Q: OPT Status
I am from Iran.I am single and I am on F-1 visa, recently graduated with M.Sc. in Engineering Geology, so I filed for OPT and received my authorization card on 15th May.
Now 45 days of the unemployment is passed and I still couldn't find any internship or volunteer jobs as most companies don't sponsor the visa.
I am so worried if I lose the rest 45 days without finding any position.
I would like to know what I could do to not hurt my legal status?
Thank you for help.
A: An F-1 student on post-completion OPT may also be self-employed. See, “Policy Guidance For Student and Exchange Visitor Program and Designated School Officials of SEVP-Certified Schools with F-1 Students Eligible for or Pursuing Post-Completion Optional Practical Training” (Policy Guidance 1004-03 – Update to Optional Practical Training; USICE, April 23, 2010), at page 18:
“Self-employed business owner. A student on OPT may start a business and be self-employed. The student must be able to prove that he or she has the proper business licenses and is actively engaged in a business related to the student’s degree program.”
An F-1 student on post-completion STEM (the 17 month extension for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics majors) can also continue with self-employment after the initial 12 month OPT period. See, id, at page 19:
“Self-employed business owner. A student on a 17-month extension can start a business and be self-employed. In this situation, the student must register his or her business with E-Verify and work full time. The student must be able to prove that he or she has the proper business licenses and is actively engaged in a business related to his or her degree program.”
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