International Technological University OPT WORKSHOP What is Optional Practical Training (OPT)? A 12-month temporary employment authorization A benefit of the F1 student status Provides an opportunity for F-1 students to apply knowledge acquired from their academic program to a work experience in their major field of study OPT must be recommended by ITU DSO and approved by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Jobs must be directly related to your current major Who is eligible for OPT? Be in valid F-1 status (at least 9 months) Be in good academic standing, defined as a minimum G.P.A. 3.3 (graduate students) Have been enrolled full-time for at least one full academic year prior to submitting an OPT application Have not completed more than 364 days of full-time Curricular Practical Training (CPT) Have not already utilized an equivalent of 12 months of OPT work authorization in current degree level How to Apply • Review Online Information and Procedure Slides – All applicants are required to review this OPT (PDF) BEFORE submitting OPT application materials to ITU. • Pick up your application materials for mailing (7-10 business days) – An F1 advisor will review your request and (Director of admission signature is required on the form, just to verify your completion date and your registration status at the time of application) DSO will issue a new I-20 for your OPT application. You can pick up your new I-20 at the ITU front desk or request for the mail out (1-2 weeks) and all the application materials, and then mail them to the USCIS. • If you need it in urgent, pick up in person or express payment ***DSO will not scan your OPT I-20 (it’s the student responsibility to obtain the I-20 by his/herself.** What happens if a student who failed to complete the requirements for his/her program? • Contact DSO immediately for guidance, you are obligated to make up for the class in one semester • If OPT application has not been adjudicated (approved) by USCIS, the student has to withdraw the application by notifying the Service Center. DSO should also withdraw the recommendation for OPT in SEVIS • If OPT approved, DSO will extend your program end date to the appropriate date (next semester end date) It will not affect your Stem extension. • The student may work part time while enrolled in courses to complete the requirement (need employer email’s confirmation) • If your GPA drop under 3.0 after grade is out: 20 HOURS • After successful completion of all the program requirement, the student may work full time. What caused you to fail? -PPoor Attendance Poor Study Less than C grade Less than G.P.A. 3.0 Check list (Photocopies Only) • Reference on the website (more details) – Handout at the Front Desk (FAQ) For students who had Initial I-20 from other school: Initial (first school)w/ port of entry stamp on i-20>Transfer>Continuance FAQ For students who had initial i-20 from ITU: Initial->Continuance CPT STUDENTS For students who enrolled in CPT (in ITU): All For students who enrolled in CPT (in Previous University +ITU): Third page signature (NOT NECESSARY from DSO) Mail your OPT Application • Sign and date the new I-20! (section 11) This sounds obvious but many OPT applicants have their applications returned for an unsigned I-20 and/or an unsigned check and/or an unsigned I-765 form. • Signature on I-765 form (sign it within the box) • Photocopy the entire application before you send it so that you have a complete copy for your records. • Send your application to the USCIS by certified mail, return receipt requested or by a courier service such as FedEx to provide you with proof that your application was timely in the event that the application is lost. The application must be received by the USCIS Service Center within 30 days of the date of the OPT recommendation USCIS Mailing Address If you live in (return address on I-765): Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, U.S. Virgin Islands, or West Virginia Mail your application to USCIS Dallas Lockbox: For U.S. Postal Service deliveries: USCIS PO Box 660867 Dallas, TX 75266 For Express Mail: USCIS, Attn: AOS 2501 S. State Hwy, 121, Business Suite 400 Lewisville, TX 75067 USCIS Mailing Address If you live in (return address on I-765): Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington (state), Wisconsin, Wyoming, or Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands Mail your application to USCIS Phoenix Lockbox: For U.S. Postal Service deliveries: USCIS PO Box 21281 Phoenix, AZ 85036 For Express Mail: USCIS, Attn: AOS 1820 E. Skyharbor Circle S, Suite 100 Phoenix, AZ 85034 Mandatory Reporting Requirements While on OPT You must report the following information to ITU within 10 days via emailing Report any change of address (within the U.S. or your foreign address) Any change of name (first, middle, last) Any periods of unemployment while authorized for OPT Employer information upon obtaining a job and changing jobs; this includes employer name, address, and the date you started working there Provide ITU with a faxed, scanned, or paper copy of the EAD ITU fax number: 408-400-2003 Reporting Requirements Students are required to submit a copy of their EAD card to the Registrar’s Office. Failure to do so could be considered a violation of F-1 immigration status. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) now requires all students in F-1 status who have been granted OPT to report the name & address of their OPT location/employer. Students must also report if their employment is interrupted at any point. Traveling on OPT (w/ I-20) • More details on the OPT slides • Visa, Passport, EAD card, I-20 with third page signature for re-entry, offer letter (OPT), letter from the employer, and evidence of financial support OPT STEM • Must currently be on post-completion 12-month OPT • Verified completion of a degree on the • STEM Designated Degree Programs List. The CIP code is found on top of page 3 of the I-20, next to "Primary Major.” Employer Requirements: • ” Registered with the U.S. Government E-Verify employment verification system • " Agrees to report any termination of employment within 48 hours to ITU. Cap-Gap Extension • ITU will process an I-20 that takes into account the different stages of the H1B filing, selection, and adjudication process. The cap-gap Form I-20 will contain the following endorsement: “F-1 status and employment authorization for this student have been automatically extended to [the applicable date will be inserted]. The student is authorized to remain in the United States and continue employment with an expired employment authorization document. This is pursuant to 8 CFR214.2(f)(5)(iv) and 8 CFR274a.12(b)(6)(iv), as updated April 8, 2008 in a rule published in the Federal Register (73 FR 18944). Additional information about the automatic extension can be found on the Student and Exchange Visitor Program website.” Grace Periods The regulations state that the 60-day period may be used to “prepare for departure” from the United States or to “prepare for transfer,” so these two categories are clearly permissible during the 60 days. 60 days after the program completion date or post completion OPT end date, the student’s SEVIS record will be automatically changed by the SEVIS system from “Active” to “Completed After your OPT expires, you have 60 days to leave the country, apply for change of status, second master or transfer to another school.