Skip to main content

Can I have an unpaid internship if I am in the U.S. on an OPT status?

By June 25, 2020June 14th, 2021Questions & Answers
Startup Stock Photos: Labeled for reuse<

If you studied in the U.S. on an F-1 visa and you are currently in the U.S. on a post completion OPT, you may be wondering if you can get an unpaid internship given that many companies stopped their hiring process due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The short answer is yes. There is no requirement in the immigration regulations that you have to a paid employment if you are in the U.S. on an OPT status. You can get an unpaid internship but you will still have to comply with requirements such as that the internship has to be related to your field of study and you have to intern at least 20 hours per week.

Additionally, the company that will have you as an intern should make sure that it complies with all federal and state laws regarding unpaid internships. Please note that this blog post only analyzed the situation from immigration law perspective and you should contact an employment law attorney if you have any questions about the federal or state laws regarding unpaid internships.

Please click here to find out more about the post completion OPT.

Please click here to find out if you can enroll into another university when you were not selected in the H-1B lottery.

Please click here if you want to find out more about the STEM OPT extension.

FREE Visa Resources

Click on the buttons below in order to claim your free Visa Guide (E-1, E-2, TN, EB-5, H-1B, L-1, PERM, NIW, EB-1, O-1, E-3), sign up for our free Webinar, join our Facebook Group, or watch our videos.

Download FREE Visa Guide
Sign Up For Our Webinar
Join Our Facebook Group
Watch Our Videos

Set up a Visa or Green Card Consultation

For a dedicated one-on-one consultation with one of our lawyers, click on the button below to schedule your consultation.

Schedule a consultation

This website and blog constitutes attorney advertising. Do not consider anything in this website or blog legal advice and nothing in this website constitutes an attorney-client relationship being formed. Set up a one-hour consultation with us before acting on anything you read here. Past results are no guarantee of future results and prior results do not imply or predict future results. Each case is different and must be judged on its own merits.

Leave a Reply