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Duke Visa Services. Presenters Princess Solomon Wake Technical Community College Claudia De La Cruz Duke Visa Services

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Presentation on theme: "Duke Visa Services. Presenters Princess Solomon Wake Technical Community College Claudia De La Cruz Duke Visa Services"— Presentation transcript:

1 Duke Visa Services

2 Presenters Princess Solomon Wake Technical Community College Claudia De La Cruz Duke Visa Services Dylan Sugiyama Duke Visa Services

3 What is OPT? 12-month work authorization per each higher educational level Benefit of F-1 status Related to major area of study Pre-completion OPT - before graduation (may be part-time or full-time) Post-completion OPT - after graduation (must be employed at least 20 hours per week) 17-month STEM extension - additional OPT for STEM majors (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Duke Visa Services

4 How to apply for OPT Form I-765 – completedI-765 Optional Practical Training ApplicationApplication Recommendation letter from academic advisor Recommendation letter $380.00 check or money order made payable to U.S. Department of Homeland Security (check must have pre-printed name, cannot be starter check) 2 passport size photos (see USCIS specifications)USCIS specifications All I-20 forms Passport Visa stamp I-94 admissions record Previous EAD (if applicable) Copy of students degree reflecting the conferred degree and major field of study (STEM extension only) Duke Visa Services

5 OPT Cap gap Occurs when an F-1 students status and work authorization will expire in the present fiscal year before their approved H-1B employment will begin on October 1 st. Good News!! The Cap Gap allows F-1 OPT students with an approved or receipted H-1B petition to continue working until the H-1B October 1 start date takes effect. Applies only to cap subject employers.

6 Other helpful links Study in the States NAFSA Duke Visa Services

7 Problem:Solution: Students calling customer service line to expedite processing. CIS may interpret as an attempt to change the application to an economic hardship application and issue an RFE. Poses serious delays Make student aware that there is no way to expedite processing of an I-765 application and by calling they delay the adjudication process even more Duke Visa Services

8 Problem:Solution: Checks that bounce: delays processing greatly; may or may not receive an invoice, if not, the application will be denied and a new application will have to be filed delaying adjudication even more Make sure there is money in the account or use cashiers check or money order Duke Visa Services

9 Problem:Solution: Check is rejected (i.e. account holders information not printed on personal check) Use a cashiers check or money order Duke Visa Services

10 Problem:Solution: RFEs for transfer students applying for pre-completion OPT before the end of their first full year at your school. CIS thinks they arent eligible since they dont meet the one-year in F-1 status requirement even though they were in F status before starting at your school Include copies of I-20s from previous school(s) and have the regulations ready to quote if you do have to respond to an RFE Duke Visa Services

11 Problem:Solution: Lost cards – never received even though the online system shows that the application was received Can try requesting that they issue a new card through NAFSA fax or email, but sometimes they refuse and say the student has to apply all over and pay another application fee. Another reason to have cards sent to the school Duke Visa Services

12 Problem:Solution: Card received after work starts Make student aware of processing times Advise student to attend information session(s) Advise student to apply earlier next time Duke Visa Services

13 Problem:Solution: STEM extension applications: RFE received because the E- verify user # and employer name do not match Make sure student is listing the full legal name of the employer (the one used when the business was registered in E- Verify) Duke Visa Services

14 Problem:Solution: Applications returned due to minor errors (i.e. not checking request to accept employment box Review application carefully before filing Provide student with detailed instructions if they file the application themselves Duke Visa Services

15 Problem:Solution: Connection between the job and the students major field of study not clear Have the employer write a letter explaining how the students degree was a factor in the employers decision to hire the student, and how the student is using that degree in performing the job. Duke Visa Services

16 Problem:Solution: Student applies for post- completion OT but does not graduate If the application is still pending, contact TSC to request that the application be withdrawn. DSO withdraws OPT recommendation in SEVIS. If OPT is already approved, can still request to withdraw the application (doubtful), or student can work part- time until all degree requirements are completed. 90 ay unemployment rule still applies Duke Visa Services

17 Problem:Solution: Cap gap: SEVIS not updated with the H-1B information; therefore, cant process the cap gap. Request a data fix in SEVIS and include documentation (H-1B receipt/approval notice) Duke Visa Services

18 Problem:Solution: Errors on cards or receipts (incorrect dates, names, DOB, etc.) Use NAFSA fax or email at TSC. If student needs to begin work, use the card to get I-9ed then return the card to TSC for correction and reissuance NAFSA: Fax (214) 962-1450 Email: Duke Visa Services

19 Problem:Solution: Students not complying with employment reporting requirements Use the SEVIS alert list. Educate students on the need to comply with the requirements and the risks inherent in noncompliance Duke Visa Services

20 Problem:Solution: Lost/Undelivered cards due to addresses Use schools address to avoid these issues Be ready for complaints if cards get lost in the schools mailroom. Contact your mailroom to establish a procedure Duke Visa Services

21 Problem:Solution: I-797 Receipt Notice not received Have student call customer service number to request one Duke Visa Services

22 Problem:Solution: Photos do not meet CIS guidelines (i.e. wrong size, background color too dark, etc.) Provide student with photo guidelines and request new photos if in doubt Duke Visa Services

23 Problem:Solution: Application taking longer than 90 days due to background checks. Especially for students from Iran, Pakistan, etc. None, unfortunately Duke Visa Services

24 Problem:Solution: SEVIS not being updated once TSC makes a correction on the card (especially dates), so the card has the corrected dates but SEVIS still has incorrect information Request a data fix in SEVIS. Duke Visa Services

25 Problem:Solution: Travel after graduation Not encouraged until OPT is approved and student has the EAD card in hand. Student must have an offer letter to present at POE upon re-entry Duke Visa Services

26 Problem:Solution: RFE because the DSO did not confirm that practical training will be in the students field of study. Include a note in the comments section of the OPT request stating that the training will be in the field of study or be in the field of [Major]. Duke Visa Services

27 Problem:Solution: OPT application not filed within 30 days of the date on which the DSO made the OPT recommendation in SEVIS School files the OPT application rather than giving it to the student to file Duke Visa Services


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