What decisions must international graduate students make regarding their stay in the U.S.?

Young people worldwide have been drawn to the United States for millennia to pursue advanced education. Following graduation, some students who come to the United States for a highly regarded education choose to remain there and effectively contribute their talents and expertise to the American labor force.

When obtaining nationality, international students get an opportunity above other non-natives since they have already been granted entry to enter the country legally for educational purposes. You have a few possibilities for changing your F-1 visa status into lawful residency once you graduate.

It is to your best advantage to start planning for your next move well before you graduate because your F-1 visa only allows you to remain in the country for 60 days after graduation. We’ll review seven alternatives in this article for extending your stay in the country once you graduate.

How to become a citizen based on a job for an international student

If you choose to stay in the United States, several options are available. Remember that it may take a long time to become a permanent U.S. resident, regardless of your route. And while you wait to apply for citizenship, staying in the U.S. will increase your prospects.

Students who need someone to “take my online class” ask for an online service. Here are three typical methods for extending your stay connected to your career.

Optional training in practice (OPT)

Undergraduate and graduate students with F-1 visas may participate in an additional actual training course. OPT enables these students to remain and work in the U.S. for a full year. Students should have completed their degree or studied in the USA for an entire academic year to qualify for this program.

There are several things to think about if you choose to pursue OPT after graduation:

• The profession you hold should be connected to the subject matter of your education.

• To qualify for the program, students must submit working visa paperwork to USCIS.

• If you’re admitted into the program while you’re still enrolled in school, you can only work a maximum of 20 hours a week while classes are in session.

It could be beneficial to seek advice from the international student counselor at your university when conducting a job search for OPT positions. Additionally, sites like OPT Nation might offer valuable career leads. Consider looking for a contract job that only needs someone for a specific time. Contract positions are distinctive since the company is only trying to fill a role for a short period; employers frequently seek people who might stay at their organization for the long term.

Green card

For any non-native person in the United States, getting a permanent residency is the ultimate aim. Students are more likely to be granted green cards since they have already lived legally in the United States for a considerable period.

Although you can only enter the country on an H-1B visa for a finite period, a green card is your ticket to a long-term residence. Anyone may work wherever in the U.S., get benefits, and stay there permanently if they have a green card.

Green card status is harder to achieve and typically takes a long time as it is in high demand. That’s not inconceivable, though. In the ideal situation, you had shown your U.S. employer that you were a useful employee of their business when you were on another visa. As a consequence, they are sponsoring your green card petition. Green card sponsorship deals, meanwhile, are not just available for appeals based on work; you could also “personality” for a green card. Check the USCIS website’s Green Card Qualifying page for further information.

The route used by an international student toward citizenship without regard to employment

Family sponsorship right away

If a citizen of the United States resides in your close family, they may support someone for green card status. Your partner, child above the age of 21, guardian, or siblings, must sponsor you. To prove your connection, you would complete Forms I-130, Petition for Alien Relative.


A spouse or fiancé may apply for a visa or permanent residence on your behalf. Marriage to a U.S. citizen does not necessarily entitle you to U.S. citizenship; you must first establish the legitimacy and reality of the union.


You can apply for green card status if you’ve received asylum in the U.S. and have been there for at least a year. You might need to provide evidence that you are still an asylum seeker under the initial conditions you were granted asylum when you applied for a green card.

Military service

At the time of this article’s publishing, international students who have studied at a university in the U.S. for more than two years would be able to serve in the U.S. military without a green card in specific roles like interpreting or medical-related disciplines. Nevertheless, security clearances and higher-ranking posts are only available to citizens and people with green cards.

While there isn’t a clear road to green card status if you join the U.S. military, you will be able to accelerate your path to citizenship by skipping the five years of necessary residency in the country. It would be best if you were informed that the military may help you on your way to becoming a citizen and that this option could not be accessible shortly.

Getting ready for the future before graduating

Your time in the U.S. doesn’t need to end after crossing the platform and receiving your diploma. But don’t put off organizing your prolonged stay until several months before graduation. There are numerous ways you may begin preparing early as an F-1 student. For instance, you are permitted to participate in unpaid internships while in school, so this professional experience may assist you in obtaining employment once you have graduated.

This may also work to your advantage by enabling you to gain a thorough understanding of potential employers’ visa procedures and requirements so that you can guide them thru the process if they’re not familiar with the demands placed on visa holders. Additionally, you might practice for interviews and improve your resume. Make sure your successes and skills are noticeable, so businesses want to invest more in you.