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I was an F1 student in the USA till Sept 2014. Then I had a job offer in S. America that started in Jan 2015 (so I am living in S. America now). As soon as I graduated in Sept, my major program switched my status to 'Research Scientist'. So I continued working at the same university from Sept-Dec 2014 in an OPT. So my re-stamped I20 (and of course the OPT card) is valid till Sept 2015. My F1 visa won't actually expire till 2016.

Now, I want to visit my friends in the USA next month (April 2015). In this case, would I have any problems at the port of entry with the immigration officers?

My only concern is that, though my travel documents haven't expired, the university might have put a note such as 'this person is no longer working with us', which could have terminated the validity of my I20, and there's no way of knowing this.

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    What country issued your passport? – Michael Hampton Mar 14 '15 at 13:44
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    Ask your university!! Check with them!! Your university's international programs office may have "put a note" on your status. I was on OPT and then left the USA in May 2014 (OPT was valid until Aug 2014). I still have an un-expired US visa (expires Nov 2016). The university "cancelled (for lack of a better word)" my OPT and hence annulled my US post-completion OPT to save me from accruing "unemployed" duration. In effect, I couldn't travel to the US bet May-Aug 2014 even though my F1 was valid since my OPT was "closed". – dearN Mar 14 '15 at 16:01
  • @drN Looks like I am virtually in the same situation as you were! I do plan to contact the school tomorrow, but I think I will apply for B1/B2 when I plan to go. Thank you for the response. :) – lima2015 Mar 15 '15 at 7:03
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First, OPT has a requirement that you cannot have more than 90 cumulative days of not being employed in the U.S. So if you stopped working in December, by April you will already have more than 90 cumulative days of unemployment, and you will have violated the terms of your OPT and you won't have OPT anymore.

Even if someone has not violated the terms of their OPT, immigrations officers will generally not let someone back in on OPT unless they have either 1) paystubs or other documents showing continuing employment with an existing employer in the U.S., or 2) an offer letter for a new upcoming employment in the U.S. You don't have either, so even if your OPT was still valid, you would probably still not get in.

Yes, your F1 visa is valid. But the visa is useless unless you have a student program or OPT to go into, which you won't have in April.

You should get a B2 visa for visiting friends.

  • Ah, did not know about the '90 days'. Yes, I will apply for a visitor visa then. Thank you for your detailed response. – lima2015 Mar 15 '15 at 7:01

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