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Which kinds of companies are capable of assisting you in maintaining your F-1 Status throughout your Optional Practical Training (OPT) period?

What Types of Companies Can OPT Be Affiliated With?

However, when considering affiliating with a friend’s company, one should be extra cautious and ensure compliance with relevant laws and regulations. Affiliating with a friend’s company may pose some potential risks, such as raising suspicions about the legality of the internship or the friend’s company may not be able to provide an internship environment and guidance that meets OPT requirements. Additionally, affiliating with a friend’s company may affect interpersonal relationships, so this choice should be carefully considered.

In conclusion, when selecting a company for affiliation, it’s essential to choose carefully and ensure that the company is legally registered, relevant to one’s field of study, and able to provide a good internship environment and guidance. Affiliating with a friend’s company may entail risks that need to be carefully evaluated. Most importantly, students should adhere to relevant laws and regulations to ensure that their internship experience is legal, beneficial, and conducive to future career development.

Can OPT Be Self-Employed?

Self-employment is possible (can resolve your 90 days unemployment OPT失业期), but consultation with a lawyer is necessary. Self-employment involves annual state inspections and tax inspections, and in the event that the company ceases operations, it must be closed. Otherwise, the accumulated company inspection and tax inspection fees will be recorded in your SSN record, which will affect future visa applications and credit background checks. It is important to remember!

How to Choose a Good OPT Affiliation Company

Choosing a good affiliation company is crucial for international students as it directly impacts their internship experience and future career development. Here are some suggestions to help international students choose a good affiliation company:

Relevance to the Major: Students should choose a company relevant to their field of study. Affiliating with a company in a related field can provide students with internship experience closer to their major and enhance their competitiveness in the job market.

Company Reputation and Image: Students should investigate the reputation and image of the affiliation company. They can do this by checking the company’s official website, reading customer and employee reviews, and communicating with current or former employees to understand the working environment and corporate culture.

Internship Opportunities and Projects: Students should choose companies that offer a wide range of internship opportunities and projects. They can do this by reviewing the company’s recruitment information, understanding the company’s business scope and project types, and communicating with human resources or internship project managers to determine whether the company can provide internship opportunities that meet their needs.

Guidance and Training: Students should choose companies that can provide good guidance and training. Affiliating with a company with a good mentoring system or training program can help students integrate into the work environment more easily, learn quickly, and grow during the internship.

Work Environment and Culture: Students should choose companies whose values and work styles match their own. They can do this by attending the company’s job fairs or interviews, communicating with company employees, and personally visiting the company’s office to understand the working atmosphere and culture.

Legal Compliance: Students should ensure that the selected company complies with relevant US laws and regulations and can provide an internship environment that meets OPT requirements. They can consult the international student office or professional consultants at their school for information on the legal provisions and guidelines for OPT affiliation(OPT挂靠).

Personal Development Opportunities: Students should choose companies that can provide personal development opportunities and career advancement space. They can do this by understanding the company’s promotion path and employee training plan, as well as communicating with current company employees to determine whether the company can help them achieve their personal and career development goals.

What is OPT affiliation?

OPT affiliation is an internship arrangement that allows international students holding F-1 visas to extend their stay in the United States after graduation and gain work experience in American companies or organizations. Typically, affiliation refers to international students interning at a company without directly signing a formal employment contract with that company. Instead, they are connected through a third-party organization, often a human resources intermediary or internship service provider. This third-party organization enters into a contract with the company and then dispatches the international student to intern at the company.

Interns affiliated with OPT usually gain practical work experience at the company, which helps enrich their resumes and enhance their competitiveness in the job market. At the same time, the affiliating company also has the opportunity to assess the intern’s performance during the internship period, providing a reference for potential formal employment in the future.

Affiliation under OPT must comply with the regulations of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). However, it is worth noting that affiliation must meet the requirements for Full-Time work during OPT as set by the USCIS: “Post-completion OPT: You may apply to participate in post-completion OPT after completing your studies. If you are authorized for post-completion OPT, you must work part time (at least 20 hours per week) or full time.” It also needs to ensure that the internship is related to the student’s field of study and is conducted in a legally registered operating company. Additionally, the affiliating company must comply with relevant laws and regulations to ensure that the intern receives necessary guidance and support during the internship period, as well as a work environment that meets OPT requirements. 

Risks Associated with OPT Affiliation

Legal Compliance Risk: Affiliating companies may not comply with USCIS regulations, resulting in the intern’s affiliation not meeting legal requirements. If the affiliating company engages in violations, the intern may face consequences such as the revocation of OPT eligibility, deportation, or rejection of future visa applications.

Internship Quality Risk: Some affiliating companies may fail to provide an internship environment and guidance that meet OPT requirements, resulting in interns being unable to gain beneficial work experience. This could impact the intern’s career development and waste their time and resources.

Safety and Security Risk: Affiliating companies may fail to ensure the safety and rights of interns. In unsafe working environments or when problems arise, interns may not receive timely support and protection.

Contract Dispute Risk: Contract disputes or other conflicts between interns and affiliating companies may lead to legal disputes and negative consequences. Therefore, interns need to carefully read and understand contract terms before choosing an affiliating company to ensure their rights are protected.

Reputation and Trust Risk: Some affiliating companies may have a poor reputation or trust issues. Interns need to investigate and assess the reputation and reliability of affiliating companies to minimize risks.

Impact on Future Career Development: If an intern’s internship experience does not meet expectations or fails to be recognized, it may affect their future career development and employment opportunities.

Measures to Prevent Legal Risks Associated with OPT Affiliation

While affiliation offers many benefits, students still need to be cautious of potential risks during the selection process. On one hand, they should guard against unscrupulous affiliating companies that may provide false information or engage in fraudulent behavior. Students should verify the legitimacy of companies when making selections. On the other hand, attention should be paid to safety issues in the work environment to ensure that affiliating companies comply with hygiene standards and legal requirements, protecting the physical and mental health of students. In addition, students should understand their supervisory rights during the affiliation process to ensure their interests are not violated. It is also essential to confirm that the company is not on any blacklist.

In conclusion, while affiliation in the United States can indeed create better career development opportunities for students, caution should be exercised when selecting companies. Students should carefully assess risks, choose legal and reputable companies, and strictly comply with relevant laws, regulations, and provisions to safeguard their rights and interests.

When choosing a company, international students should consider various aspects such as the company’s physical office, official website, qualifications, reputation, and services to identify legitimate companies and avoid pitfalls related to their visas. Additionally, students should have a clear understanding of their visa affairs to minimize any unnecessary risks.

MaxOPT is dedicated to maintaining your status during OPT, extending OPT, converting your status, addressing Day-1CPT enrollment concerns, applying for spousal visas within the US, conducting background check.

IEMA IEMLabs
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IEMLabs is an ISO 27001:2013 and ISO 9001:2015 certified company, we are also a proud member of EC Council, NASSCOM, Data Security Council of India (DSCI), Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC), U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). The company was established in 2016 with a vision in mind to provide Cyber Security to the digital world and make them Hack Proof. The question is why are we suddenly talking about Cyber Security and all this stuff? With the development of technology, more and more companies are shifting their business to Digital World which is resulting in the increase in Cyber Crimes.
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