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University Center North, Room 203, Houston, TX 77204-3024  Phone: (713) 743-5065  Fax: (713) 743-5079 17-MONTHOPTIONAL.

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Presentation on theme: "University Center North, Room 203, Houston, TX 77204-3024  Phone: (713) 743-5065  Fax: (713) 743-5079 17-MONTHOPTIONAL."— Presentation transcript:

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2 University Center North, Room 203, Houston, TX  Phone: (713)  Fax: (713) MONTHOPTIONAL PRACTICAL TRAINING 17-MONTH EXTENSION (OPTX) INFORMATION AND INSTRUCTIONS FOR QUALIFIED F-1 STUDENTS ON OPT

3 University Center North, Room 203, Houston, TX  Phone: (713)  Fax: (713) STEPS FOR APPLYING FOR 17-MONTH STEM EXTENSION 1.LISTEN TO THE PRESENTATION, AND FOLLOWING ALL THE STEPS OUTLINED IN THE POWERPOINT 2.SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT WITH A COUNSELOR (PHONE OR IN PERSON) 3.SUBMIT THE REQUIRED DOCUMENTS BY MAIL OR IN PERSON 4.FOLLOW ALL INSTRUCTIONS PROVIDED BY COUNSELOR

4 University Center North, Room 203, Houston, TX  Phone: (713)  Fax: (713) MONTH OPTIONAL PRACTICAL TRAINING 17-MONTH EXTENSION (OPTX) DEFINITION: In 2008, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) extended the maximum period of optional practical training (OPT) from 12 months to 29 months (an additional 17 months) for F-1 students on OPT who have completed a science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) degree and accept employment with employers enrolled in U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) E-Verify employment verification program.

5 University Center North, Room 203, Houston, TX  Phone: (713)  Fax: (713) MONTH OPTIONAL PRACTICAL TRAINING 17-MONTH EXTENSION (OPTX) ELIGIBILITY To be eligible, you must: have completed your degree and currently be participating in an approved period of post-completion OPT that has not expired (students on pre-completion OPT are not eligible for the extension). work for U.S. employer in a job directly related to the major area of study. have completed a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctor’s degree in a field on the DHS STEM Designated Degree Program List. [your CIP code on pg. 3 of most recent I-20 must be on this list]DHS STEM Designated Degree Program List. have a job offer from an employer registered with the E-Verify employment verification system not have previously received a 17-month extension, even if you complete a second STEM degree.

6 University Center North, Room 203, Houston, TX  Phone: (713)  Fax: (713) WHEN TO APPLY Applications for the 17-month extension can be filed up to 120 days prior to the end of the regular period of post-completion OPT, but USCIS must receive and receipt the application, before the current OPT expires. USCIS recommends filing the application between the 120 th and 90 th day before OPT expires. EMPLOYMENT REQUIREMENTS Students: Must work in a position at least 20 hours per week for an E-Verify employer in a position directly related to the student’s STEM degree May work multiple jobs, but all employers must be enrolled in E-Verify Are allowed to volunteer Must not accumulate more than 120 days of unemployment during entire OPT

7 University Center North, Room 203, Houston, TX  Phone: (713)  Fax: (713) HOW TO APPLY A.Complete form I-765 downloadable from The ISSS counselor does not endorse the I-765, but will review it for completeness: 1.Check the third box under “I am applying for”: Renewal… 2.Item 16 of Form I-765: enter the eligibility code: (c) (3) (C) for the 17-month extension. 3.Item 17 of Form I-765: list the numerical CIP code as shown at the top of page 3 of your OPT I-20 (example, ), your employer’s name as listed in E-Verify, and your employer’s E-Verify Number (this is a 5 – 6 digit number; NOT the company’s Tax ID#)

8 University Center North, Room 203, Houston, TX  Phone: (713)  Fax: (713) HOW TO APPLY B. Update the Self-Report on ISSS’s website: Go to then click on OPT SELF REPORT and complete it C.Complete and sign the attached form “Student Statement of Responsibility” D.Complete form G-1145 downloadable from This form is optional and allows you to receive an or text message when your application has initially been received by the Service Center.

9 University Center North, Room 203, Houston, TX  Phone: (713)  Fax: (713) HOW TO APPLY E. Make an appointment to bring the following documents to ISSS OR submit the documents to ISSS by mail (either way, you must have an appointment): If mailing, send to the address below: Name of ISSS Counselor (with whom you made the appointment) 4100 University Dr. Room N203 Houston, TX i.Copy of completed form “G-1145” (optional) ii.Copy of completed form “I-765” iii.Copy of current OPT Employment Authorization Document [both sides] iv.Copy of diploma

10 University Center North, Room 203, Houston, TX  Phone: (713)  Fax: (713) vi.Copy of I-94 card [both sides] vii.Copy of passport pages(s) showing your name, photo, and expiration date viii.Copy of F-1 visa [most recent] ix.Job offer letter on company letterhead (include supervisor name & /telephone #) x.Original Employer Statement of Understanding xi.Original Student Statement of Responsibility xii.A personal check payable to “University of Houston” for $60* xiii. A postage-paid label (for mailing package back to student, where student expects counselor to return package by mail) * You must also prepare a check payable to U.S. Department of Homeland Security for $380, but you do not need to submit it to our office

11 University Center North, Room 203, Houston, TX  Phone: (713)  Fax: (713) F. The ISSS Counselor will review your request and determine your eligibility. If a 17-month extension is warranted, a recommendation for an OPT extension will be processed in SEVIS which will generate a new I-20. When you receive your new I-20, sign and date it. Then make a copy to be included with your OPTX application, and send a copy to ISSS to be placed in your file. The original I-20 is for your records. G. Mail the I-765 with supporting documents to the USCIS address provided by the Counselor. Submit the I-765 within 30 days of the issue date of the new I-20 AND before your current OPT expires. The Service Center must receive and receipt the application, before the current OPT expires.

12 University Center North, Room 203, Houston, TX  Phone: (713)  Fax: (713) Mail the following documents in this order to the address provided: 1.Form G Form I Check for $380 payable to U.S. Department of Homeland Security attached to I Photos [in holder or small envelope] 5.Photocopy of new I-20 with OPT Extension recommendation on p. 3. You keep the Original I-20 6.Photocopy of passport photo page including expiration date 7.Photocopy of most recent visa page 8.Photocopy of I-94 card [both sides] 9.Photocopy of diploma from UH 10.Copy of current EAD [both sides] MAILING CHECKLIST

13 University Center North, Room 203, Houston, TX  Phone: (713)  Fax: (713) ISSS recommends that you mail your application package in a verifiable manner (such as certified with proof of delivery receipt). Be sure to keep a copy of all documents sent to and received from USCIS. Remember to provide ISSS with an copy of the new EAD card issued for OPT Extension

14 University Center North, Room 203, Houston, TX  Phone: (713)  Fax: (713) POST FILING TIPS—WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW  Students who have properly filed Form I-765 (for 17-month Extension) prior to the end date of his/her current post- completion OPT will be able to continue employment while their extension application is pending, until a final decision is made on the I-765 or for 180 days, whichever comes first.  The employment authorization period for the 17-month OPT extension begins on the day after the expiration of the initial post-completion OPT employment authorization and ends 17 months later, regardless of the date the actual extension is approved.

15 University Center North, Room 203, Houston, TX  Phone: (713)  Fax: (713) POST FILING TIPS—WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW  A student may change employers during the 17-month extension, however, the new employer must also be an E- Verify employer and the job must be directly related to the student’s major. Students must report the change in employment to ISSSO by updating the Self Report at  Do not travel outside of the U.S. if your EAD is expired and the 17-month extension request is pending. Wait until you receive the new EAD.

16 University Center North, Room 203, Houston, TX  Phone: (713)  Fax: (713) POST FILING TIPS—WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW  The student is expected to maintain evidence for each job showing that it is directly related to the major. Keep evidence of: i) the position held, ii) proof of the duration of the position, iii) job title, iv) contact information of supervisor, and v) a description of the work. If it is not clear from the job description, obtain a signed letter from the hiring officer, supervisor, or manager stating how the student’s degree is related to the work performed.

17 University Center North, Room 203, Houston, TX  Phone: (713)  Fax: (713) POST FILING TIPS—WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW  The employer must agree to report to ISSS any job termination or early departure. Please give the employer The Employer’s Statement of Understanding together with ISSS’s handout about employer reporting responsibilities. The employer must consider a worker to have departed when the employer knows the student has left employment or if the student has not reported for work for a period of five consecutive business days without the employer’s consent.  Know and comply with the Student Statement of Responsibility.

18 University Center North, Room 203, Houston, TX  Phone: (713)  Fax: (713) OPTX APPLICATION Download the following from website: Complete the Application and prepare the required documents Make the appointment with a Counselor at ISSS and follow the instructions to submit the application package to the Counselor If you have any questions, please ask the Counselor at the time of the appointment.

19 University Center North, Room 203, Houston, TX  Phone: (713)  Fax: (713) ONLINE STATUS CHECK The status of your application can be checked online with your receipt number ( See I-797 ) : https://egov.uscis.gov/cris/Dashboard/CaseStatus.do https://egov.uscis.gov/cris/Dashboard/CaseStatus.do ONLINE REQUEST FOR UPDATE You can request an update if you haven’t received your card after 90 days: https://egov.uscis.gov/e-request/Intro.do AUTHORIZATION The USCIS has the final authority to grant OPT. SOURCES 8 CFR 214.2(f)(5)(vi); 8 CFR 214.2(f)(10(ii(D); 8 CFR 214.2(f)(10)(ii)(E); 8 CFR 214.2(f)(12)(i)


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