Last week, went to have dinner with few of my college friends. Over dinner, when we were discussing the typical “what next?”topic, one of my friends brought to me a wonderful news.. The time-limit for Optional Practical Training time limit has been extended from 12 months to 29 months!!

Now this was one of the best things regarding overseas MBA that I had heard in recent times. Over the last few months, I’ve been used to listen to horror stories of upcoming recession, Visa problems, Striggle with internships and more things like that.. This was making life a bit tough for me as after having delved so deep into US B-school research, I desperately want to have that experience first-hand. But at the same time, it’s not easy to ignore the mentioned factors, particularly for a middle-class Indian.

But this news was a new ray of hope for me.  Considering that my long-tems goals are in India and I only intend to  just for 2.5-3 years in the States mostly due to 2 reasons: to have some quality work-experience that’ll make me a strong candidate for recruitment when I return to India and to pay off my loans. (Yup, this time may not be enough for paying off the loans completely, but still at the end of this duration, I expect the remainder would be easily payable in the INR salary  as well.) 29 months was just the right period for me as per my plans. 🙂 That would mean no problems even if there’re Visa-problems later on..
I hurriedly finished off the meal and rushed back to check the details of the story. And this was the time for the heart-break. 🙁 The extension is only for science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) students. Read more here: Somebody at Pagalguy interpreted it to be applicable to MBA students as well. He dug out a list at Stren where “Budiness administration” falls under the list of ” Engineering Technologies” (How?? :-o)  But I was not convinced. And a Google search made sure that MBA students are not covered under this extension.  (See the “eligible STEM degrees” questions here. 🙁 )

So what next?? I hope B-schools will push this matter further  and get the extension extended to MBA students. Meanwhile I’ll continue working on my finances and see how things turn up. Anyone having any update on the issue, please let me know by dropping a comment here.


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3 Responses to “OPT Extension:: Some hope and then heartbreak!!”

  1. Maxwriter says:

    Hey man, something similar happened to me too! And pretty much in the same boat as you are. Where are you from? I am an engineer from Bangalore.

  2. missionmba says:

    hahaha!! Am sure this happenned to almost every B-school aspirant. 🙂
    Am from Noida and of course, a S/W engineer 🙁

  3. Mike says:

    Hi guys,

    I am in the same problem. The only think that we can do is send our comment to include MBA degrees to the goverment site.

    Here is the information:

    Docket ID ICEB-2008-0002
    Docket Title Extending Period of Optional Practical Training by 17-Months for F-1 Nonimmigrant Students with STEM Degrees and Expanding Cap-Gap Relief for All F-1 Students with Pending H-1B Petitions
    Document ID ICEB-2008-0002-0001

    Here is the link:

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