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Visas after Graduation

After you finish your Cornell degree, you may want to work in the United States for a while. Working will give you practical training and experience and allow you to apply the knowledge you’ve gained to real-world problems.  

Types of Work Authorization 

There are several possibilities for work authorization in the United States. Here are the most common: 

F-1 Optional Practical Training

Optional Practical Training (OPT) is a benefit and an extension of F-1 student status. It allows you to apply what you learned in your degree program to off-campus work in your field of study. OPT is most commonly taken after graduation.

J-1 Academic Training

J-1 Academic Training is a type of employment directly related to your major area of study. You can take it either during the course of your studies or after graduation.

H-1B Temporary Worker

This visa category will allow you to work in the United States if you are qualified to work in a specialty occupation (most require advanced degrees) or if you wish to take a job with a U.S. Department of Defense research and development project.

TN (Canadians and Mexicans)

If you are a qualified Canadian or Mexican citizen, the TN nonimmigrant visa permits you to seek temporary entry into the United States to engage in professional activities.

Permanent Residency (Green Card)

A green card allows you to live and work permanently in the United States. There are many eligibility categories, including through marriage to a United States citizen. 

Visas after Graduation Workshop 

Workshops in February and October

Twice a year, in February and October, we host Immigration Workshops. The Visas after Graduation workshop for international students covers the procedures for working in the United States immediately after graduation, working long-term in the U.S., and eventually becoming a permanent resident (green card holder) if you desire.

You can also view a video of the Visas after Graduation workshop.

Find out more about Office of Global Learning immigration workshops.