OPTIONAL PRACTICAL TRAINING FOR GRADUATE STUDENTS ON AN F-1 VISA

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1 International Services for Students & Scholars Phone: Fax: OPTIONAL PRACTICAL TRAINING FOR GRADUATE STUDENTS ON AN F-1 VISA Practical training is defined as employment directly related to your major areas of study. Students in F-1 status must be enrolled full-time for one academic year to be eligible. A student in F-1 status may apply for optional practical training: After completion of all requirements for the degree (excluding thesis or dissertation). The practical training must be full-time. After completion of the course of study. **Please note: The Office of Graduate Education at RPI only approves post-completion OPT for graduate students. Optional practical training is limited to a total of 12 months. You are granted 12 months optional practical training for every degree level completed. For example, if you receive OPT for your undergraduate degree, you may also receive OPT for a master s or doctorate degree. You cannot receive additional OPT if you earn a second master s degree. Optional practical training is recommended by the ISSS Office and authorized by the Department of Homeland Security and USCIS. Once approved for OPT, you will receive an employment authorization document (EAD card). You application for post-completion OPT can be submitted no earlier than 90 days before your program completion date and no later than 60 days after your program completion date. During this period you must obtain both the recommendation for OPT from the ISSS Office and the employment authorization document (EAD) from USCIS. Please be advised that travelling while the OPT application is pending is at your own risk and not advised by this office. If you must travel while your OPT is pending, please consult the ISSS Office first. Employment may not commence until you have physically obtained your EAD.

2 Please submit the following documents to the ISSS Office to begin processing your application for optional practical training: 1. Optional Practical Training recommendation form with advisor and OGE approval 2. Photocopies of page 1 and page 3 of every I-20 you ve ever been issued. This includes all I- 20s issued from previous schools attended DO NOT SEND ORIGINAL COPIES OF YOUR I-20 TO USCIS. 3. Completed I-765 from: a. For # 16 write (c) (3) (B) for post-completion b. Immigration will send your EAD card to the address that you put on the form I You must write your name in your personal mailbox so that official government mail can be delivered to you copies of Form I-94 (Printed Electronic Form I-94 from and/or photocopy of both sides of cardstock I-94 if you were issued one) a. Instructions are attached on how to retrieve the electronic I copies of identifying page in passport 6. 2 copies of F-1 visa page(s) in passport 7. 2 copies of previous EAD if you have one (front and back) 8. Optional but recommended: 2 copies of completed G-1145 form, notification of electronic receipt. Please Note: You will also need to send two passport photos and a check for $ made payable to the Department of Homeland Security to USCIS, but our office will not need to collect these items. The ISSS Office will the student when he/she can return to the office to pick up the documents to send to Immigration, including a new I-20 with OPT recommendation. Please allow at least 2 weeks processing for your application. All outstanding bills must be paid before your application will be processed. Requirements for the photo for the EAD card (i.e. passport-style photo): 1. Full frontal face position, no distracting shadows on the face or background. 2. Have a natural expression this means neutral (non-smiling) with mouth closed. A smile with closed jaw if allowed but is not preferred. 3. Do not wear any headpiece unless worn daily for religious purposes; but no item or attire should cover or obscure any part of the face. 4. It is recommended that you do not wear large earrings, eyeglasses unless normally used by the subject; dark or tinted lenses are not acceptable unless (needed) for medical reasons and a medical certificate may be required. 5. Photograph should be 2 inches by 2 inches (see attached). 6. White or off-white background. Printed on thin photo paper or stock 7. Photographs may not be more than 30 days old at the time of filing this application. All photos must be identical. 8. In color, clear, focused & not retouched, enhanced or softened. 9. Printed with continuous-tone quality; if digitally printed must be produced without visible pixels or dots ( a digital camera with a resolution of 1 mega pixel will be more than adequate ). 10. Head should be centered within the frame, with the captured image from slightly above the top of hair to the middle of the chest; height of head should measure one inch to 1 3/8 inches; with eye height, 1 1/8 inches to 1 3/8 inches from the bottom of the photo with eye height, 1 1/8 inches to 1 3/8 inches from the bottom of the photo (see attached) Rev. 3/2015

3 International Services for Students & Scholars Phone: Fax: Optional Practical Training Request Form Name: Address: Phone: Date of Birth: RPI RIN (Rensselaer ID Number): Degree Pursuing (select one): Master s / PHD Graduate Program: Dates you are requesting for your Optional Practical Training: Start Date: End Date: Signature: Date: Rev. 2/2015

4 International Services for Students & Scholars Phone: Fax: GRADUATE EDUCATION OFFICE RECOMMENDATION FORM FOR F-1 OPTIONAL PRACTICAL TRAINING This form provides the information required by the Department of Homeland Security for the granting of employment for practical training to an international student. The Graduate Education Office and the student s Graduate Program Director must complete this entire form and sign it. Questions can be directed to the ISSS Office, Thank you for your assistance. STUDENT S NAME: RIN: GRADUATE PROGRAM: To be filled out by advisor: When do you anticipate this student completing his/her degree requirements? Please fill in date and check one of the following: [ ] Defense Date / / [ ] Graduation Date / / [ ] Thesis/Dissertation Submit Date / / Advisor s signature Advisor s name printed Graduate Program Director s signature Graduate Program Director s name printed Dean of Graduate Education Office signature Date Phone Number Date Phone Number Date Rev. 2/2015

5 Passport Photo Locations: Rite Aid- 272 Hoosick Street ( ) CVS Pharmacy th Street ( )

6 I-94 Automation FACT SHEET Overview In order to increase efficiency, reduce operating costs and streamline the admissions process, U.S. Customs and Border Protection has automated Form I-94 at air and sea ports of entry. The paper form will no longer be provided to a traveler upon arrival, except in limited circumstances. The traveler will be provided with a CBP admission stamp on their travel document. If a traveler needs a copy of their I-94 (record of admission) for verification of alien registration, immigration status or employment authorization, it can be obtained from. Frequently Asked Questions What is a Form I-94? Form I-94 is the DHS Arrival/Departure Record issued to aliens who are admitted to the U.S., who are adjusting status while in the U.S. or extending their stay, among other things. A CBP officer generally attaches the I-94 to the non-immigrant visitor s passport upon U.S. entry. The visitor must exit the U.S. on or before the departure date stamped on the I-94. sion, class of admission and admitted until date. The electronic arrival/departure record can be obtained at Will travelers need to do anything differently when exiting the U.S.? How can they be sure their departure will be recorded properly with this new the I-94 automation process? Travelers will not need to do anything differently upon exiting the U.S. Travelers issued a paper Form I-94 should surrender it to the commercial carrier or CBP upon departure. The departure will be recorded electronically with manifest information provided by the carrier or by CBP. If travelers did not receive a paper Form I-94 and the record was created electronically, CBP will record their departure using manifest information obtained from the carrier. How will the new I-94 automation impact international travelers entry to the U.S.? I-94 automation will not impact a traveler s ability How does a traveler revalidate a visa without to enter the U.S. CBP will continue to create an I- their I-94? 94 record for all travelers who require one, but the The I-94 admission record is created electronically paper form will be created in an electronic format and maintained in CBP systems. CBP will verify the and not provided to the traveler. If a traveler requires a paper version of Form I-94, it will be the traveler meets the conditions of automatic revali- available at dation. If entry occurred prior to automation, a paper form must be presented in order to comply with vali- Will CBP provide a traveler with any documen- dation requirements. For more information I-94 electronically to re-validate an expired visa if about tation or evidence showing status and time allowed in the U.S.? Yes. CBP will provide each traveler with an admission stamp that is annotated with date of admis- automatic revalidation go to linkhandler/cgov/travel/id_visa/revalidation.ctt/ revalidation.pdf. For more information on I-94 automation or any CBP related questions, visit 3/2013

7 Will CBP still issue a paper Form I-94 once the automation begins? No. Rather than distributing a paper Form I-94, CBP will scan a traveler s passport, generating an electronic arrival record with data elements found on the current paper Form I-94. CBP will make the electronic I-94 available at Travelers may visit this website to print their electronic I-94 number before applying for immigration or public benefits, such as a driver s license or a Social Security number. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the applicant should refer to Form I-102 available at forms. Will the process help expedite passenger processing time? The I-94 automation will expedite passenger processing. CBP automated the I-94W process in 2010, which independent studies show has resulted in an approximate 20- second time savings per passenger. CBP estimates that I- 94 automation will result in similar time savings. FACT SHEET Since automation only affects air and sea arrivals, a paper Form I-94 is still issued at the land border ports of entry. Also, CBP intends to continue to provide a paper Form I-94 to certain classes of aliens, such as refugees, certain asylees and parolees, and whenever CBP determines the issuance of a paper form is appropriate. What if a traveler does not have a foreign passport for CBP to stamp? Individuals without a foreign passport will be sent to CBP s secondary inspection upon arrival into the U.S., where they will receive their electronic I- 94 number. These individuals will be issued a paper I-94 with the pre-printed number crossed out, and the actual electronic I-94 number handwritten upon it. Employers and agencies can expect refugees, asylees, parolees and others who do not have any other travel document to have these I-94s. What should a traveler do if he or she was admitted incorrectly to the U.S.? If an applicant was admitted incorrectly to the U.S., the applicant should visit a local CBP Deferred Inspection Site or port of entry to have his or her admission corrected. A list of Deferred Inspection Sites and ports of entry can be found at under the Ports link at the bottom of the page. What is the I-94 website ( Travelers may visit to retrieve their electronic I-94 number. Upon entering the U.S., travelers will receive a paper with instructions on how to access the website. Individuals can visit to retrieve a copy of their electronic Form I-94. If an applicant received an incorrect I-94 from U.S. For more information on I-94 automation or any CBP related questions, visit

Employment may not commence until you have physically obtained your EAD.

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