, I would like to express my opinion and I hope that you will understand me correctly and will not criticize. I have been volunteering for a very long time for a long time and this is very cool and noble, but you must understand that this does not bring any profit, and a person needs to earn money, save it and spend it... So I prefer to work officially according to the Employment contract. Perhaps you will think that my words are selfish, but this is life... I have already sent the employment contract sample  to your email and I hope that you will like my list of services and that you will offer me a decent payment!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.