Frequently Asked Questions - OPT
Optional Practical Training (OPT) is temporary employment that is directly related to an F-1 student’s major area of study. Under the prior rules, an F-1 student could be authorized to receive up to a total of 12 months of practical training either before (pre-) and/or after (post-) completion of studies.
A1. You can consider going back to school or B-1/B-2 status. There is information on our blog on B-1/B-2 to maintain status.
As long as you had filed your extension application before expiration of the current status, you are not illegal as long as the case is pending. You are in
1. Your H-4 application must reach USCIS before expiration of your OPT (although it could be argued that you have an extra 60 days, but I stay away from having to argue).
2. No different than filing a new H-1.
3. You could have a difficult time entering if cutting too close the end, although, legally you are entitled to it as long as you have a job in your field that you have been performing on your OPT.
This section of the FAQ applies to continuing F-1 students who travel outside the United States for five months or less.