OPT Work Permission for F-1 Students. International Programs Office

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1 OPT Work Permission for F-1 Students International Programs Office

2 Optional Practical Training This Power Point will: Outline OPT Basics Review Application Process & Timing Discuss work options in U.S. after OPT

3 Optional Practical Training OPT = Temporary employment for F-1 students to gain practical training directly related to their major field of study. Types of OPT: Pre-completion used prior to graduation Post-completion used after graduation STEM extension additional 24-months of OPT for STEM degree holders

4 Practical Considerations During OPT period: You remain in F-1 status OPT is not a status, it is a benefit YSU holds your SEVIS record IPO is still your F advisor and YSU is your visa sponsor!

5 OPT Usage Eligible for 12 months of OPT per advanced degree level Once OPT has been granted, you have used the benefit

6 Employment What work can you do during 12-month Post Completion OPT? Any/All As long as the work: Is related to your level and field of study Paid, unpaid, volunteer, contract Job title doesn t matter Nature of the work matters No job offer needed to apply

7 OPT is a Three Part Process Your department confirms your expectancy to graduate IPO recommends OPT in SEVIS and issues the OPT I-20 USCIS Adjudicates your application *$410 filing fee * day processing time

8 USCIS issues the Employment Authorization Document (EAD)

9 Employment Authorization Document (EAD) You can only legally work in the U.S. when: You have received EAD Are within valid dates printed on EAD

10 IMPORTANT Application Timelines!! USCIS must receive your OPT application: No more than 90 days BEFORE program completion date No more than 60 days AFTER program completion date OPT recommendation no more than 30 days old

11 OPT Denial 1. You ve already used the benefit 2. You apply outside of the timelines If OPT is denied before end of 60-day grace period, it may be possible to apply again. If OPT is denied after 60 day grace period, the benefit is forfeited.

12 The Application is a Two Part Process Step 1. OPT Recommendation Form Signed by your academic advisor and submitted to IPO Goal: new I-20 with OPT recommendation I-20 Processing Time: 3 business days Mail to USCIS Goal: EAD card Step 2. Application to USCIS EAD Processing Time: Up to 90 days

13 The Application Process: Top of Advisor s Form

14 The Application Process: Bottom of Advisor s Form Last day of finals/ classes Your academic advisor completes this section. OPT cannot begin before this date.

15 Program Completion Date on the I DEC 2017 Program end date = academic advisor s end date

16 PhD Students: Potential End Dates Date of defense Date corrections will be completed Date you turn in dissertation and committee signs off OR Employment start date (if you have passed the qualifiers)

17 Program Completion Date = Last Day of on-campus work at YSU!

18 Choosing Your OPT Start Date BASED ON YOUR COMPLETION DATE START DATE: Earliest start date: day after program completion OR Up to 60 calendar days after program completion **NO MORE THAN 60 DAYS! START DATE 12/16/ /17/2017 2/14/2017

19 Early Start: Things to Consider When Choosing an OPT Start Date Work permission continues immediately after program completion, so on-campus work could continue Late Start: More time to look for a job Won t cut into 90 days of unemployment Consider travel plans

20 Choosing Your OPT End Date Eligible for 365 days of OPT: *Example: Start date = 1/8/2018.End date = 1/7/2019 Remember! If you applied for a period of pre-completion OPT, you must deduct that time from your 12-months. Part-time pre-opt deducted at ½ rate. Full-time pre-opt deducted at full rate. NOTE: If you choose less than 12 months, only way to redeem remainder of 12 months is to go back to school, complete another program (at same level) and reapply for OPT.

21 The Application Process: OPT Dates CAREFUL! Once you mail your application to USCIS, you CAN T change your OPT dates! OPT Pending? Status is fine to stay in the U.S. but NO WORK without EAD!

22 Submit OPT Recommendation Form Completed Advisor s Form Turn in today Drop off at IPO front desk OPT I-20 ready in no more than 3 business days

23 OPT I-20: The 30 Day Rule!! OPT application must be received by USCIS within 30 days of the date your OPT I-20 is issued. Be ready to file when you turn in your request! I-20 more than 30 days past issuance date = OPT DENIED!

24 OPT I-20 Page 2 OPT Recommendation New Travel Signature valid 12 months

25 EAD s Issued After Requested Start Date If you request dates 12/17/17 to 12/16/18 and USCIS does not process your card until 2/1/18, your EAD will have dates 2/1/18 to 1/31/19. No work until card is received and you are within start and end dates on card!

26 EAD s Issued After Requested Start Date You are eligible for 12 months of OPT in the 14-month period following program completion. Ex. If your program end date is 12/16/17 and you wait to file your OPT application so USCIS does not process your card until 4/1/18, your EAD will have dates 4/1/18 to 2/14/19.

27 Timing of Your Application Be aware of processing times: Up to 90 days to be approved..or longer if application is returned, something is missing, etc. Cannot Expedite OPT!! Trying to expedite can slow down the process!

28 OPT Application Materials G-1145 form Check for $410 (payable to U.S. Department of Homeland Security) Two U.S. passport-sized photos (Do not wear glasses!) Completed, signed I-765 form Copies of all I-20s ever issued to you (including OPT I-20!) Copy of passport Copy of F-1 visa stamp Print out of I-94 record ( Copy of previous EAD (if you ve applied for OPT before)

29 G-1145 Form Allows immigration to text and/or you with your receipt number. More like 1-2 weeks

30 Preparing Your Check mm/dd/yyyy US Department of Homeland Security Four hundred ten dollars and /100 $ OPT Application Sign Your Name Here

31 Preparing Your Check Leave the back BLANK

32 Preparing Your Application: Photos Write your name and I-94 # on back! Make sure photos are the correct size! DO NOT wear eye glasses!

33 Preparing Your Application: Tips You can include your check & photos in an envelope marked with your name Attach to application with a paper clip

34 Form I Complete Online as form fillable pdf USCIS uses machine readable scanner

35 Form I-765 Check the box: Permission to accept employment.

36 Form I-765 #1: Your name as it appears in your passport! #3 U.S. Mailing Address: This is the address where USCIS will send your EAD! Where will you be in 90 days? No forwarding by USPS! Using IPO s address? 1 University Plaza, Jones 1042 IPO Youngstown, OH 44555

37 Form I-765 #10: Write in I-94 # #11: If you ve applied for OPT before, refer to code on EAD: EAC = Vermont LIN = Nebraska SRC = Texas WAC = California YSC = Potomac

38 Form I-765 #12 & #13: Refer to your latest port of entry stamp in passport #14: F-1 Student #15: Student Post-completion OPT code: (c)(3)(b)

39 Form I-765 #17, #18, #19 Leave blank! Sign within lines in blue ink

40 Required Photocopies of Documents I-94 printout ( OR I-94 card (front & back) Photo page of passport Most recent F-1 visa stamp ALL I-20s ever issued (including OPT I-20) Be sure you have signed the I-20s!

41 Optional Cover Letter Cover letter not required, unless something is missing or further explanation is required: Missing I-20 (check your records then contact your former school to see if they have a copy) Missing EAD No template: Just To whom it may concern:

42 Dependents in F-2 Status F-2 dependents will receive a new I-20 F-2 documents not submitted in OPT application F-2 travel during OPT Use new I-20 Carry copies of F-1 OPT I-20, EAD card, job offer letter

43 Make a Copy of OPT Application Make a copy of your complete OPT application for your records!

44 Mailing your Application On I-765 (#3), if you use an address in: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming FedEx/UPS Recommended!!! USCIS Attn: AOS 1820 E. Skyharbor Circle S Suite 100 Phoenix, AZ U.S. Postal Service (USPS) USCIS P.O. Box Phoenix, AZ 85034

45 Mailing your Application On I-765 (#3), if you use an address in: Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, DC, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia FedEx/UPS Recommended!!! USCIS Attn: AOS 2501 S. State Hwy. 121 Business Suite 400 Lewisville, TX U.S. Postal Service (USPS) USCIS P.O. Box Dallas, TX 75266

46 The Waiting Game: Next Steps You should receive from USCIS: 1. Text message or with case number (within about a week) 2. Receipt Notice (within 4 weeks) 3. Approval Notice (up to 90 days) 4. EAD card (up to 90 days)

47 Case Status Online: Case will stay in received status until approved

48 Collecting EAD Card If you used IPO s address, we will you as soon as your OPT card arrives in the office. Do not call! Collect the card from IPO Instructions to create a shipping label Arrange for a friend to collect card

49 Reporting Requirements During OPT During OPT, you MUST report: Residential Address Employer Name Employer Address Submit changes using the OPT reporting portal: You MUST report any changes within 10 days!

50 Keeping Records & Maintaining Status Job must be directly related to level & field of study at YSU. Keep documentation of employment for your records: Paid work: Off letters, job descriptions, paystubs, W-2 forms, etc. Unpaid work: Employer letters NOTE: Employer may not be able to write letter for unpaid work check before starting job!

51 90 Day of Unemployment Rule You may not accrue more than 90 days of unemployment during the 12 months of OPT if more than 90 days Your SEVIS record will be terminated. OPT and F status ends. Employment (for SEVP) = paid FT (> 20 hours) paid PT ( 20 hours) unpaid FT (> 20 hours) unpaid PT ( 20 hours)

52 Travel During on OPT Always travel with: Passport OPT I-20 travel signature (< 12 months) F-1 visa sticker Valid AND unexpired for re-entry except for Canadians EAD Job Offer Letter Employer information reported in SEVIS

53 OPT Travel Issues EAD says not valid for reentry don t worry, this means it s not valid for re-entry alone Canada, Mexico & adjacent islands? 30-day exception for expired U.S. visa *unless you apply for and are denied a U.S. visa* Do NOT Enter as a tourist!! Will end OPT!

54 OPT Travel Issues (continued) H-1B application pending? Consult your H employer! Travel questions (need a new F-1 visa, etc.)? Consult IPO

55 Options After Your Initial 12 months of OPT Expire 24-month STEM OPT Extension H-1B Temporary Work Visa

56 24-Month STEM Extension of OPT Am I eligible? To be eligible you MUST: 1. Have your most recent degree in a STEM designated field 2. Be in the initial 12-month OPT period 3. Have a job or job offer with an E-Verify employer, that is paid employment and employer completes Form I-983

57 24-Month STEM Extension of OPT How do you apply? Submit a 24-month STEM I-20 request to IPO Can be done remotely! for next steps Submit STEM application to USCIS Must reach USCIS: Within 90 days of 12-month OPT end date Before end of 12-month OPT period

58 H-1B Temporary Work Visa Private Sector: H-1B effective start date is Oct 1 st The H-1B Cap or quota 65,000 annually available to employers April 1 st (6 months in advance) 20,000 additional H-1B spaces set aside for advanced degree holders Universities not subject to Cap University employers can apply at any time for any start date

59 H-1B vs. OPT OPT is based on your degree If you don t like your job, you can start working somewhere else using your OPT. H-1B is directly linked to your employer If you don t like your job and decide to quit, you will have no status. Once H is approved, OPT is ended and F-1 is complete.

60 Jones Hall Office hours: Mon-Fri, 8:00-5:

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