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A Question on OPT


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Hey guys! I have a question on OPT! Thanks in advance!

I am an International student. I received my Master's Degree from US in May, 2013. Before my graduation, I applied for an OPT(12 months). However, after I got the card, I didn't use it at all but returned to my home country for personal reason in July, 2013. I didn't work at this period (May,2013-July, 2013). Now I am accepted for another two-year Master Program and will go to US in Fall, 2015. Am I eligible to apply for OPT again when I graduat in 2017?

Wish to get any help! Thank you so much!!!

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You will have to check with your new school's International Office to get the facts/confirmed information. However, based on my knowledge of the F-1 OPT program, you get 12 months of OPT for each level of degree program. For example, if you were a F-1 student for undergrad, you get 12 months for undergrad and then if you start a Masters program, you get another 12 months. So, starting your new Masters program does not grant you any additional OPT time (but if you start a PhD later, then it would).

 

However, two issues complicate your situation:

1. I am not sure if getting OPT and then not using it counts against your OPT time. I'm not sure if your record will show that you completed 0 months of OPT (since you didn't work), 3 months of OPT (since you left the US in July 2013) or all 12 months of OPT. My guess would be "3 months" but you should check with your International Office!

 

2. Also, you might know that in some STEM fields, OPT is extended by an additional 17 months (so you get 29 months total). You should check with your International Office to see if you qualify for this extension.

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