What can I do if I am a student on an F1 visa and recently completed my MBA but cannot find employment?

UPDATED: Aug 31, 2014

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What can I do if I am a student on an F1 visa and recently completed my MBA but cannot find employment?

I am a student on an F1 visa and recently completed my MBA from a top 15 ranked business school in the US. I am currently on my OPT now (started this month according to my EAD), however I have been having trouble finding a full-time or part-time job. I am trying my best to secure employment but I wanted to also know my other options. I have a little more than 2 months left on my OPT and I was wondering if there’s anything else I can do to legally stay in the country (apart from going back to college). For example, does volunteering count as being “employed”?

Asked on August 31, 2014 under Immigration Law, New York


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Here is what I have found:

Students on OPT cannot accrue more than 90 cumulative days of unemployment during the 12-month period of OPT.  If you accumulate 90 days of unemployment, your legal F-1 status ends immediately as of the 91st day.  Before the 91st day, you will need to make arrangements to leave the U.S., start a new degree program, or change to a different status.  If you are still in the U.S. after 90 days of unemployment, you have no legal status.

Volunteering can be considered "employment" but there are certain criteria. I am going to give you a link to information that is actually from the University of Iowa, in an effort to help their students in the same situation that you are in.  Good luck.


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