Family emergency and traveling on OPT

  1. My father died last week. The funeral has been set for June 14th. I figure that I have a month and a half to get myself together and figure out how I'll not only go home for the funeral but (and here's the kicker) be able to come back, complete my OPT and (hopefully) get a greencard.

    Here are my circumstances. I've been on F1 status in the US for 9 years. I graduated from nursing school four weeks ago, got my EAD card 3 weeks ago, passed the boards two weeks ago and have a job offer. The start date is May 7th. I've talked to their HR people and they'd be willing to file papers for me so long as I take care of all the paperwork.

    Problem is, my F1 visa has expired and if I travel out of the US, I'll need to get another one at the US embassy before I can come back. Half of my family are strongly advising me against coming back for the funeral. They feel that the risk is too great. I come from Africa and even though my record is clean, they fear that I've been here too long for a non-immigrant and I may be denied a visa since I've already graduated. The other half agree with them but tell me to do what I want. I have friends who have gone back to their home countries in the middle of their degree programs and have had to wait up to 3 months for a new F1 visa. I don't know anyone who has traveled while on OPT post-graduation.

    If any of you have any ideas or suggestions, please let me know. If you know of or have heard of anyone in a similar situation as me (traveling on OPT), let me know how they resolved it. Please don't censor yourselves if you have bad news. I can take it.

    Thank you all in advance.
  2. Visit nikita101 profile page

    About nikita101

    Joined: Oct '06; Posts: 34

    5 Comments

  3. by   coolvibesRN
    Sorry to hear about your dad.Hope everything works out for you.
    In order to come back to the us you'll need a valid visa. OPT is just for training purposes only, and excuses you from attending school for that period. If you go then youll need to go the embassy in your country for another visa which you may get or be denied. They might also see that you already graduated, and deny you an f-1 visa. Also theyll see how long you've been in the us.
    If i were you, i would just wait for the employer to petition and get the green card before travelling. Good luck.
  4. by   suzanne4
    Speak to an immigration attorney as soon as possible and see what they advise. Your issue will be with returning to the US, not leaving. And that is at the whim of the person that is at immigration when you return. No matter what type of visa or document that you have.

    And my sympathy to you for your father's passing. Know that you were able to make him proud of you for what you have accomplished.
  5. by   jonRNMD
    im very sorry to hear about your father......it is best to speak to an experienced immigration lawyer about your situation....good luck and God bless
  6. by   lawrence01
    My condolences. Take the advice from Suzanne and JonRNMD.
  7. by   nikita101
    Thanks everyone. I'll get on that.

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