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Visa Rules to Study and Work in USA

The USA is a common destination for international students, and now they are also allowed to work for three years after completing their education in the United States.

This opportunity will be available for students who complete their science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) degrees.

The rule was effected on the 10th of May 2016. International students will have the opportunity to try different jobs and discover how industry professionals across different sectors launched their careers in the United States.

Below are some visa rules to study and work in the USA:

  • Employers participating in STEM OPT must incorporate a formal training program that includes concrete learning objectives with proper oversight.
  • Employers and students must report material changes in their training program.
  • To guard against adverse effects on U.S. workers, terms and conditions of a student’s training opportunity – such as duties, hours, and compensation – must be on par with U.S. workers in similar positions in the same geographic area of employment. Additionally, the student must not replace a full-time, part-time, temporary, or permanent U.S. worker.
  • Only students who earned a degree from a school accredited by a U.S. Department of Education-recognized accrediting agency and certified by SEVP may apply for a STEM OPT extension.
  • Participating students who receive an additional qualifying degree from an accredited college or university can apply for a second STEM OPT extension.
  • Participating students can use a previously-earned qualifying degree to apply for a STEM OPT extension.
  • The prior degree must not have already formed the basis of a STEM OPT extension and must be from a school accredited by a U.S. Department of Education-recognized accrediting agency and certified by SEVP at the time of the student’s STEM OPT application.
  • The student’s most recent degree must also be from an accredited and SEVP-certified institution.
  • All STEM OPT employers must participate in DHS’ E-Verify program.
  • To qualify, students must work a minimum of 20 hours per week per employer.
  • Students are permitted a limited period of unemployment during the initial period of post-completion OPT, and the STEM OPT extension.


The United States is one of the best countries to study abroad compared to other countries, like the United Kingdom, which does not offer employment opportunities to International Students after completing their degrees.

We hope students find this article useful, especially those wishing to study in the USA; we wish you success in all your academic pursuits.

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