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Left the country but need OPT

Discussion in 'Cultural, Training, Student Visa' started by Flora Iton, Apr 15, 2020.

  1. Flora Iton

    Flora Iton Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Can I file my OPT from my home country?
    Our college let out early, so I had to leave the country in a hurry because of the COVID pandemic and I hadn't started filing my OPT yet.
    Now that I am back in my home country (Latin America), I hear I can no longer file my OPT because I have to be on US soil to do that.
    Can I come back on my F1 Visa, even if I will only be able to return after my graduation date has passed. Obviously we forfeit an official graduation since we all had to go home.
  2. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    I found the following but have no idea how it might apply to you:

    Optional Practical Training (OPT) for F-1 Students

    I suggest you contact the USCIS customer service number. From outside the US call 212-620-3418.

    Or contact the US embassy in your country.
  3. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    The institution of higher learning might be able to advise you further.

    Why not make a phone call or two in an effort to see what you can learn from the university/college about how you should next proceed?

    I am hearing through the grapevine that SOME universities are waiving or excusing additional requirements beyond successfully completing the required coursework.
    hrforme likes this.
  4. flyingron

    flyingron Well-Known Member

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    You have 12 months from the point you completed your program of study to perform OPT. That clock ran from the time you ceased attending classes (the "formal" graduation is immaterial). If you want to come back and work before those 12 months are up, I see no reason why that wouldn't be permitted.

    If you want an exception to allow you to arrive after twelve months or work OPT longer than 12, that would depend on all sorts of details you've not expressed (and whether the government decides to give any covid-specific relief).

    As suggested, the first place to start was the school's international students office.

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