I graduated last May and was granted OPT. I went back to the UK for the summer, with the intention of returning to the US in July when my new job began. Sadly, my mother became very sick and was admitted to the hospital for 3 months, which meant that I couldn't return to the US for my job. There were many family factors involved, but now I finally have the time to return to the US. I need to do so not to work, but to collect my things and sell my car, and deal with some matters that my friends couldn't help me with as I have to be there in person. It's been a tough year! Does anyone have advice for this situation? Should I apply for an ESTA to come into the US, or travel on my OPT still? I'm not sure what to do... but I do need to go to the US asap!

Thank you for any advice.

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    In general, an F-1 student on post-completion OPT may travel outside the U.S. temporarily and be readmitted to resume F-1 status and employment for the remainder of the period authorized on his or her EAD card. The student must not have exceeded the maximum OPT unemployment or OPT STEM Extension unemployment time. I would recommend ESTA, your OPT is dead because you admit you’re no longer going for work. Jan 17 '19 at 9:56
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    @HonoraryWorldCitizen That should be an answer, not a comment. Jan 17 '19 at 12:14
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    Even if you had a job offer and were going for work, you still couldn't go on your F1 visa to work on OPT anyway, because you cannot have more than 90 days of unemployment cumulatively on OPT (or 150 days total if on STEM OPT extension), and you have already exceeded that.
    – user102008
    Jan 17 '19 at 16:49

Two points: 1. I called 1-202-325-5120 (number found here: https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/ ) and was able to speak with someone who said I could travel to the US as a tourist on an ESTA with a return flight. 2. Thank you all for your help! I only made the phone call after reading the advice, that my F1-OPT was definitely done. All makes sense now. Many thanks!

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