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Employment Authorization query - On STEM OPT, Unemployment period ending soon, How can I remain in-status?

Quincy, MA |

I am currently on STEM extension Employment Authorization. I recently lost my job and have till July 31st to find another job (120 days unemployment allowed). If I don't get a job by then:
Q1. What can I do to remain in-status? (eg. get a tourist, J-1 visa etc)
Q2. When is the last date I can apply?
Q3. Is there a grace period if by July end I don't already have a new visa but have already applied for a new one?
Q4. Can I keep looking for jobs after July 31?
Other info:
(1) My F-1 visa has expired but I have maintained status because of my I-20 and EAD (STEM OPT) card which has end date of June 2014.
(2) I have an advanced degree (PhD, Biomedical Engineering)
(3) I am unmarried, no dependents
(4) My fiancee has a green card (Will use this route as last resort)

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Attorney answers 3


Depends on what you plan to do once your EAD ends. If you are looking for a job, you need to look for a non for profit or a university position so you can file for a quota exempt H1, or otherwise qualify for a J1. Yes you can apply to change status to a tourist visa before your current status expires.

Business Immigration Attorney. For H, L, J, EB5s, PERM and EB1/2/3 Petitions. Call 800-688-7892 or visit Law Office of Anu Gupta. The advice suggested here is for general information only and not to be construed as legal advice.


1. Change status or go back to school.
2. Before you reach the maximum allowed period of unemployment.
3. No
4. Sure, but you will not be able to work.

J Charles Ferrari Eng & Nishimura 213.622.2255 The statement above is general in nature and does not constitute legal advice, as not all the facts are known. You should retain an attorney to review all the facts specific to your case in order to receive advise specific to your case. The statement above does not create an attorney/client relationship. Answers on Avvo can only be general ones, as specific answers would require knowledge of all the facts. As such, they may or may not apply to the question.


I agree with my colleagues.

Behar Intl. Counsel 619.234.5962 Kindly be advised that the answer above is only general in nature cannot be construed as legal advice, given that not enough facts are known. It is your responsibility to retain a lawyer to analyze the facts specific to your particular situation in order to give you specific advice. Specific answers will require cognizance of all pertinent facts about your case. Any answers offered on Avvo are of a general nature only, and are not meant to create an attorney-client relationship.