If you traveled to the US on a student visa, you may receive a job offer and wish to stay in the country once your studies finish. Student visas only allow you 60 days to leave the country once your course ends. If you do not go in time, your visa will be considered “out of status.” Overstaying your visa, even by a few days, will make it harder to return in the future.

If you have a job offer, you will need to apply for an employment visa. You have two ways to do this:

  • Apply for a change of status while still in the US: If choosing this option, make sure you allow plenty of time. If your change of status application is not completed within two months of your studies ending, you will need to leave the country.
  • Leave the country and apply for a new visa: The advantage of this is that it removes the time pressure. The disadvantage is that you have to buy flights, and may feel that if you leave, it will be harder to return. Perhaps your father will try and convince you to enter the family business, or your mother will pressure you to stay and look after her in her old age.

There is no general employment visa. There are different types, given for specific professions and purposes. For instance, if you plan to run Indian dance workshops, your visa will be different than if you are a highly valued scientist or in-demand basketball player. Immigration rules can be challenging to understand, and the paperwork can be taxing to complete. It is best to seek legal help with such important matters.