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Is there a way to apply to OPT again at the same education level?

Clemson, SC |

I applied for OPT at the Masters level but didn't use it, as I got admitted into a PhD program. But I couldn't pass preliminary exams and I was out of the PhD program. Then I thought of getting another Masters and apply for OPT but I was told by my international office that I can't apply again to OPT. Right now I'm back in my home country, India, but still have F-1 visa valid until 2018. I got a MS in Mathematics and education jobs are difficult to get in India as my education has been in US(I even got BS in Math from US) and also there is a lot of competition here in India. I think that I should be allowed to apply for OPT or else I'll be jobless for a longtime.

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Attorney answers 2


You cannot apply for OPT unless you complete another program in the US.

Please note that this posting does not constitute legal advice or create any attorney-client relationship with the inquirer. Avvo is a useful forum to obtain general information on legal issues, but is not a substitute for direct, confidential consultation with an attorney in any legal matter.


OPT rules are rather strict about when you are eligible. You must sign up based on a degreed course of study either in your final year(s) of study toward the degree or within a fixed period of time after completing your degree. You have left the US which leaves you without any immigration "status" in the US. OPT is an extension of your F-1 student status which is now over. Unfortunately, you are out of luck. Sorry.

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