If you plan to return to your country after graduation, or within a year thereafter, there is no need to read on. However, if your plan is to reside in the U.S. on either a temporary or a permanent basis after graduation, this section will explain how to obtain temporary work visas (H-1Bs).

Temporary Work VisasIf your job requires that you possess a college degree, you may be eligible to change your status from F-1 practical training to H-1B temporary working status in 30 to 60 days. Again, it is best to begin your H-1B process as soon as possible. If your Employment Authorization Document I-766 expires before your application for a change of status is approved, your permission to be employed terminates immediately.

The immigration law refers to H-1B workers, not as professionals, but as workers in “specialty occupations”. Specialty occupations include almost any job for which a university diploma, or its equivalent, in a specific field is a prerequisite for employment. Accountants, architects, attorneys, many types of business managers, computer programmers, dentists, engineers, physicians, systems analysts, and various types of business, medical and scientific workers may qualify for H-1B status. However, if you graduated with a B.A. in the humanities or social sciences, you may have difficulty in finding employment which will qualify you for H- 1B status.

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