Looseness of OPT Rules Exposed in an Ad for a Wedding Coordinator

By David North on December 19, 2019

The utter lack of any linkage between one's college education and the "training" required under the Optional Practical Training program was shown in a recent online employment ad for a bilingual wedding coordinator that included under qualifications: "Valid working visa or status in the United States (F-1, J-1 visa holders and OPT are welcome)."

Workers under the OPT program, former F-1 foreign students at U.S. colleges and universities, are supposed to be engaged in practical training, usually full-time and paid, in a line of work for which their college degree prepared them.

One wonders what possible college curriculum could lead logically to on-the-job training as a bilingual wedding coordinator. Or is OPT just another — very large — foreign worker program with minimal rules? I strongly suspect the latter.

Incidentally, one also wonders how a person on the J-1 (exchange visitor) program would be free to take such a job unless arrangements were made ahead of time to admit the person for such work, in which case there would be no hiring of applicants responding to ads. (A spouse of a J-1, a J-2, could accept such a job — but the ad specifies J-1.)

One might note that the text of the ad implies: "No citizen need apply."