OPT Offer Letter Question

Recently a reader asked a couple of questions related to the requirements for OPT sponsorship and how these requirements could later effect H-1B sponsorship. Here are the questions and answers.

1) Will it be a problem for me as a manufacturing graduate working for the IT industry even though my employer XYZ, a consulting firm, has agreed to name title and job responsibility according to my educational background in a offer letter that will suffice my work to apply for OPT extension?

ANSWER: The legal answer is that “Optional Practical Training (OPT) is temporary employment that is directly related to an F-1 student’s major area of study.” What the term “directly related,” however, is not clearly defined by the immigration regulations. On its face, there is nothing that would preclude the IT industry from being directly related to a manufacturing degree. In plain English, what you need to show for each job is: (1) the position held; (2) the duration of that position; (3) the job title; (4) the contact information of your employer; and (5) the description of the work. In all of these factors, the student should be honest, but there is nothing dishonest about drawing a correlation between the specific position and the specific major through the use of specific terminology.

2) Is a client letter also necessary to apply for opt extension?(Since client won’t change my job role and responsibility as my employer did)

ANSWER: Generally, the answer is no. I say generally because there can always be an exception, but the only company responsible for providing documentary evidence supporting sponsorship of an F-1 student for optional practical training (OPT) is the employer. Stated in plain English, an employer is not required to provide a letter from its client when sponsoring an alien worker, although such letters may be submitted.

3) XYZ, consulting firm, is also saying that they will sponsor my H-1B next year and they have system based application in place where the employer generates its own application . So they can file for me with my education qualification and I will not have to worry about a client letter. So how does it sounds to you, can I proceed with them on OPT and H-1B for future?

ANSWER: An H-1B Petition is entirely sponsored by the employer, so much the same as the answer to question number 2, there is no requirement to provide a letter from the end client; however, letters from the end client may be submitted to support an employer’s petition. H-1B petitions do not carry a requirement for a specific major. All that is generally required for an H-1B Petition, at a minimum, is that the Beneficiary holds a Bachelor’s Degree. So in plain English, XYZ Corporation appears to be operating within acceptable practices of the immigration regulations, which should not have a negative consequence for an OPT or H-1B candidate.

For more information on F-1 OPT Policy click here.

The above is not legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is provided for informational purposes only. For specific information on the facts of a particular case, it is recommended that our readers consult with an experienced immigration attorney.


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