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10 “Must-Dos” for Every F-1 Student and J-1 Exchange Visitor for Smooth Admission in the U.S.
Each year, U.S. records thousands of foreign nationals visiting as F-1 students and J-1 exchange visitors and that count is steadily rising. In light of this steady increase combined with looming security threats, security measures at all U.S. ports-of-entry have been increased. It is therefore important that all F-1 students and J-1 exchange visitors provide proper documentation and comply with the entry procedures; failure to do so may cause the F-1 student or J-1 exchange visitor to be denied an entry into the United States. With an aim to help F-1 students and J-1 exchange visitors coming to the United States, we have developed this article presenting 10 very important things every F-1 student and J-1 exchange visitor must do in order to ensure smooth admission into the U.S.
OPT to H1B in 4 Easy Steps
F1 students on OPT often enquire about the steps they need to take to change status from OPT to H1B. They often seek clarifications on Optional Practical Training, H1B filings for them, cap-gap and cap-gap extension, consequences of traveling outside the U.S. while on cap-gap extension etc. On the other hand, we also receive enquiries from employers employing students on OPT, seeking advice on how to properly file an H1B petition for such students on OPT employed by them and steps that they could take to ensure that there are no undesirable breaks in the employment. For the benefit of our readers, we present in this article, an introduction to some key concepts to be considered by both F1 students and the employers while changing status from OPT to H1B and give the readers an overview of how to change status from OPT to H1B in 4 easy steps.
Optional Practical Training (OPT) for 29 Months: Are You Eligible?
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) had good news for students who are studying in the U.S. or who intend to do so. They released an interim final rule that extends the period of Optional Practical Training (OPT) for qualified F-1 non-immigrant students from the current 12 months to a maximum of 29 months. The extension will be available to F-1 students with a degree in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics and who are employed by businesses enrolled in the E-Verify program. The new rule will provide some relief for US companies seeking to attract and retain highly skilled foreign workers. Under the prior regulations students were granted a maximum of 12 months of OPT so would often be required to leave the US, even when they were the beneficiary of an approved H-1B petition.

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