Employment Options for F-1 & J-1 Students On-Campus vs. Off-Campus Employment Definition of On-Campus Employment Work done on school premises UCB Paycheck OR Work done at certain “off-campus” locations Educational affiliation with UC Berkeley • Must be associated with established curriculum or related to research projects on graduate level F-1 On-Campus Employment • Limited to 20 hours (50%) or less per week during the semester • Full-time (over 20 hours) allowed during the semester breaks • No special work authorization required J-1 On-Campus Employment On-campus work permit required for J-1 before start of work Permission required for each position and can be granted in 12 month increments Limited to 20 hours (50%) or less per week during the semester. Full-time (over 20 hours) allowed during the semester breaks Your Information Your department fills this part Bring to BIO – we’ll do the rest After three working days, pick up authorization form with BIO advisor signature Form Available At: http://internationaloffice.berkeley.edu/students/current/j-1/on-campus_employment Off-Campus Employment F-1 & J-1 students always need employment authorization prior to engaging in off-campus employment… The good news is…. F-1 CPT and J-1 AT work authorization during your academic program is granted by Berkeley International Office Optional Practical Training = F-1 students Academic Training = J-1 students Optional Practical Training & Academic Training 1. OPT What is it? Who is eligible? When to apply? 2. OPT 90 day employment rule 3. Academic Training Some students are a little nervous about seeking this authorization…. I’m busy… I’m nervous… I’m….very afraid! Curricular Practical Training (CPT) F-1 students in status for more than 2 semesters Requires credit enrollment in appropriate coursework Must have a job offer and support of academic adviser Job must be related to the major Part-time during academic year; Full-time during breaks 12 months or more of full time CPT will cancel out OPT Permission issued by Berkeley International Office New I-20 issued after 3 days Employment authorization on page 3 OPT – What Is It 12 months of employment authorization granted by USCIS Job must be related to student’s field of study Eligible for 12 months after each consecutive degree To qualify, must be in valid F-1 status for 1 academic year OPT – Who Is Eligible F-1 students who: Enrolled full time for 1 academic year Have not done OPT for the same degree level No job offer required to apply Basic Steps Step 1: Read OPT Tutorial on BIO website Step 2: Complete OPT form with department signature Step 3: Submit form to BIO Step 4: Pick up new I-20 Step 5: Submit complete application to USCIS OPT: Optional Practical Training tutorial required to apply OPT Application Timeline Program Completion Date First Day to Apply Final Deadline: OPT Received by USCIS OPT must begin within 60 days of program completion date 12/16/2011 9/17/2011 Apply to USCIS up to 90 days before program completion 2/14/12 Apply to USCIS up to 60 days after program completion USCIS Processing Time: 3 months OPT Choosing Start Dates: Anytime within 60 days of completion First possible OPT start date Last possible start date Earliest possible OPT end date Last possible end date 12/17/2011 2/14/2012 12/16/2012 2/13/2013 EAD cards produced after 2/14/2012 will be valid for less than 12 months The University of California at Berkeley Berkeley International Office Choosing Authorization Dates --Typical Scenarios Scenario 1: Student with a job offer submits her OPT application early On Feb.18, Xingyuan mails her application for OPT to the USCIS. She is completing her program on May 18 and chooses June 15 as the OPT start date because she has a job offer beginning that day. She receives the EAD on May 1. Her employer is pleased to see proof of the work permission early even though she cannot start working until June 15, as noted on the EAD. Xingyuan decides to go home for one month to celebrate her program completion. OPT application mailed to USCIS EAD received program completion date EAD start date 12 months of OPT travel home Jan 18 Feb March April May 1st May 18 June 15 Scenario 2: Student with no job offer submits his OPT application rather late George doesn’t have a job offer or time to search for one until after he finishes school. He chooses the latest date possible to start his OPT--July 17 --- which is the 60th day after his completion on May 18. He knows that he will be legal to stay in the U.S. as long as he has submitted the OPT application on time. He finally mails his OPT application on May 1. On July 17, George still hasn’t received his EAD, so he can’t work. George receives his EAD on August 1 and it expires the following year on July 16. George has lost 13 days of his 12 month OPT because his application was approved after the latest available OPT start date. OPT application mailed to USCIS program completion date Jan Page 10 Feb March April May 1st May 18 Requested start date June 15 July 17 EAD received August 1st August 15 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 is allowed (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 is more probable for some people than others, although in general, UC Berkeley students have not reported problems. To avoid problems, make sure you have the proper documents as listed here. Documents Required For Re-entry to the U.S. The travel documents you will need depend on the timing of your re-entry to the U.S.: Before Completing Your Program and After Completing Your Program and After Completing Your Program and Before Getting Your EAD Before Getting Your EAD After Getting Your EAD A valid passport A valid passport A valid passport A valid F-1 visa stamp A valid F-1 visa stamp A valid F-1 visa stamp Your OPT I-20 with a valid travel endorsement signed on page 3 by an Adviser at Berkeley International Office Evidence of continued enrollment (e.g. printout from Bear Facts) Your OPT I-20 with a valid travel endorsement signed on page 3 by an Adviser at Berkeley International Office. The travel endorsement is valid for 6 months while on OPT Your OPT I-20 with a valid travel endorsement signed on page 3 by an Adviser at Berkeley International Office. The travel endorsement is valid for 6 months while on OPT Evidence of financial support The OPT receipt- Notice of Action 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) If you have employment, a job offer letter from the employer is strongly recommended. Page 24 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. Unemployment & OPT How much time is allowed for unemployment? 90 days What counts as time unemployed? Clock starts on the first day of OPT authorization and ends with qualifying employment. How does travel outside the U.S. count as “time unemployed” If unemployed, yes If employed, no What happens if the student exceeds the period of unemployment? Exceeding 90 days is a violation of F-1 status unless: Requested a change of level or transfer from Berkeley International Office (prior to the 90- day limit) Departed the U.S. and has noted the exit date on the OPT employer reporting web site Start volunteering 20 hours a week in a job related to your major (counts as employment) Extending OPT beyond 12 months H1B Cap Gap Extension: •OPT automatically extended until 9/30 of the same year if H1B is filed prior to OPT expiration •Example: OPT expires 5/1/2012, H1B filed 4/1/2012 = OPT extended until 9/30/2012 STEM Extension: •17 month OPT extension for Science Technology & Math Majors working for E-Verify Employer •Apply when 12 month OPT is within 4 months of expiration Academic Training (AT) Eligibility 18 months or length of program, whichever is shorter *EAP Students* 1 semester = 4 months of AT 2 semesters = 9 months of AT Eligible after one semester Part-time during academic year; full-time during breaks Deadline to apply for Post-Completion AT: The day that you file your dissertation or complete your program Academic Training (AT) How they Apply – and what YOU can expect For J-1 students sponsored by Berkeley: Drop off your completed Academic Training Request Form (see BIO website) at Berkeley International Office In three working days, pick up your new DS-2019! For more information on F-1 employment matters Visit the Berkeley International Office website: http://internationaloffice.berkeley.edu or http://internationaloffice.berkeley.edu/students/current/f-1/employment For more information on J-1 employment matters Visit the Berkeley International Office website: http://internationaloffice.berkeley.edu or http://internationaloffice.berkeley.edu/students/current/j-1/employment Questions?