I'm currently on post-completion OPT, but my start date is in September. I'm a Canadian citizen and had planned a week-long trip to the US in August. My school advisor said that I could not switch status from F1/OPT to B2/tourist without my F1 being cancelled and my OPT being revoked. She also said it was OK to enter the US prior to starting employment.

However, I wonder if entering twice is another issue. It seems like I might not be able to go on this trip given I can't enter as a tourist and yet I'm not there to start work, so I'm not sure if I can be admitted under F1. It just seems surprising that as a Canadian I wouldn't be able to visit the US (without losing my OPT status). Is there any way I can enter and leave the US to go on this trip prior to starting work?


1 Answer 1


A Google search for "opt reentry as tourist" shows that many universities say the same thing your advisor told you, that being admitted to the US as a tourist would invalidate your OPT.

You've correctly identified the potential problem: "I'm not there to start work, so I'm not sure if I can be admitted under F1". The limitation seems surprising, and you're not even guaranteed to have problems with it, but it's too much of a risk. You would be well advised to enter the US only for the purpose of your OPT work. In your case this means either cancelling your week-long trip, or going to it with the plan to stay in the US until you start work.

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