October 25, 2019
F1 Visa, Health Insurance, OPT, Optional Practical Training
Optional Practical Training (OPT) allows international students with student visa (generally F-1) to take up full-time or part-time jobs in the US during or immediately after completion of their higher studies.
If permitted by United States Citizenship and Immigration Service, they can work for a period of 12 months despite not having H1B visa. However, students who get work under OPT do not always get covered under employer’s group insurance scheme.
A student wanting to take Optional Practical Training has two following options:
Pre-completion OPT – A student can apply for OPT permit even while his degree course is ongoing. However, to get an OPT, the student must show that he or she has completed one academic year in the college or university.
Post-completion OPT – After completing his/her degree, a student can apply for OPT. It gives student a 12 month period (recently extended to 17 months only for STEM course students).- A student can take up full-time jobs after getting permission from authorities for OPT.
Note of Caution: During “pre-completion OPT”, students are expected not to miss their classes or course related work for job. They can only work full-time when their college or university is not in session. Also, certain jobs are beyond the purview of OPT. Students are advised to first find out the legal validity of their work with local authorities before take up any job.
In a country like the US where the cost of treatment is very high, a person without a proper health insurance protection faces huge financial risk in the event of major medical expenditure. Students, who earlier purchased university sponsored student health insurance plans during their course period, do not qualify for the same after graduating or completing their course.
Students who wish to work in the US should make use of OPT facility to get industry experience so as to prepare themselves for a long career ahead. In addition to that, they should also not take healthcare related risks lightly. Even if the cost of health insurance comes out to be higher than those available as student, they are still very cheap as compared to the cost of treatment in the US.
Disclaimer: The information provided above is based on personal research and understanding of the writer. Readers are advised to exercise discretion while taking any decision. Student Cover will not be held liable for any misunderstanding or misinterpretation of the facts or information given in the article above.
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