OPT - International Student & Scholar Services

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Optional Practical Training
(OPT)
ONLINE WORKSHOP
Estimated time to complete workshop:
30-40 minutes
OPT Online Workshop
 Unless specified otherwise, all information in this presentation refers
to post-completion OPT.
 Click on screen or press the forward arrow button to advance to the
next slide. For optimal presentation performance, ISSS
RECOMMENDS you use the FULL SCREEN Slide Show when
reviewing this presentation.
 After viewing this presentation, you must collect and complete all
necessary application forms BEFORE turning in your application. If
you have further questions, you may contact an advisor during
advising hours or by email ([email protected]).
 ISSS recommends that you complete this online workshop at the
beginning of your last semester of your academic program.
OPT Application Process
STEP 1:
View this online workshop.
STEP 2:
Read the OPT Information Sheet.
STEP 3:
Complete the OPT Request Form and Form I-765.
STEP 4:
Submit all OPT application materials to the
ISSS front desk. If you have further questions, attend
a Q&A session prior to submitting OPT application.
STEP 5:
Your International Student Advisor issues a new I-20.
STEP 6:
Prepare your documents and mail them to
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
Completing the Forms
 In this presentation, we will guide you through each form
in an effort to answer questions that you might have.
 If you still have questions after viewing the entire
presentation, please contact your International Student
Advisor at ISSS.
 Always use the most current version of Form I-765 (a link
to most current form will be provided in this presentation).
I’m not sure if I should apply for
OPT or CPT, what is the difference?
CPT
OPT
When can I use
OPT or CPT?
CPT can only be granted during
academic program. CPT cannot
be approved after completion of
program.
OPT is usually used after completion of studies.
Do I have to
have a job to
apply for CPT
or OPT?
Yes, approval is given for a
specific employer during a
specific time.
No, a student does not need a job before applying for OPT.
Can I work at
any kind of
job?
No, the job must be considered
an integral part of your academic
program (see CPT workshop for
more details).
No, it is the student’s responsibility to find employment in his or
her field of study.
Who gives the
authorization?
ISSS can give CPT
authorization. Processing time is
approximately 5 business days.
ISSS can only recommend OPT; USCIS gives OPT approval.
Processing time can take up to 90 days.
How long can I
use CPT or
OPT?
There is no limit to the amount of
CPT you can use. If you use fulltime CPT greater than 12
months (365 days), you will lose
OPT eligibility.
Post completion OPT is for 12 months.
Students within STEM majors are eligible for a 17-Month
Extension (29 months total) . For more information on STEM
eligibility, see the ISSS website:
http://isss.gsu.edu/current-students/f-1-status/employmentauthorization-social-security-number/17-month-stemextension/
Your Immigration Documents
To begin, have the following documents in
front of you:






OPT Request Form/Info Sheet
Form I-765
I-20
Passport
I-94 card (small white card stapled in your passport) or
an I-94 web printout
Change of Status Approval Notice if applicable: (If you
changed to F-1 Status in the U.S., your I-94 card will be
attached to your I-797 Approval Notice)
What is OPT?
 OPT = Optional Practical Training
 OPT is off-campus work authorization that allows a student to work off
campus in their major field of study for a maximum of 12 months
 Students in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) majors may
also be eligible for an additional 17-month extension for OPT.
 Work authorization for OPT is the Employment Authorization Document or
EAD card, issued by USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services).
 If you complete a degree at a higher educational level, you may be
eligible to apply for another 12 months of OPT.
EXAMPLE:
If you are applying for OPT now on the basis of your Bachelor’s degree, and if
you later obtain a Master’s degree, you will be eligible to apply for another 12
months of OPT on the basis of the Master’s degree. You only get 12 months of
OPT per degree level.
Eligibility
 To be eligible for OPT, you must:

Be in valid F-1 status at the time of application, in good academic standing, and have
been enrolled on a full-time basis for one full academic year (two full academic
semesters/9 months)

Be in the final semester of your academic program (unless applying for pre-completion
OPT)

Have no holds on your student record and no balance owed to the university

Have attended an in person workshop or completed an online employment workshop
within the last year.

Not have been approved for OPT for the same or higher education level
*Students in STEM fields who wish to apply for the 17-month OPT extension have
additional eligibility requirements. Please see the ISSS website for more information:
http://isss.gsu.edu/current-students/f-1-status/employment-authorization-social-securitynumber/17-month-stem-extension/
Reminder:
You do NOT have to have a job
offer to apply for OPT!
Who is NOT eligible?
You are NOT eligible to apply for OPT if…
 You used 12 months or more of full-time Curricular Practical Training
(CPT)
 You have NOT been enrolled on a full-time basis for one full
academic year (two full academic semesters/9 months)
 You are ‘out of status’ (violated your immigration status)

Common reasons for students to become “out of status”:
 Failure to pursue a full course of study (i.e. 12 credits for
undergraduates; 9 credits for graduates)
 Failure to follow immigration transfer procedures when changing
schools
 Working without proper authorization
Three Types of OPT
 Pre-completion OPT
 Post-completion OPT
 17-month OPT Extension
Pre-completion OPT
 Pre-completion OPT is authorized for work before the student’s program completion
date. Both undergraduates and graduate are eligible for pre-completion.
 Pre-completion OPT is typically authorized for graduate students who have
completed all coursework and have only their thesis/dissertation remaining. You
cannot have a Graduate Assistantship and do Pre-completion OPT at the same time.
 ISSS does not recommend pre-completion OPT except in very limited circumstances.
Please see an advisor if you have more questions. If you want to work prior to
completion of your studies, ISSS recommends you pursue Curricular Practical Training
(CPT) or on-campus work.
 Note: If you pursue pre-completion OPT and you want your employment to continue
after program completion, a separate I-765 application must be filed for Postcompletion OPT. You will have to pay the $380 application fee again and wait to receive
a new EAD card before working.
 Pre-completion OPT takes time away from Post-Completion OPT. (Example: if you do 3
months of pre-completion OPT, you will only have 9 months of post-completion OPT
eligibility after completion of studies).
Post-completion OPT
 Post-completion OPT is appropriate for students who want work
authorization after completion of their academic program.
 Definition of completion of studies: For undergraduate and
graduate non-thesis students, completion of a course of study
is the last day of final exams of the semester in which all
degree requirements are completed. All other graduate
students (thesis/dissertation students) can choose
between 3 dates for completion of studies:
1.
2.
3.
On the last day of finals in the semester in which the student completes all required
coursework.
On the date the student successfully defends the thesis/dissertation/project. (This
date is established between the student and the academic advisor or department
chair)
On the last day of finals in the semester in which the final degree requirement is
met. This is the same for non-thesis students.
Post-completion OPT (Continued)
 When applying for Post-completion OPT, ISSS will shorten your I-20
expiration date (See section #5 on I-20) to the last day of finals of the
semester you will be graduating (or if thesis/dissertation student, to your
requested defense date).

Example: If you have an I-20 end date of 12/31/2014 and you are completing your
last degree requirement in the Fall 2013 semester, ISSS will shorten your I-20 to
the last day of finals for this semester (12/17/2013) when you apply for OPT.
 Since ISSS will be shortening your I-20 end date, you need to be 100%
certain you will complete your studies before applying! If you fail to
complete your last degree requirements after filing an OPT I-765
Employment application, you may fall out of legal status and be ineligible
for OPT.
17-month OPT Extension
 Is a one-time, 17-month extension of post-completion OPT for a total of 29
months of OPT (12 months of post-completion + 17 months of OPT extension =
29 months)
 Eligibility criteria:

Earned a Bachelor’s, Master’s or Ph.D. in a GSU major that is STEM (science,
technology, engineering, mathematics) eligible. For list of eligible GSU majors visit
http://www.gsu.edu/isss/17-month_STEM_extension.html and below:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•

Actuarial Science
Astronomy
Biology/Biological Sciences
Business Analysis
Chemistry
Computer Science
Computer Information Systems
Decision Sciences
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Educational Research
Geology/Earth Science
Mathematics
Mathematics & Statistics
Neuroscience
Operations Research
Physics
Employer is E-Verify-registered
The remainder of this presentation will focus only on
Post –completion OPT.
When should you apply for
Post-completion OPT?
 The earliest you can apply is 90 days (3 months) prior to completion of your
studies.
 The latest you can apply is 60 days after your completion date! **Please
note that USCIS must receipt your application prior to the 60th day of
your grace period (see next slide for more details).
 USCIS may take up to 90 days from the receipt notice date to process your
OPT application! On average, USCIS takes 65-75 days to process and
issue an EAD card from the mailing date.
 There is nothing ISSS can do to expedite the application. Your best
option—apply early! Remember, you don’t need a job to apply!
Post-completion OPT
Application Timeline
You must choose an OPT
start date within 60 days of
your program completion
date.
You cannot
work during
the 60-day
grace period
The program completion
date is the last day of finals
of the semester in which
you complete your last
degree requirement.
60-day grace period
after OPT
12 months of OPT
Program
Completion
Remember your 6O day
“Grace Period” begins
the last day of finals of
the semester you
complete your last
degree requirement!
ISSS will shorten your
I-20 to this date.
Employment must end 12 months from
OPT start date, or within 14 months of
degree completion
Application Timelines
 Post-completion:
May apply up to 90 days before and within 60
days of program completion
 Pre-completion:
May apply up to 90 days prior to anticipated
employment start date or prior to completing a full
academic year
 OPT 17-month extension:
May apply up to 120 days prior to end of postcompletion OPT
Applying too early may result in
application denial and fee payment for
new application
Choosing an OPT Start Date
You have a 60-day grace period from your program completion date
to begin OPT.
EXAMPLE:
 David Beckham’s program completion date: August 3, 2013
 David chose an OPT start date of September 15, 2013
8/4/2013
8/3/2013
Program completion date
David could choose his
OPT start date between 8/4/2013
and 10/2/2013
9/15/2013
OPT
10/2/2013
OPT Start Date: Suggestions
 It is better to use an “early” start date if you:
have an employment offer
 would like to be available for employment right after program
completion
 It is better to use “later” start dates if you:
 do not have any employment offers at the time of OPT
application
 do not expect that you will be able to secure employment soon
after program completion
 submitted your application “late” (e.g. during the 60-day
window after program completion)

Choose a realistic start date, keeping in mind USCIS processing times. There is no
“right” or “wrong” start date, simply choose one during your grace period. The date you
choose depends more so on your personal and employment situation.
Employment Start Date
You can only begin paid or unpaid employment if
you have met the following requirements:
 You have received your EAD (Employment
Authorization Document) and
 The date of your authorized employment period has
begun (refer to dates on your EAD card)
**There are no exceptions to the above.**
Employment Start Date (continued)
EXAMPLE:
 David’s EAD start date: September 15, 2013
 David receives EAD card: August 15, 2013
 Employment can only begin on EAD card start date
(in this example on 9/15/2013)
8/15/2013
EAD card arrives
Students who receive their
EAD before their OPT start
date need to wait for their
EAD start date to begin
employment.
9/15/2013
OPT
OPT Request Form
 Download the OPT Request
Form
F-1 Optional Practical Training (OPT)
Request Form
International Student and Scholar Services
Georgia State University
P.O. Box 3987
Atlanta, GA 30302-3987
Tel: 404-413-2070
Fax: 404-413-2072
Email: [email protected]
www.gsu.edu/isss
Op tional Practical Training (OPT) is off-cam p u s em p loym ent au thorization in a stu d ent’s field of stu d y for tw elve m onths
after com p letion of the acad em ic p rogram . Stu d ents in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) m ajors m ay
also be eligible for an ad d itional 17-m onth extension for OPT.
SECTION 1: Application Information (Please fill in the information below)
Last Name
 Complete the form prior and
include with all other application
materials when turning it in at the
ISSS front desk.
 If you are unsure of your
requested start date see an
advisor who can assist you in
choosing a date.
First Name
Email @ GSU
@student.gsu.edu
Current I-20 expiration date
(MM/DD/YYYY)
Email non-GSU
@
Passport expiration date
(MM/DD/YYYY)
Major
Panther ID
Have you been authorized for CPT in the past?
Have you been authorized for OPT in the past?
No
Yes
No
If yes, when
(write dates here
)
If previously approved for OPT, on which degree level was it based?
I want my OPT to start on
(From) MM/DD/YYYY
Bachelors
Masters
(To) MM/DD/YYYY
PhD
(MM/DD/YYYY)
SECTION 2: Statement of Understanding: While on OPT you are considered in F-1 status and must follow the regulations
in order to maintain your status. There are several requirements that are particularly important for students on OPT.
Please check the box next to each to confirm you have read and understand the requirement.
USCIS Processing Time: I understand that it may take USCIS 90 days to process my EAD card, and that there is no
way to expedite the application. I also understand that I cannot work before I receive my EAD card in hand.
Change of Address: I will notify ISSS with any changes to my current physical address. The regulations require that
I notify ISSS within 10 days of the change of address. International students have access to PAWS indefinitely after
graduation, so I should be able to update my address in my account. If for some reason I am unable to use PAWS,
then I will update my change of address at www.gsu.edu/isss/reportopt.html.
STEM: I know if my major is STEM eligible. http://www.gsu.edu/isss/17-month_STEM_extension.html
Employer Address: I understand the regulations now require me to notify ISSS with my employer’s address. Once
I have secured a job, I will update my employment via the OPT Employment Report at
www.gsu.edu/isss/report.opt.html. I will also update my employment information when my situation changes (for
example, if I am no longer working or when I start a new job).
Unemployment on OPT: I understand that international students on OPT can be unemployed for no more than 90
days during their OPT time period.
School Transfer/Resume Full-Time Study: I understand that my authorization to engage in OPT employment is
automatically terminated when I transfer to another school or begin study towards another degree program (even
though the dates on the EAD card appear to still be valid). If I plan to transfer to another school or begin a new
program, I will notify ISSS to transfer my records electronically to the new school.
Change of Status (COS): I understand if I change my immigration status, I must contact ISSS to provide proof of the
COS to keep my record updated. I will no longer have to abide by F-1 regulations once status is updated.
Travel: I understand while I am on OPT, I remain in F-1 nonimmigrant student status. Travel outside the U.S. while
my application is pending is not advised. If I have an emergency situation that requires me to travel while my OPT is
pending, I will see an advisor before doing so.
Social Security & Taxes: I understand that F-1 students who have been in the U.S. for fewer than (5) years may be
exempt from Social Security (F.I.C.A.) taxes. My earnings are subject to applicable federal, state, and local taxes. I
must file a tax return on or before April 15 each year.
Health Insurance: I understand that ISSS strongly encourages all students on OPT to maintain their health
insurance. If my employer does not offer insurance, I may purchase the GSU international student health insurance
through ISSS within 30 days of graduation on a semester-by-by semester basis for the full year of my OPT.
Student Verification: I verify that the above information is true and correct. I understand the responsibilities required for
maintaining F-1 status during my period of OPT authorization. If there are any changes to this information I will contact
ISSS and update my information.
Student’s Signature
Date
(MM/DD/YYYY)
How to complete Form I-765
a
You should have
Form I-765 in front of
you for the next few
slides.
ISSS encourages you to
fill your form out while
reviewing these next few
slides!!
I-765 Form (continued)
Beckham
David
#1, Name:
Your name should be
written exactly as it is written
on your passport
biographical page.
*Note: Please refer to next slide before filling in
address!
**NOTE: The name on your
I-20 should also be the
same name as written on
the passport biographical
page. If your name is
different, inform an advisor
at time of application
England
Leytonstone
London
05/02/1975
a
999-99-9999
57365656412 (11 digit # on I-94 Card)
a
#10, I-94 Number:
If there are 2 sets of
numbers, use the set
that has not been
crossed out.
If you changed your
status in the U.S., your
I-94 card is at the
bottom of your
I-797 approval notice.
I-765: Your Mailing Address

On line 3 of I-765 write following address:
ISSS
P.O. Box 3987
Atlanta, GA 30302
ISSS, P.O. Box 3987
Atlanta
GA
30302
Note: The above address is the address for ISSS office. ISSS suggests you
use our address for all correspondence for OPT. In case there are
problems with your application (i.e., misspelled names, wrong birth date,
etc), ISSS will be able to assist you in a more timely, effective manner.
ISSS will notify you when your I-765 Receipt Notice and EAD Card
arrives via email or phone.
I-765 Form (continued)
a
03/02/2006
USCIS?
#11: Check “no”,
unless you have
applied for Economic
Hardship, OffCampus Special
Student Relief, a
previous OPT or
J-2 work permission
***you must provide
copy of old EAD card
with application
Los Angeles, California (LAX)
Student (F-1)
Student (F-1)
Only
complete
#17 if
applying for
the OPT
extension
C
3
B
= post-completion OPT
Form I-765 (continued)
David Beckham
(signature within lines (Blue INK)
(404) 444-444
6/16/2012
OPT I-20
You have now completed the OPT Request Form and the I-765. You are almost ready to
drop off your OPT Request Form & Application Materials to the ISSS front desk!
Bring the following documents to the ISSS front desk:









Completed OPT Request form
Completed and signed I-765 form
Personal check or U.S. money order for $380 dollars made out to “Department of
Homeland Security”)
Photocopy of passport biographical information page (showing passport expiration
date & photo)
Photocopy of I-94 – front and back copy (dark enough to show the red stamp on the
front of it)
Photocopy of I-797 Approval Notice of you changed status in the U.S. (if applicable)
Photocopies of all old I-20s for Full-Time CPT (if applicable)
Photocopy of all previous EAD Cards (if applicable)
Job offer letter (optional)
Your International Student Advisor will email you when your new I-20s are ready at the
front desk. You will receive two copies (one for your record; one for mailing with your
application). Your new I-20s will show the OPT recommendation on page 3.
Please allow 5 business days for processing time.
In the next few slides you will learn more about the application process. Click to
proceed to the next slide…
OPT I-20 (Sample)
OPT
Recommendation
OPT DATES YOU REQUESTED
Travel Signature
(Must be valid for 6 months)
Preparing your OPT Application
After you have picked up your new I-20s
with the OPT recommendation
(see previous slide):
 Print your name and sign your BOTH
a
of your new I-20s at the bottom
 Review all information on I-20 for
a
accuracy (#’s 4, 5 and 10 in particular)
 Copy all the pages of your new I-20
a
 Copy both sides of your I-94
a
 Copy all F/T CPT I-20’s (if applicable)
a
 Copy your passport biographical
a
page
(with photo and expiration date)
 Copy any previous EAD cards
a
Go to the next 2 slides for photo and check information!
Above the line:
Print name, sign
name, and date
OPT Photos

All photos must be of only the applicant and must be identical.

All photos must meet the specifications for full frontal/passport photos and must be no more than 30
days old when an application is filed. For more information please see the Department of State
website for more specific and most up-to-date passport photo requirements.

Do NOT cut the pictures!

Print your full name and I-94 number in pencil/or light pin on the back of each photo.
OPT PHOTO SAMPLE:
Check or Money Order (Sample)
The name should be
printed, not
handwritten. DO NOT
USE “Starter Checks”
David Beckham
33 Gilmer St.
Atlanta, GA
Pay to the order of :
The check does not have
to be your own personal
check, i.e. can be friend,
relative, etc.. The address
doesn’t have to be your
address.
Check 2281
date May 2, 2012
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Three hundred and eighty dollars and 00/100 cents only
for
OPT
:ROUTING NUMBER: ACCOUNT NUMBER
David Beckham
CHECK NUMBER
For the current I-765 application fee, visit
www.uscis.gov
$380.00
dollars
Quick Checklist
Review
application
materials before
mailing out and
make a copy for
your reference
Completed OPT Request Form
 Completed original form I-765
 2 photos with I-94# and full name printed lightly in pencil on back of photos
 Check or money order for current I-765 fee, see www.uscis.gov for current fee
 Original I-20 with OPT recommendation (signed and dated with blue ink)
o USCIS must receive your application no later than 30 days after your OPT
I-20 has been issued (refer to date next to the Adviser’s signature in #10 on page 1
of the OPT I-120). Please account for mailing time.
 Photocopy of passport biographical information (showing passport expiration date &
photo)
 Photocopy of F-1 Visa
 Photocopy of Change of Status I-797 Approval Notice if you changed status to F-1 in
U.S.
 Photocopy of I-94 – front and back (dark enough to show the red stamp on the front of
it)
 Photocopy of Full Time CPT I-20’s (if applicable)
 Photocopy of Previous EAD cards (if applicable)
 Job offer letter (optional)
NOTE: Remember to make copies of all your documents before mailing to USCIS!!!!

OPT Mailing Instructions
Mail all documents to USCIS to one of the addresses below:
Regular U.S. Postal Delivery:
Express Mail Delivery:
(e.g. Federal Express, USPS, DHS)
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration
Services (USCIS)
P.O. Box 660867
Dallas, Texas 75266
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration
Services (USCIS)
ATTN: AOS
2501 S. State Highway 121 Business
Suite 400
Lewisville, TX 75067
USCIS must receive your application within 30 days from the issue
date on your I-20. Do not wait to mail it!
Expedited OPT
 Your application cannot be expedited. ISSS strongly
encourages you to apply for OPT in a timely manner (90 days
prior to completion of studies date).
 Remember….you don’t have to have a job to apply! 
After mailing out your application
In the next few slides, we will review the following:










Notice of Action (I-797C)
Request for Evidence
EAD Card
OPT Reporting Requirements
Unemployment Limit
F-1 Visa Renewal
International Travel
H-1B Work Visas
Cap-Gap Extension
How to find a job?
You’re almost done! Just a few more slides…
Notice of Action (I-797)

Notice of Action (Form I-797C)
 You will receive a Notice of Action (Form I797) in about 2-4 weeks after you mail the
application. Please allow 4 weeks for
arrival before inquiring to ISSS about
receipt.

SRC number: Form I-797 has a reference
number or SRC number, which can be
used to track the status of your application
online at
https://egov.uscis.gov/cris/Dashboard.do

ISSS will notify you via email when your
Notice of Action (Form I-797) arrives. You
will need to visit the ISSS office to confirm
the accuracy of your name, address, and
Date of Birth (DOB); and to pick up the
receipt. If incorrect, contact your
International Student Advisor immediately.

Dates: “Received date” refers to the date
USCIS may begin processing your
application and “Notice of Action date”
refers to the date the notice was created.
Receipt Notice
Date: The date
USCIS
received your
application
and your 90
processing
time begins
Request for Evidence (RFE)
 USCIS Request for Evidence (RFE) –

If there is a problem with your application, USCIS will send you a notice
to the ISSS office by mail called a “Request for Evidence (RFE).” If ISSS
receives an RFE, you will be contacted immediately about its content and
an advisor will assist you in responding to the RFE.

Please note that an RFE is not a rejection notice. You just need to send
in additional documents before your EAD can be issued.

Please note the deadline to respond to the RFE. If you fail to meet this
deadline, your application will be automatically canceled and you will
have to file a new application with a new fee.

Getting an RFE will delay the processing of your application for OPT.
For this reason, it is important to make sure that you have completed the
I-765 correctly and sent the proper documents to USCIS.
EAD Card
 Once approved for OPT, USCIS will mail
the EAD card to the ISSS office.

You are required to obtain your EAD
before beginning employment, paid or
unpaid.

ISSS will make a copy for our records
& notify you of its arrival for pick up.

Update your employment information at
the GSU OPT Employment Report
OPT Reporting Requirements…
During OPT, you are required to:
•
Keep your address
updated through PAWS
•
Get your I-20 signed for
travel if necessary
•
Report your employer’s
information to:
https://docs.google.com/sprea
dsheet/viewform?usp=drive_
web&formkey=dFRYT2tGUXk
wdFRnT2wyd1ZWTFNHRWc
6MQ#gid=0
Remember that there is no limit on…
•
How much money you
can make
•
How many jobs you can
have
•
How many hours you
can work (you must
work a minimum of 20
hours a week on OPT)
Failure to report your
employment results in
you violating your status
and the 90 days
unemployment limit.
If you don’t report your
employment, it is as if
you don’t have a job.
Please wait to report
your employment until
you receive your EAD
card.
Unemployment Limit
 OPT is an employment benefit of the F-1 status, and you must maintain
eligible employment on OPT
 Employment must be


minimum 20 hours per week (average out to 20 hours/week in a
month in the case of variable appointments)
at the appropriate degree level in field of study (as noted on I-20)
 Unemployment is limited to 90 calendar days during the initial 12
months of post-completion OPT (Weekends and Holidays are counted)
 Internships, unpaid positions, and part-time work do count as
employment
 Exceeding this limit could negatively impact your future immigration
benefits
Unemployment on OPT
 Unemployment is counted from approved OPT start date
(refer to dates on EAD card) EVEN if you have not received
your EAD Card.
 Unemployed = you do not have eligible OPT employment
 Maximum unemployment is 90 calendar days (includes
weekends, 7 days a week)
 No 60-day grace period if 90 days of unemployment is
reached; must leave the U.S. immediately
Unemployment Suggestions
 Keep track of unemployment days
 Remember to report employment changes within 10 days
on the ISSS OPT reporting website
 Always request an employment verification letter from
employer even if the position is unpaid. Your letter should
include the following information:




Position title and description
Dates of employment
Number of hours per week employed
Supervisor’s name and contact information
International Travel on OPT
 After you have completed your studies, you will need the following documents for travel on
OPT:
•
Original I-20 signed for travel by the International Student Advisor within the last six
months and
•
an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) and
•
a valid F-1 visa (unless eligible for automatic revalidation of an expired visa) and
•
a valid passport (valid for six months at the time of re-entry to the U.S.) and
•
employment verification (an offer/employment verification letter from your
prospective/current employer with dates of employment, position title, dates of
authorized leave for vacation or business).
•
ISSS recommends that you do not travel outside the U.S. if your OPT application is
pending. USCIS may cancel your application if you leave the country.
Students who do not meet these requirements
may not be allowed to re-enter the U.S.
F-1 Visa Renewal on OPT
 While on OPT your immigration status is
still F-1.
 It is possible to renew your F-1 visa based
on participation in OPT.
 ISSS does not recommend visa renewals
on OPT towards the end of your OPT
period because the non-immigrant intent
could be difficult to prove at that point.
After OPT
When your OPT period ends, you have a 60-day
grace period.
 Your three options after OPT are:
1.
Leave the U.S.
2.
Enroll in another program of study as an F-1 student and
receive an I-20 for that university within your 60 day grace
period
3.
Change your status
Work Visas
 H-1B Visa is most common type of work visa
 H-1 B Visas are always filed by your employer
 There are two types of H-1B Visas: (1) Cap-Subject and (2) Cap-exempt
 Cap-subject employers: These employers are typically in the private
sector.
•
•
•
•
Only 85,000 application spots per fiscal year or as mandated by Congress
April 1st is the first day employers can apply for OPT for the fiscal year
Once all 85,000 H-1Bs have been granted, no more can be issued.
All Cap-Subject H-1Bs begin on October 1.
 Cap-exempt employers: These employers are typically in the public
sector (universities, not-for-profit organizations, government entities, etc.).
•
•
There is no limit on how many H-1Bs can be granted
No set start time (Employer requests a start date).
For more detailed information on H-1B Visas, please
see www.USCIS.gov.
Cap-Gap Extension (Continued)
EXAMPLE:
 Jose’s OPT (EAD) end date: June 30
 Jose’s Cap-Subject company files an timely H-1B application for
him on April 1 that is receipted by USCIS prior to June 30.
 USCIS extends F-1 Employment until October 1 via “Cap-Gap
Extension” and you can stay and work until H-1B is effective.
Employer files
H-1 B: April 1
OPT End
date: June 30
USCIS extends F-1 Employment
with a CAP-GAP EXTENSION
USCIS receipts
application:
April 13
After H-1 B has
been approved or
receipted, Student
can request new
I-20 showing CapGap extension
OPT extended until Sept.
30, H-1B begins Oct. 1
How do you find a job?
 ISSS holds a job search seminar during International Education Week in both the
fall and spring semesters. Please check your email and the ISSS website for
seminar calendar dates/times.
 ISSS and Career Services offers a 5-week International Student Career Seminar
(ISCS) each semester. Students can attend and learn about what it takes to find a
job in the U.S. and abroad! Participation is voluntary but attendance is expected for
each session. Please check your email and ISSS website for seminar calendar
dates/times.
 Visit University Career Services center anytime!
•
Help with resumes, interviews, job skills
•
Register with Panther Career Net
 Visit the Robison College Career Management Center (RCB students only)
 Visit Alumni Services if you have already completed your degree!
 Talk to professors and others in your department
OPT Workshop Attendance Submission
Congrats! You are now ready to apply for OPT! Please
click on the link below to submit proof of your
completion of the online workshop. Failure to submit
your information via the link below will result in denial
or delay of your application:
(Link works best in FULL SCREEN mode)
OPT Online Workshop Completion Form (click)
Thank you
for viewing the
online OPT slideshow!
We wish you the best in your OPT experience!
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