17-Month OPT STEM Extension UCI International Center Where to Find Information for STEM OPT In addition to the information contained in this presentation, please review the online STEM OPT information at www.ic.uci.edu (under Current F-1 Students Tab) Eligibility Requirements 1. Students currently on OPT who hold a STEM degree (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) are eligible to apply for a 17-month OPT extension. To find out if your degree qualifies, visit http://www.ice.gov/doclib/sevis/pdf/stem-list.pdf You can find your CIP code (Classification of Instructional Programs) on the third page of your I-20. The student’s employer MUST be registered in the government-sponsored EVerify program. For more information on the E-Verify program, visit http://www.uscis.gov/e-verify Additional requirements: 2. 3. 4. 5. – – – – You can only apply before the end date of your EAD card. • You can apply as early as 4 months (120 days) before the end date on your EAD card. The student agrees to report any change of name, address, or interruption of employment to the International Center. Employment must be directly related to the student’s major area of study. Has not received a 17-month OPT extension previously after earning a STEM degree. STEM Application Steps 1. 2. 3. 4. Confirm that your degree qualifies for the 17-month extension. Turn in a complete application to the International Center as early as 4 months (120 days) before your current EAD card expires. Once the International Center reviews your application, a new I-20 will be generated. Without this I-20, USCIS will NOT approve your request for the extension. Mail your OPT application along with new I-20 to USCIS. NOTE: YOUR APPLICATION FOR OPT STEM EXTENSION MUST BE SUBMITTED BEFORE THE EXPIRATION DATE OF YOUR EAD CARD. NO EXCEPTIONS! 17-Month Extension Timeline 1st Year of OPT Start of OPT same as start date on EAD card 4 months BEFORE EAD card expires: First day eligible to apply for 17Month Extension 17-Month Extension 11 ½ MONTHS: Last day eligible to turn in your application to the International Center. Required Items for a Complete STEM Application Materials needed for OPT STEM Application: • • • • • • • • • • Two 2”x2” U.S. passport-sized photos OPT Student Agreement form (this can be found on our website) I-765 Form – This form MUST be typed and printed in BLACK ink! Copy of Passport Biographical Page Copy of F-1 Visa I-94 Document Copy of most current I-20 reflecting your initial OPT dates Copy of front and back of EAD card Copy of your UCI diploma OPT Employment Update form (found on our website) NOTE: DO NOT SUBMIT AN INCOMPLETE APPLICATION. All the required documents above MUST be included when applying. Completing the I-765 Form • The I-765 Form is available through the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website. • Make sure you are using the latest edition. • The date can be found at the top, right hand corner. Completing the I-765 Form Name should match what is listed in your passport. Leave blank if you have not used other names Use your personal address if this will be your address for the next 5 months. Otherwise, use a friend’s address where your mail can be kept safe. Use the name of the person who will receive your notifications as follows: C/O: MICKEY MOUSE, 123 DISNEY DRIVE Your country of citizenship/nationality If you don’t have a Social Security Number, please leave this blank. Mark YES. List the dates noted on your EAD card from Post-Completion OPT. This date is listed on your most recent I-94 List the place you last entered into the U.S. If you entered as an F-1 student, write F-1 Student. If your last entry to the U.S. was in another visa status, list that visa status. Completing the I-765 Form List F-1 STUDENT You are applying for OPT STEM 17-Month Extension, please list list: (C) (3) (C) List the name and type of your degree. List the name of your employer. List your company’s E-Verify Number. Completing the I-765 Form Make sure your signature is small and does not overlap the text above, or the line below. Complete this section ONLY if someone else is completing this form for you. Otherwise, leave this blank. YOU ARE DONE WITH THE I-765 FORM, PLEASE COMPLETE THE REST OF THE STEM OPT APPLICATION AND MAKE PLANS TO VISIT THE INTERNATIONAL CENTER. How to Submit Your OPT STEM Application • You are required to meet with an advisor to review your STEM OPT application. • Submit your completed STEM OPT application during a Employment HandIn Session • These sessions are Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 9:00am to 11:00am • Other ways to submit your STEM OPT application: • Schedule an appointment to meet with an International Student Advisor by calling 949.824.7249 • Write a letter to authorize a friend to submit your STEM OPT application on your behalf during the hours listed above. • This letter must include: your name, the name of the application, a statement of permission and the name of the friend submitting your application. Please sign and date this letter. • If you are unable to come to our office, please contact the International Center for alternative arrangements for OPT STEM application submission. Unemployment During STEM OPT • During your OPT STEM period, you may not be unemployed for more than 120 days (this includes time from your Post-Completion OPT period). • Report any change of address, employment or unemployment to the International Center as soon as possible. • You will need to submit an OPT Employment Update form (found on the IC website), by submitting to the International Center Front Desk, or email it to [email protected] Frequently Asked Questions Q: How long does it take to get the 17-Month OPT authorization? A: Approximately 60-90 days. This does not include the 7 business days of processing time at the International Center. Frequently Asked Questions Q: I am currently in Pre-Completion OPT. Do I need to apply for Post-Completion OPT and then for the 17-Month Extension? A: Yes – each OPT requires a new application. One for PreCompletion OPT, a second for Post-Completion OPT, and a third for the 17-Month Extension. Each application requires the payment of $380. – You cannot turn in all applications at once. – Each application must be turned in within the permissible time. – Pre- and Post-Completion OPT can be turned in 90 days prior to your graduation date. – The 17-Month Extension application can be turned in as early as 120 days prior to the end date of your EAD card. Frequently Asked Questions Q: What if my I-20 has a program listed as “Multidisciplinary Other” as the major, but my official degree at UCI will list Masters in Computer and Information Sciences? Will my degree certificate prove that I am a STEM student? A: This can be a problem. Prior to your graduation date, you should update the International Center with your actual degree. Your I-20 should always reflect the degree you will be receiving. Frequently Asked Questions Q: My minor is in the STEM list; can I still apply for the 17-Month Extension? A: No – only a conferred Bachelor, Master, and Doctoral degrees qualify for the 17-Month Extension. Further Questions & Information For questions, please e-mail the International Center staff at [email protected] or call our main line at (949) 824-7249. Thank You!