The latest update from US study visa consultancy in Hyderabad says that important categories of US visas, such as B-1/B-2 visiting visas and H-1B/H-4 work permit visas, have experienced backlogs, affecting the travel plans of thousands of Indians. Despite this, if an Indian student has a valid F-1 student visa, returning to the US after visiting India or any other nation is simple and does not necessitate a new visa stamp or interview. The same rule also applies to students on OPT, which is a form of training (often paid) closely related to the overseas student’s course of study in the US.
Many young Indians who are now employed on OPT can take advantage of the freedom afforded by their valid F-1 visa to travel to India for a holiday if their parents are unable to get visitors’ visas in time for their trip to the United States. You can get to know more about US visit visa updates from any of the US visit visa consultants in Hyderabad.
A representative for the US embassy in New Delhi told the Times of India, “Students can apply for OPT throughout their program of study, which is known as pre-completion OPT, or after they finish their program of study, which is known as post-completion OPT.”
To apply for OPT, F-1 visa holders must first obtain clearance from their university’s Designated School Official (DSO). The DSO recommends the student for nonimmigrant student status in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information (SEVIS) by signing the student’s Form I-20, Certificate of Eligibility for Non-immigrant Student Status. Following this, a student must file Form I-765, an application for employment authorisation and supporting documents with the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). If approved by USCIS a student can begin training.
With the OPT status, students studying abroad and recent graduates who meet the requirements for OPT can get valuable work experience to complement their formal education. The training programs are open to overseas students without the necessity for them to become permanent residents. The student needs to engage with their assigned DSO to verify eligibility and apply for the necessary authorization. However, any international student receiving any form of financial aid in the United States is required by law to apply for a Social Security number.
An F-1 student who has been granted OPT is permitted to enter the United States at any time using their valid F-1 visa. According to the US embassy spokeswoman, “in the unusual instance that an OPT-approved student does not hold a current, legal visa, they should follow the standard requirements to apply for a valid F-1 student visa.”
A valid visa stamp in an F-1 student’s passport is required for entry into the United States at any time. Diya Mathews, a partner and attorney at Chugh, LLP, told Times of India that the firm does not differentiate between students and those on optional practical training (OPT). She further noted that while students on OPT may be working for pay, they are still considered to be F-1 students for visa purposes.
OPT is the authorized work time at the end of an F-1 student’s status once their studies are finished. She further clarified that “OPT” is not its own visa status. Due to current visa processing backlogs in India, some students are being granted interview waivers if they have had a prior US visa. This is in contrast to the situation in the United States, where the vast majority of students applying for F-1 visas in India are interviewed before they are granted a visa. They can request a dropbox appointment, which means they may not need to show up in person for a visa interview at all, Mathews explained.
For further details, you can take assistance from US student visa agencies in Hyderabad.