Remote Work as An International Student

Optional Practical Training, or OPT, allows international students to receive a year of work authorization in the United States to gain real experience in their fields of study. However, is it possible that, given that OPT promotes work authorization for the United States, an international student can work remotely for a company that is not in the United States?
The short answer to this question is yes! OPT can also be completed remotely, thanks to the surge in remote job opportunities this decade. While one might think OPT is the authorization to work in the United States, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to work for a company based in the country. All OPT does is extend your student visa and allow you to earn a profit legally in the United States without compromising your status.
If you are doing pre-completion OPT, you can work up to 20 hours a week as a student during an academic period, even if you have more than one job. So, if you have an on-campus job and want to work on your OPT, the combined number of hours you work in a week for both positions should be, at most, 20 hours. If you are doing post-completion OPT after you graduate, you can work part-time for up to 20 hours a week or full-time.
For more information and resources for international students, be sure to check out the Center for International Students and Scholars (CISS) and their website. With CareerEdge, you can also open up an account on Interstride, which allows you to connect with employers and network with international students like you!

By Isabella Ampié
Isabella Ampié