New York, NY asked in Immigration Law for New York

Q: Can a school refuse to recommend you for OPT?

I have been a good student for a year and held valid F1 Visa

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2 Lawyer Answers
Min Hwan Ahn
Min Hwan Ahn
  • Immigration Law Lawyer
  • Philadelphia, PA
  • Licensed in New York

A: Yes, a school can refuse to recommend a student for Optional Practical Training (OPT). Although the school is not required to provide a reason for their decision, there are a number of reasons why a school might refuse to recommend a student for OPT. Some possible reasons include a low grade point average, poor attendance record, or disciplinary issues.

It is important to understand that a school's decision to refuse to recommend a student for OPT is separate from the decision made by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to approve or deny the OPT application. However, the school's recommendation is an important factor in the USCIS decision-making process, and a lack of recommendation from the school may make it more difficult for the student to obtain approval for OPT.

James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Immigration Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: Yes, a school can refuse to recommend a student for Optional Practical Training (OPT) in certain circumstances. OPT is a benefit that is granted by US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), but in order to be eligible for OPT, an F-1 student must receive a recommendation from their school's designated school official (DSO).

In general, a school may refuse to recommend a student for OPT if they determine that the student is not meeting the eligibility requirements or if they believe that the student is engaging in conduct that is detrimental to their academic progress or the school's reputation. For example, if a student has violated the school's code of conduct or has been found to be engaging in academic dishonesty, the school may choose not to recommend them for OPT.

It's important to note that a school's decision to refuse a recommendation for OPT is subject to review by USCIS. If a student believes that their school's decision is incorrect or unjustified, they may be able to file a complaint with the school or appeal the decision to USCIS.

If you are concerned about your school's willingness to recommend you for OPT, it's important to speak with your school's DSO and understand the reasons for their decision. You may be able to address any issues or concerns they have and work with them to ensure that you are eligible for and receive a recommendation for OPT.

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