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STEM OPT. F1 International Students. UFIC International Student Services January 28, 2013. Optional Practical Training STEM OPT: 17-Month Extension NOTE: Please review the Standard OPT Presentation as it is a prerequisite of STEM OPT. PART 2: STEM Extension OPT: 17 Month Extension

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Stem opt



UFIC International Student Services

January 28, 2013

Stem opt

Optional Practical TrainingSTEM OPT: 17-Month ExtensionNOTE: Please review the Standard OPT Presentation as it is a prerequisite of STEM OPT.

  • PART 2:

    • STEM Extension OPT: 17 Month Extension

      • What is STEM Extension OPT?

      • Applying for STEM OPT

  • OPT Reporting & Travel Requirements

Stem opt

What is OPT?

  • Optional practical training is temporary employment authorization that allows F-1 students to gain practical work experience (on- or off-campus) by applying their academic knowledge to a position directly related to their area of study.

What is STEM Extension OPT?

  • A one-time 17-month extension of post-completion OPT

  • Life-time limit, NOT per degree level

Stem opt eligibility
STEM OPT Eligibility

  • Available only to students who graduated with a Bachelor, Master, or PhD degree in a major on the DHS approved STEM Degree List

  • Must be a position directly related to your major area of study

  • Employer must be registered in E-Verify, and agree to report to the ISA within 5 days of when the student is terminated or leaves employment

Stem opt eligibility continued
STEM OPT Eligibility, continued

  • The student must agree to make periodic reports to the ISA every 6 months.

  • Must be on a current authorized period of post completion OPT

  • The earliest you can apply for STEM OPT is 120 days before your standard OPT expires.

  • Begins on the day after the expiration of the standard post-completion OPT employment authorization and ends 17 months thereafter.

  • For example:

    • Standard OPT: 12/18/2012 – 12/17/2013

    • 17 Months Extension OPT: 12/18/2013 – 5/17/2015

Stem opt facts

  • Limited Periods of Unemployment to Maintain Status

    • During standard post-completion OPT, F-1 status is dependent upon employment.

    • May not exceed 90 aggregate/cummulative days of unemployment during the standard post-completion OPT

    • Students granted a 17-month OPT extension may not exceed an additional aggregate of 30 or more days of unemployment, for a total 120 days of unemployment during the total 29-month OPT period.

Applying for stem opt
Applying for STEM OPT

  • Submit the following documents(complete all forms BEFORE submission)

    • STEM OPT Questionnaire

    • Complete the STEM I-765 Application Form  TYPE in the fields (sections number 3 and 16 have already been completed for you)

  • COPIES of your most recent immigration documents:

    • I-20 for OPT Extension, I-94 Card (Front and Back), Current EAD (OPT card) (Front and Back), Passport, F1 Visa

    • Two passport-regulation photos which are less than 30 days old.

  • Proof of the Degree and Major (such as official/unofficial transcripts, or copy of your diploma)

    • A personal check, money order, or cashier’s check for $380, payable to Department of Homeland Security

      Instructions & Forms:

Applying for stem opt continued
Applying for STEM OPT, continued

  • If you LIVE IN GAINESVILLE, call 352-273-1540 or -1541 to schedule an appointment to meet with your International Student Advisor

  • If you DO NOT LIVE IN GAINESVILLE, submit only the completed 17-month OPT STEM Extension Questionnaire, the completed Form I-765, and a copy of the I-94 card either by fax or as a .pdf/.jpeg email attachment to your ISA.

  • Your ISA will verify your eligibility by

    • checking that your major is on the STEM Designated Degree List,

    • checking student records to see that you have received a Bachelor, Master, or PhD degree

    • ensuring that you are aware of your responsibilities for maintaining status while on OPT

  • Applying for stem opt continued1
    Applying for STEM OPT, continued

    • Your ISA will then input the 17-month STEM extension request in SEVIS and produce a new I-20 for you.

    • The STEM OPT I-20 will be provided to you to mail your application materials to USCIS

    • Applications for the 17-month STEM extension must be receipted byUSCISBEFORE your standard OPT card expires.

      • Students who file a timely application for the 17-month OPT extension will be able to continue employment while the extension application is pending, until a final decision on the I-765 or for 180 days, whichever comes first.

    Applying for stem opt continued2
    Applying for STEM OPT, continued

    • You are responsible for mailing your application through the USPS to:

      • USCIS Dallas Lockbox PO Box 660867 Dallas, TX 75266

    • Recommended to mail via “Certified Mail”

    • The receipt notice and the STEM OPT card will arrive at the UFIC, and you will be notified via your GatorLink email address as each arrive.

    Address update
    Address Update

    • You must update your address within TEN days of moving

    • There are three things you must do:

      • Complete the ONLINE AR-11 Change of Address:

      • Update your personal info in MyUFL: (if you still have access to it)

      • Send an email to your International Student Advisor with your UFID, full name, new address and telephone number

    Employer volunteer info
    Employer / Volunteer Info

    • STEM OPT MUST be with an E-Verified Employer

    • Reporting Information

    • Employer Name

    • Employer Address

    • City, State, Zip Code

    • Date Began/Started

    • Date Ended/Stopped

    • Supervisor's Name

    • Supervisor's Email

    • Supervisor's Tel #

    Volunteering on stem opt
    *Volunteering on STEM OPT

    • USCIS is currently allowing volunteering on STEM OPT

    • Must still be related to your major.

    • Must be at least 20 hours or more weekly.

    • Obtain a “Letter of Commitment/Volunteer” for your records.

    Travel during stem opt
    Travel During STEM OPT

    • You are still on an F1 Student Visa

    • Traveling out of the US is always risky, but if you choose to do so, in order to return to the U.S. you must have

      • Valid Passport (valid at least 6 months beyond entry date)

      • Valid F1 Student Visa

      • I-20 (which has been endorsed for OPT)

      • Valid travel signature (valid for 6 months from date signed)

      • Employment Authorization Document (EAD/OPT card)

      • Letter of Employment (on employer’s letterhead, stating your name, job title, brief description of duties, OPT start date; if you have already started, a letter confirming employment and knowledge of your travel plans)

      • 2-3 recent pay stubs

        * Dependents must have their own I-20, passport, F2 visa and copy of the F1’s I-20, OPT card and employment letter

    Contact your international student advisor
    Contact Your International Student Advisor!