F-1 Optional Practical Training
This presentation is the property of its rightful owner.
Sponsored Links
1 / 36

Table of Contents PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • 106 Views
  • Uploaded on
  • Presentation posted in: General

F-1 Optional Practical Training Required Web Presentation University of Virginia International Studies Office. Table of Contents. F-1 Optional Practical Training (OPT) Basics Rules for Employment Pre-Completion & Post-Completion OPT Choosing Employment Dates

Download Presentation

Table of Contents

An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation

Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Presentation Transcript


Table of contents

F-1 Optional Practical TrainingRequired Web PresentationUniversity of VirginiaInternational Studies Office


Table of contents

Table of Contents

  • F-1 Optional Practical Training (OPT) Basics

    • Rules for Employment

    • Pre-Completion & Post-Completion OPT

    • Choosing Employment Dates

    • Option for Thesis/Dissertation Only Students

  • The OPT Application

    • Submission to ISO

      • Advisor Recommendation

      • I-20 Request Form

      • I-765

      • I-20

      • Photo Requirements

    • Submission to USCIS

      • Mailing Address

  • What Happens After Submission to USCIS?

    • Waiting for a Decision

    • EAD

    • Where Can I Work?

    • Social Security

    • Study and Transfer While on OPT

  • Travel on OPT

  • OPT Reporting Requirements

  • Cap-Gap Extension

  • STEM 17 Month Extension

    • Submission to ISO

      • I-765

    • Submission to USCIS

    • STEM Reporting Requirements

You should watch the slide presentation in its entirety. The Table of Contents is provided for quick access to each section.


Table of contents

F-1 Optional Practical Training (OPT) Basics

OPT Duration: OPT may be granted for an initial period of up to 12 months per degree level. This presumes no prior OPT granted at the same or at a higher level of study. Any OPT granted for prior degree work at your current degree level is assessed against the maximum 12 months even if the OPT was not actually used entirely or in part.

Example: Student was awarded 12 months for a masters degree in engineering. Student pursues second masters, this time the MBA. Although unrelated degrees in content, the degree level is the same. Therefore no time remains for OPT for the MBA.

Eligibility: The applicant must be in status one academic year prior to the OPT start date to be eligible. If you have changed status to F-1 from a qualifying status, the time spent as a full time student will contribute to the academic year minimum for eligibility.

Relevance: OPT is not bound to a specific employer. However, any and all employment must be directly related to your major field (-s) of study at the time of application. Minor fields of study cannot be considered.

Timing: You should begin your application with the ISO then mail to USCIS (Immigration) no earlier than 90 days prior to your completion of studies as noted or will be noted on the I-20, nor should your application reach USCIS any later than 60 days following the completion of studies. Additionally, your OPT application must reach USCIS no later than 30 days after ISO issues the I-20 for OPT.

Having a job when applying: You do not need a job nor should you necessarily wait for a job or job offer to apply for OPT as USCIS can take 2-3 months to adjudicate your application for OPT.

Advanced graduate students: Students who have completed coursework and only have a thesis or dissertation remaining may be eligible to apply for post-completion OPT. See the ISO well in advance for more details.

STEM Extension: An extension of OPT is allowed for up to 17 months if your OPT is based on a degree in an approved Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics (STEM) field and your employer is enrolled in E-Verify.

Unemployment: More than 90 days of unemployment during OPT (or 120 days if on STEM extension) is a violation of F-1 status. There is no grace period.

Employment After I-20 Expires: Once your I-20 has ended, you must have a valid EAD to begin working on or off grounds.


Table of contents

Employment is the Basis of OPT

The Unemployment “Clock:” Unemployment may accrue for no more than 90 days total during the 12 month period of OPT. If approved for the 17 month STEM extension, the unemployment maximum is extended to 120 days total for the 29 month period. Exceeding the unemployment period is a violation, ending your F-1 status and you will lose your grace period.

Unemployment is assessed from the start of employment authorization (start date on the EAD), not the beginning of your grace period.

Start and End of Employment: The start date of OPT cannot exceed 60 days from the expiration date of the I-20. You will choose a date between the end of the I-20 up to 60 days beyond expiration when you file the OPT application with ISO and to USCIS. If your program ends prior to the end date listed on your I-20, the I-20 will be shortened by the ISO. Please be prepared for this as on- or off-grounds employment will not be possible after the I-20 ends until the authorized period of OPT commences.

Minimum Number of Hours: Employment must be 20 hours per week minimum. Unpaid employment is permitted only if legally unpaid.

http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs71.pdf

Relevance:All employment must be directly related to the major field of study.


Table of contents

Post-Completion OPT

Have you been in F-1 status for one academic year? You can count the time you spent at other U.S. schools in degree programs before you came to UVa as long as your SEVIS I-20 was transferred to us. At UVa, one academic year means enrollment for consecutive fall / spring or spring / fall semesters.

Will you be completing your program of study at UVa within the next three months, or do you only have your dissertation remaining? The application for OPT cannot be submitted earlier than 90 days before your completion date.

Are you enrolled full-time this semester or authorized by the ISO to have a reduced course load?

Do you hope to work in the U.S. after you finish your studies?

Should I Choose OPT?

Pre-Completion OPT

Have you considered using Curricular Practical Training (CPT) instead? For most students, CPT is a better option. It allows you to get work experience in your field of study without using any of the 12 months of OPT time. See our web site for a detailed description of Curricular Practical Training,

Have you been in F-1 status for one academic year? At UVa, one academic year means enrollment for consecutive fall / spring or spring / fall semesters. You can count the time you spent at other U.S. schools in degree programs before you came to UVa as long as your SEVIS I-20 was transferred to us.

Will your job offer still be valid three months from now? Getting the OPT permission can take three months. If your employer is not willing to wait for you, then it’s not worth the effort to apply for OPT.

Do you plan on applying for STEM extension or H1B cap gap extension? Only post-completion OPT students are eligible for these two extensions. If you want to apply for either of these extensions, you must submit a second application for post-completion OPT.Are you willing to use some of the 12 months you are allowed for OPT? You will not have a full year of OPT after you graduate if you choose to use some of it for pre-completion employment.


Table of contents

Choosing Your Employment Dates

On the I-20 Request Form, which is part of the application package submitted to the ISO, you must indicate which dates you would like your work authorization to begin and end.

The authorization dates you choose will be noted on your new OPT I-20 and cannot be changed once you have submitted your application to USCIS. The dates will also be noted on your EAD in most cases.

The start date is the day on which the EAD becomes valid and you can begin working. The “unemployment clock starts ticking” on the start date if you do not have a job.

The end date is usually 12 months later, unless you request a shorter period of time, you are not eligible for a full 12 months due to prior OPT at the same degree level, or your application is approved 61 days or more after your program completion date.

If you change your mind about your authorization dates…..

You will NOT be able to adjust your OPT authorization dates once you have mailed your application to USCIS. Consider the authorization dates carefully before submitting your Request Form to the ISO.

As of the start date on the EAD card, any period of unemployment will be assessed against the 90 day maximum for the 12 months of OPT.

You may only work between the start and end dates on the EAD, and the EAD must be in hand. You cannot work at UVa or anywhere else after your I-20 ends until you are in your authorized period of OPT.


Table of contents

OPT Application Period (Example) =

90 days prior to completion or 60 days after completion of I-20.

Program completion date (example)

60-day grace period ends

June 15

Jan

July 17

Feb 19

March

May 18

April

OPT start date must occur within the 60-day grace period

Submission Date: You can submit your application to USCIS no earlier than 90 days prior to the completion date of your program and no later than the 60-day grace period following completion.

OPT I-20 Validity: USCIS must receive your application no later than 30 days after your OPT I-20 has been issued by ISO or your application will be denied.

Processing Time: It can take 3 months or more to receive the EAD from the USCIS.

OPT Start Date: Your OPT start date can be no later than 60 days beyond your degree completion date. You cannot change your start and end dates once the OPT I-20 has been mailed to the USCIS.

Employment: You cannot start working until you have received the EAD and your start date is reached, no matter when the EAD is actually received.

Status While Application Pending: As long as you have timely filed for OPT, your F-1 status remains valid while you are waiting for the EAD even if there is a gap between your completion date and the start date of OPT.

Travel in Grace Period: If you leave the US during your 60-day grace period and you haven’t applied for OPT, you lose your opportunity to apply for OPT.


Table of contents

Post Completion OPT for Thesis or Dissertation Only Students

Graduate students who have completed all course work and have only dissertation or thesis remaining are eligible for post-completion OPT:

  • Your I-20 will be shortened to end prior to the OPT requested start date.

  • You cannot engage in any on grounds employment after the end date of the new I-20.

  • Your I-20 will end before the next semester of enrollment, or you will have to pay full tuition and fees to UVa.

  • You may apply up to 90 days prior to the revised I-20 end date.

  • You may choose an OPT start date not to exceed 60 days from the end of the revised I-20.

  • You may finish your degree while you are on OPT. However, if you do not complete studies, no extension of your I-20 is possible.

  • Even though not formally graduated by the end date, the rules for post completion travel apply to you.


Table of contents

Preparing and Mailing the Application


Table of contents

Applying for OPT– Your Submission to the ISO (Your First Step)

Reminders:

The application for post-completion OPT must be received by the USCIS no earlier than 90 days before program completion and no later than 60 days after your date of completion.

The average USCIS processing time to issue the Employment Authorization Document (EAD) is 60-90 days. Please visit the USCIS Processing Times websitefor the most up to date processing times.

Once your I-20 has expired, you must have a valid EAD to begin working on or off grounds.

Once the OPT application is submitted to the USCIS, it is impossible to change your selected authorization dates.

Canceling the OPT application is very difficult and must be discussed with an advisor at the ISO during advising hours.

The process begins with your submission of these documents to the ISO during advising hours:

  • I-20 Request Formfrom ISO F-1 OPT website

  • F-1 OPT Advisor Recommendationfrom ISO F-1 OPT website

  • I-765 from ISO F-1 OPT website. Please type the I-765 and sign. Do not handwrite the form.

    The USCIS will mail your card to the address shown on Form I-765. The U.S. Postal Service will not forward mail from USCIS, therefore the address you choose should not change for the next several months.

    ISO Advising Hours

    9-12 and 1-4 Monday - Thursday


Table of contents

F-1 OPT Advisor Recommendation

The advisor recommendation can be filled out and signed by any teaching faculty member of your major department.

The month and day should correspond to when all degree requirements will be fulfilled. If that is not possible, then the projected date of defense (grad students).

If you are an advanced degree student who has completed required coursework, has only dissertation remaining, and wishes to apply for post-completion OPT prior to the actual conferral of the degree, this box should be checked.

All employment under F-1 OPT must be directly related to your major field of study. Even if you do not have employment at the time of application, a description of the type of employment sought must be included.


Table of contents

I-20 Request Form

The box for Optional Practical Training should be checked.

Fill in the information here including expected degree level. If this is different than the level listed on the I-20, let the ISO know this.

Any prior CPT or OPT at the current degree level should be noted here.

Here is where you will ask for the start and dates of OPT. Remember that the start date cannot exceed the 60th day after the end date of your I-20. The last date of OPT will be no greater than 12 months for an initial period of OPT. Example: start date = July 15, 2013; end date = July 14, 2014.

If you have an employment offer at the time of application to the ISO.


Table of contents

I-765

The I-765 should be typed online and then printed out for signature.

  • Permission to Accept Employment for new OPT applications.

    Last Name First in CAPS, First Name (and Middle if applicable) with first letter only in CAPS. Name should be as it appears on passport.

    Use mailing address that will be valid throughout the OPT process, which can be 2-3 months or more. The address does not have to be the same as appears as your legal address in SEVIS.

    The 11 digit number on the I-94 or I-94 Number Copy (www.cbp.gov/I94)

    Check Yes only if you have had prior F-1 OPT (not CPT).

    Sign in blue ink within the box. Type phone number and date.

    .


Table of contents

I-765 continued

The USCIS Service Center where prior OPT applications (-s) were filed. The dates may be either the date of approval or the dates of the OPT. Answer only if Question #11 is Yes.

Results of any prior OPT applications

Corresponds to the information from your I-94 or Passport stamp from US immigration upon your most recent entry.

Enter “Student.”

Most students will apply for post-completion OPT, that is, to follow completion of studies. Enter:

(c)(3)(B) – Post Completion OPT

(c)(3)(A) – Pre Completion OPT

(c)(3)(C) - STEM OPT extension

For STEM OPT applications only: enter degree abbreviation and major; employer’s name and E-Verify number. The E-Verify number should be obtained from your employer.

.


Table of contents

Your I-20 for OPT

A new I-20 is issued as a result of the ISO recommending your OPT application to USCIS through the SEVIS system.

The end date of your I-20 may have been changed if you have finished your studies early, or wish to commence early employment within an authorized post-completion period.

Important: Automatic eligibility for on grounds employment ends when your I-20 expires. You cannot work anywhere on grounds, or anywhere else for that matter, until the OPT is approved, the EAD card is in hand and the start date on the EAD has been reached

The ISO will sign your I-20 here.

Sign in blue ink within the box. Print name and date.

Do not forget to sign or your OPT application will not be accepted.

.


Table of contents

I-20 continued

The dates recommended by the ISO will be placed here. If you have indicated pending employment, that information will also be placed here.

Even though the expiration date of the I-20 may remain the same or may even be shortened, the approval of the OPT will extend the “life” of the I-20 through the OPT period, as indicated on the EAD. This presumes all conditions of OPT maintenance are met, especially no unemployment in excess of 90 days aggregate.

The I-20 for OPT will be signed here as well. Remember that you will still need travel endorsements from the ISO while on OPT.


Table of contents

1 inch to 1 3/8”

1 inch to 1 3/8”

Photo Specifications

7 Steps to Successful Photos:

1. Your photo should show your full face, front view, eyes open.

  • Make sure the photo shows your full head from top of hair to bottom of chin; height of head should measure 1 inch to 1-3/8 inches (25 mm to 35 mm).

  • Your head should be centered within the frame

    4. Make sure eye height is between 1-1/8 inches to 1-3/8 inches (28 mm and 35 mm) from bottom of photo

    5. The background should be plain white or off-white.

    6. There should be no distracting shadows on the face or in the background

    7. Make sure you have a natural expression

The photos you are required to use for the OPT application must meet the specifications of U.S.–style passport photos. To see a full description of these specifications, go to the U.S. Department of State web site.

Most places that take passport photos are already familiar with the specifications. However, you may want to print this page, or the pages from the web site above to take with you when you get your photo taken.

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of paper are the photographs to be printed on?The photos should be printed on thin photo-quality paper.

Do the photos have to be in color?Yes, the photos must be in color.

How big must the photos be?The photos must measure exactly 2 inches by 2 inches.

Can hats or religious headgear be worn for the photo?Unless worn daily for religious reasons, all hats or headgear should be removed for the photo. In all cases, no item or attire should cover or otherwise obscure any part of the face.

Can eyeglasses be worn for the photo?Eyeglasses worn on a daily basis can be worn for the photo. However, there should be no reflections from the eyeglasses that obscures the eyes. Dark glasses or nonprescription glasses with tinted lenses are not acceptable unless you need them for medical reasons.

Write your name and I-94 number lightly on the back of each photo in case they get separated from your application.


Table of contents

Applying for OPT

Your Submission to USCIS (Your Second Step)

The following documents should be included in your submission to USCIS for F-1 OPT. Do not E-File your application please.

  • I-765 as returned to you by ISO, sent as original document.

  • One new I-20 issued for OPT sent as original document. (Do not forget to sign and date the I-20s in blue ink.)

    • You must submit application to reach USCIS with 30 days of I-20 issuance. The OPT I-20 is invalid 30 days after issuance by the ISO.

  • Copies of all current and past I-20s.

  • Proof of other status if you have changed status to F-1 from another qualifying status.

  • Copy of passport ID page and any extensions.

  • Visa page and stamp showing current F-1 status (unless you have changed status to F-1 within the U.S. and have not departed).

  • Copy of Admission (I-94) number page (www.cbp.gov/I94)

  • If you have changed status and not left the U.S., copy of the approval notice for the change of status (I-797).

  • Copy of previous EADs, if applicable

  • 2 passport photos following exact USCIS specifications

  • Check for $380

    Materials should be sent by secure courier through FedEx or similar service, not regular mail.


Table of contents

I’ve Submitted my Application to USCIS. Now What?


Table of contents

What Happens Next?

  • Most applicants receive a Receipt Notice (I-797) from USCIS. You can follow the status of your OPT application using your receipt number at My Case Status.

  • USCIS averages 45-90 days to determine the outcome of your OPT application. It is extremely rare that USCIS will grant a request to expedite your application, so please plan your OPT strategy accordingly.

  • If you have timely filed your OPT application*, you are legally in the U.S. during the period of adjudication, even if you exceed your 60 days grace period, but you cannot work during this period.

  • USCIS sometimes issues a Request for Additional Evidence (RFE) prior to adjudicating your application. This will invariably delay your application. Consult with the ISO immediately if you receive a RFE.

  • If you leave the U.S. after your I-20 has expired and you have not applied for OPT, your F-1 status ends and you lose eligibility for OPT at the current degree level.


Table of contents

The Employment Authorization Document (EAD)

  • If your application is approved by USCIS you will receive the Employment Authorization Document (EAD). This card is manufactured separately so that you may receive an approval notice prior to receipt of the EAD.

  • The dates on your EAD usually coincide with the dates requested and approved by ISO.

  • Important: Do not work until EAD is in hand and the start date is reached. You are only authorized to work between the start and end dates authorized on the EAD, regardless of the what the I-20 states. No employment related activity is permitted outside of these approved dates.

  • If the EAD is lost, stolen, or does not reach you by mail, contact the ISO immediately. Do not work without talking to us first.


Where can i work

Where Can I Work?

From SEVP’s OPT Policy Guidance

Any and all employment must be directly related to your major field of study.

  • Regular paid employment in a position directly related to the student's program of study.

    • For post-completion OPT, the work must be for at least 20 hours per week

    • Students may work for multiple employers, as long as it is directly related to the student's program of study.

  • Payment by multiple short-term multiple employers. "Students, such as musicians and other performing artists, may work for multiple short term employers (gigs). The student should maintain a list of all gigs, the dates and duration. The student should maintain a list of all gigs, the dates and duration."

  • Work for hire. "This is also commonly referred to as 1099 employment where an individual performs a service based on a contractual relationship rather than an employment relationship. If requested by DHS, students should be prepared to provide evidence showing the duration of the contract periods and the name and address of the contracting company."

  • Self-employed business owner. "Students on OPT may start a business and be self-employed. The student should be able to prove that he or she has the proper business licenses and is actively engaged in a business related to his or her degree program."

  • Employment through an agency. "Students on post-completion OPT must be able to provide evidence showing they worked an average of at least 20 hours per week while employed by the agency."

  • Volunteers or unpaid interns: "Students may work as volunteers or unpaid interns, where this practice does not violate any labor laws. The work should be at least 20 hours per week for students on post-completion OPT. A student should be able to provide evidence, acquired from the student's employer, to verify that he or she worked at least 20 hours per week during the period of employment.“

    • Please read the Fact Sheet on Unpaid Internships


Table of contents

Social Security Number (SSN)

  • The social security number is required for all employment in the U.S. It is also used for the purposes of federal and state taxation.

  • The SSN is a lifetime number. If you have received a SSN based on past employment, you do not need to reapply.

  • You can apply for a new SSN based on OPT no earlier than the start date of the EAD .

  • You should apply no later than your 3rd day of actual employment.

  • Most major cities have an office of the Social Security Administration (SSA).

  • To apply, bring passport, OPT I-20, I-94 or Admission number receipt and EAD to the SSA.

  • You may work for pay by presenting the receipt of your SSN application to your employer.

  • The card with number usually arrives by mail in 2-3 weeks.

  • Keep the card and number safe and well-protected. The SSN is a major source of identity theft.


Table of contents

Can I Study While on OPT?

  • Only part time study is permitted while on post completion OPT. If you will be entering a full time degree program, you would need to transfer your F-1 status to the next institution of study.

    • Transferring your status should be done prior to the end of your 60 day grace period following the end date on the EAD.

    • Transfer of your F-1 status, or moving to a higher degree level at UVa, terminates your OPT on the date of transfer. Choose your release date accordingly.

    • Requesting a transfer to a new school requires submission of the SEVIS Transfer Release Form. You may request a transfer of your status up to 6 months prior to your desired release date.

    • Your new school cannot issue the I-20 until the release date is reached.

    • You must attend the new school in the next regular semester of enrollment as long as that date is no greater than 5 months beyond the end of your OPT.

    • If you are an advanced graduate student approved for post completion OPT, you cannot remain enrolled as a full time student after the I-20 end date, nor can you be paid as a student.

    • If you are an undergraduate and you have not completed your degree on time, see the ISO as soon as possible.


Table of contents

Traveling Abroad on OPT

Since you will remain in F-1 status during your 12-month OPT authorization period, traveling abroad and re-entering the U.S. as an F-1 may be permitted. In fact, if you re-enter in a status other than F-1, you will lose your OPT eligibility. However, be aware that any time you leave the U.S. , there is no guarantee that you will be allowed to re-enter. Being denied entry varies in probability depending on a variety of issues. Be well prepared and discuss travel with the ISO before making unchangeable plans.

Documents Required For Re-entry to the U.S.

  • After Completing Your Program

    and

  • Before Getting Your EAD

  • A valid passport

  • A valid F-1 visa stamp

  • Your OPT I-20 with a valid travel endorsement signed on page 3 by an advisor at the ISO. The travel endorsement is valid for 6 months while on OPT

  • The OPT receipt- Notice of Action

  • Evidence of financial support for the OPT period is strongly recommended (such as a bank statement or letter from sponsor or employer)

  • If you have employment, a job offer letter from the employer is strongly recommended.

  • After Completing Your Program

    and

  • After Getting Your EAD

  • A valid passport

  • A valid F-1 visa stamp

  • Your OPT I-20 with a valid travel endorsement signed on page 3 by an advisor at the ISO. The travel endorsement is valid for 6 months while on OPT

  • The EAD (Employment Authorization Document)

  • Evidence of financial support for the OPT period is strongly recommended (such as a bank statement or letter from sponsor or employer)

  • A job offer letter is required.

  • Before Completing Your Program

    and

  • Before Getting Your EAD

  • A valid passport

  • A valid F-1 visa stamp

  • Your OPT I-20 with a valid travel endorsement signed on page 3 by an advisor at the ISO.

  • Evidence of continued enrollment (e.g. transcript from the University Registrar)

  • Evidence of financial support


Table of contents

OPT Reporting Requirements

The following information must be reported to UVa International Studies at [email protected] the OPT period of authorization. Your legal status depends upon your compliance. Changes must be reported within 10 days of occurrence.

  • Your Name

  • Your Residential address

  • Your Phone and email address

  • Employer name

  • Employer address

  • Start Date of Employment

  • Dates of unemployment

  • Date of exiting the U.S (You need to provide date of exit if you decide to exit the U.S and complete your OPT status prior to the end date of your OPT)


Table of contents

H1-B “Cap-Gap” Extension


Table of contents

H1-B “Cap-Gap” Extension

What is “cap-gap?”

The “cap-gap” occurs when a student’s OPT and/or F-1 status will end prior to the effective date of a new cap-dependent H-1B petition. New cap-dependent H1-B’s may commence no earlier than Oct 1 of each year. The earliest a petition can be filed on your behalf for H1-B by your employer is 6 months prior, that is, April 1. There is a numerical limit or cap on the number of petitions accepted each year for new H1-B’s with the exception of those employers exempt from this quota, most notably universities and colleges.

Historically, students had to end employment when the EAD expired prior to the start of the H1-B. If the grace period would also end prior to Oct. 1, they would have to leave the U.S. until the H1-B became effective.

What is the remedy?

If your employer timely files a H1-B petition on your behalf, and

  • The petition is for a new cap-dependent H1-B.

  • The petition carries an Oct 1 start date.

  • The petition includes the provision to change status from F-1 to H1-B in the U.S.

  • The petition is accepted for processing by USCIS.

  • You have not violated the 90/120 days rules of unemployment.

    Then you automatically qualify for the “cap-gap” extension.

    What does this mean for you?

    Your F-1 status and employment authorization is automatically extended through September 30 if your EAD was valid on the date the H1-B petition is filed with USCIS.

    If however the petition was filed during your 60 day grace period but the EAD has expired, your F-1 status but not employment authorization is extended. This would mean you could continue to remain in the U.S. as F-1 but could not continue employment until the H1-B became effective.

    If your H1-B petition is subsequently denied, rejected or revoked, your 60 day grace period begins from the date of the notice of action from USCIS.

    You may request a new I-20 from ISO to show the automatic cap-gap extension approval, though this is not required. Email [email protected] for the request. I-20s can be mailed at your expense.

    Travel is not permitted during the cap-gap extension if you intend to return to the U.S. as F-1.


Table of contents

STEM 17 Month Extension of OPT


Table of contents

Eligibility for the 17-Month STEM Extension

Eligible Degree Programs: The student must be a recipient of U.S. Bachelor’s, Master’s, or Doctoral degree in specific majors in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Designated STEM fields must match the CIP code as found on page 3 of your I-20. A degree minor in a STEM field does not qualify for the extension.

Degree of Study: The extension must be based on the same degree as the post-completion OPT, not on a previous degree.

OPT Must Be Current: The student must be authorized for OPT at the time of the extension application and have a job or job offer related to his or her field of study.

E-Verify: At the time of application for the OPT extension, the student’s intended employer must be registered with and participating in the USCIS E-Verify employment verification program.

Impact of Unemployment: The student must not have exceeded 90 days of unemployment in the initial 12-month period of OPT.

When to File: Complete STEM OPT applications must be received by USCIS on or before the end date of the EAD card. The STEM extension application can be filed no earlier than 120 days prior to the EAD end date.

Only one 17-month STEM extension is granted per lifetime so plan strategically.


Table of contents

I-765 for STEM OPT application

The I-765 should be typed online and then printed out for signature.

  • Renewal of My Permission to Accept Employment for new OPT applications.

    Last Name First in CAPS, First Name and Middle if applicable with first letter only in CAPS. Name should be as it appears on passport.

    Use mailing address that will be valid throughout the OPT process, which can be 2-3 months or more. The address does not have to be the same as appears as your legal address in SEVIS.

    The 11 digit number on the I-94 or I-94 Number Copy (www.cbp.gov/I94)

    Check Yes .

    Sign in blue ink within the box. Type phone number and date.

    .


Table of contents

I-765 for STEM OPT

The USCIS Service Center where prior OPT applications (-s) were filed. The dates may be either the date of approval or the dates of the OPT. Answer Yes in Question #11.

Write Granted and include copy of current EAD.

Corresponds to the information from your I-94 or Passport stamp from US immigration upon your most recent entry.

Enter “Student.”

(c)(3)(C) - STEM OPT extension

For STEM OPT applications : enter degree abbreviation and major; employer’s name and E-Verify number. The E-Verify number should be obtained from your employer.

.


Table of contents

The following documents should be included in your submission to USCIS for F-1 OPT STEM Extension. Do not E-File your application please.

  • I-765 as returned to you by ISO, sent as original document.

  • One new I-20 issued for STEM extension OPT sent as original document. (Do not forget to sign and date the I-20s in blue ink.)

    • You must submit application to reach USCIS with 30 days of I-20 issuance. The OPT I-20 is invalid 30 days after issuance by the ISO.

  • Copies of all current and past I-20s.

  • Copy of Current EAD, front and back

  • Copy of passport ID page and any extensions.

  • Visa page and stamp showing current F-1 status (unless you have changed status to F-1 within the U.S. and have not departed).

  • Copy of Admission (I-94) number page (www.cbp.gov/I94) or I-94 both sides

  • Copy of your diploma or official transcript showing STEM degree

  • 2 passport photos following exact USCIS specifications

  • Check for $380

    Materials should be sent by secure courier through FedEx or similar service.

    Once your application is received by USCIS, you may continue working up to 180 days after the expiration of the current EAD while the STEM application is pending with USCIS. You cannot however travel outside the U.S. until the new (STEM) EAD is received.


Table of contents

STEM Extension Reporting Requirements

There are additional requirements while on STEM extension.

  • You must continue to update the ISO of any change in employment or residence within 10 days of occurrence.

  • You must verify current employment every six months of the STEM extension with the ISO.

  • You must continue to report loss of employment to ISO.

  • Additionally, your employer is obligated to report voluntary or involuntary loss of employment to the ISO. You should inform your employer of this legal obligation.


Table of contents

Minor Hall

Home of the ISO

ISO Advisors and Walk-in Hours

Adrienne Kim Bird – 243-1433

[email protected]; 9-11 & 12-2 Monday – Thursday

Richard Tanson – 982-3017

[email protected]; 10-12 & 2-4 Monday – Thursday

Linda Callihan– 982-3015

[email protected]; 10-12 & 2-4 Monday – Thursday

www.virginia.edu/iso/issp

A generous thank you to University of California, Berkeley for content used in this presentation.


  • Login