OPT and STEM Work Authorization

Unlock Your Career Potential with OPT Work Authorization – Advised by Your Trusted San Jose Immigration Attorney

Optional Practical Training (OPT) is an essential program for F-1 visa holders in the U.S., designed to provide international students with the opportunity to gain practical experience in their field of study. OPT is available in two forms: pre-completion OPT, which can be utilized during your academic studies, and post-completion OPT, which allows up to 12 months of employment after graduation, extendable for up to 24 months for STEM graduates.

As the premier San Jose immigration attorney team, The Ahluwalia Firm specializes in assisting students through the intricate OPT application process. We ensure that your application is meticulously prepared and meets all USCIS requirements, helping you maximize your opportunities to work and gain valuable experience in the U.S.

Eligibility and Application Insights from Your San Jose Immigration Attorney

To be eligible for OPT, students must have been enrolled in an accredited academic program in the U.S. for at least one full academic year. Applicants must secure a job offer related to their field of study and adhere to the designated time limits for practical training.

Pre-Completion vs. Post-Completion OPT

  • Pre-Completion OPT is used by students who wish to work before their graduation. This can be done part-time while school is in session or full-time during breaks.
  • Post-Completion OPT must be started after graduation. Most students choose this option as it allows them to work full-time for 12 months.

The application process includes several critical steps:

Obtaining an OPT Recommendation: You must secure an endorsement from your Designated School Official (DSO).

Filing Form I-765 with USCIS: This Application for Employment Authorization must be filled out accurately and accompanied by all required documents. It’s crucial to apply for OPT early, ideally 90 days before your intended start date or graduation. Applications can be submitted up to 60 days after graduation, but earlier is better as you won’t be able to begin working until you receive approval and your Employment Authorization Document (EAD).

Submitting the Filing Fee: Ensure the correct fee is included with your Form I-765 to avoid delays.

Avoid Critical Mistakes with a Skilled San Jose Immigration Lawyer

One critical mistake, such as missing the deadline for filing Form I-765 for your Employment Authorization Document (EAD), can jeopardize your ability to work legally in the U.S. and severely impact your career development. At The Ahluwalia Firm, we have seen cases where candidates have missed these crucial deadlines for various reasons, leading to significant setbacks. Our team ensures that your application is timely and accurately filed, safeguarding your right to work and gain experience.

Extension and STEM OPT

If you have a degree in certain STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) fields, you may be eligible for a 24-month extension of your OPT, allowing you to work in the U.S. for up to 36 months.

STEM OPT Extension: Requires additional documentation and reporting, a job offer from an employer registered with the E-Verify employment verification system, and a formal training plan.

Why Choose The Ahluwalia Firm for Your OPT Application?

Expert Guidance: Our attorneys have extensive experience and a proven track record with OPT applications.

Tailored Support: We recognize the unique challenges faced by international students and tailor our services to meet your individual needs.

Dedicated Advocacy: We are committed to your success in the U.S., providing expert legal backing throughout your career development.

Contact Your San Jose Immigration Attorney Today

Contact The Ahluwalia Firm today to schedule a consultation about your OPT work authorization. Let our knowledgeable San Jose immigration lawyers help you navigate the complexities of the OPT process with ease and assurance. Our commitment to personalized, detailed legal service ensures that your transition into the U.S. workforce is smooth and successful.

Reach out now and secure your professional future in the United States with the foremost immigration expertise of The Ahluwalia Firm.


Dear Mr. Ahluwalia, I would like to thank you for all your help with Dr. xxx case. She and I were very impressed with your services and the professionalism that you showed both of us. I am referring you to a very good friend of mine who is opening a manufacturing plant and wants to bring his brother in as a partner/investor/employee from Italy. I am forwarding your information for xxxx to contact you and make arrangements accordingly. Thank you for all your help.

Dr. F.

Inderjit, thank you so very much. I sincerely appreciate all the effort you took to get this approved and your incredible patience. As xxx mentioned, we will only work with you for all our future H1's. Thanks once again.


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