Presentation on theme: ".. What is OPT? Optional Practical Training is one year of work permission in a student’s field of study after completion of studies at each degree."— Presentation transcript:
What is OPT? Optional Practical Training is one year of work permission in a student’s field of study after completion of studies at each degree level. OPT should be viewed as a BENEFIT of maintaining your F-1 status rather than a RIGHT. The work MUST BE directly related to the field of study on your I-20.
Completion of Studies: Students can now apply for OPT 90 days prior to or within 60 days after completion of program. We STRONGLY recommend that you apply before your program completion date as filing later will cause delays in receiving your OPT card.
How do I choose my OPT start date? Students may apply 90 days prior to program completion or within 60 days after program completion. For May 2014 grads: Earliest date to apply – 2/17/2014 Latest date to apply – 7/14/2014 For August 2014 grads: Earliest date to apply – 6/3/2014 Latest date to apply – 10/28/2014 The start date is your choice and must be within the 60 days after the program completion date. May Graduation date: 5/16/2014 August Graduation date: 8/31/2014
Status on OPT During OPT, F-1 status is dependent upon employment. If a student accrues an aggregate of 90 days of unemployment on OPT, the student loses his/her F-1 status. For OPT, “employment” includes full-time, part-time, and volunteer work in a student’s field of study. If you are traveling while on OPT, you can use your OPT I-20 to travel.
Important Reporting Requirements Students must report to DSO within 10 days any changes in: Student’s legal name Student’s residential address (USA) Employer’s name Employer’s address Student’s loss of employment
OPT Application Process ISO can mail your application to the USCIS Texas Service Center or you can mail the application. Submit your OPT application packet to ISO. Come to ISO to sign and pick up OPT I-20 as soon as you receive email. We cannot mail application without this signed I-20. You will receive an email from ISO to pick up your OPT Receipt Notice. You will receive an email to pick up your EAD (Employment Authorization Document) card.
You CANNOT start working in the United States until you have received your EAD card AND the start date on the EAD card is valid.
Other Facts You are in F-1 status during OPT. You may renew your Driver’s License while on OPT. You may access Glacier Tax prep software from ISO in order to file your taxes. You MUST also update any address changes on your Topnet account under “Local Off Campus.”
Travel on OPT Travel outside the U.S. while on OPT is complicated and always risky. Most advisable: Travel BEFORE graduation and BEFORE OPT is approved. AFTER Graduation and AFTER you have the OPT card. More information will be included in your OPT packet. We suggest that you DO NOT travel outside the U.S. with an expired visa while on OPT.
In order for ISO to issue your OPT I-20, please submit the following: FORM I-765 (in this packet) – FILLED OUT IN BLUE INK Student Request for OPT. Submitted via iSTART. 2 passport size photos (see sample and specifications in this packet). Personal check or money order made out to the “Department of Homeland Security” for $380. No temporary checks. 2 photocopies of your visa. 2 photocopies of the front and back of your I-94 card (even if it is blank) OR 2 photocopies of your electronic record and the passport stamp from your last entry. 2 photocopies of your Passport ID pages with expiration date. Photocopy of any previous EAD card (s) if applicable. Hand-written permission for another individual to pick up your OPT card (if applicable).
Student Request for OPT via iSTART Log in to iStart as Full Client.
Click on F-1 Student Services. Then select: F-1 Student Request for OPT OR Public Health F-1 Grad Student Request for OPT (if in Public Health program)
STEM OPT STEM is a 17-month extension of OPT for those in STEM fields. The list, criteria and instructions can be found on our website (http://www.wku.edu/isss/current/stem_opt.php).http://www.wku.edu/isss/current/stem_opt.php
H-1B Cap Gap I-20 (Applies to For-Profit Companies Only) If a student’s employer has applied for his/her H- 1B work visa in a timely manner for the next fiscal year, the student’s employment eligibility is automatically extended. The automatic extension terminates when USCIS rejects, denies, or revokes the H-1B petition. If eligible for the H-1B Cap Gap I-20, please contact your ISO Advisor as soon as H-1B is filed.