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Employment Options for F-1 Students Presented by Kathryn Burden and Sharon Winslow Office of International Students and Scholars.

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Presentation on theme: "Employment Options for F-1 Students Presented by Kathryn Burden and Sharon Winslow Office of International Students and Scholars."— Presentation transcript:

1 Employment Options for F-1 Students Presented by Kathryn Burden and Sharon Winslow Office of International Students and Scholars

2 The Basics of Visa Status Visa versus Nonimmigrant Status Visa received at U.S. Consulate abroad Nonimmigrant Status determined by CIS/CBP Maintaining Status Valid passport Valid Nonimmigrant document (e.g., I-20, DS-2019, H-1B approval notice) Full-time student Proper work authorization Travel endorsement

3 Foundational Issues Employment in the U.S. is a privilege, not a right As an F-1, you declared an intention to return home F-1 employment is designed to be temporary Yet, it is possible to change or adjust your status in the U.S.

4 Off-campus Employment Options Curricular Practical Training (CPT) To gain work experience related to degree off-campus while a student Internships, Cooperative Education (CO-OP) Optional Practical Training (OPT) To gain work experience related to degree Post-completion OPT after graduation Pre-completion OPT in rare circumstances while a student (co-ops)

5 Curricular Practical Training (CPT) Conditions Work must be directly related to major Work must be integral to program – CPT course appears on plan of study How to Apply Online workshop: Follow-up session with Immigration Counselor ISS authorizes full-time or part-time CPT Apply during semester preceding requested CPT

6 CPT Limitations 365 days of full-time CPT eliminates OPT CPT work must be within program dates Bachelors and Masters Non-Thesis students may not do CPT in final semester Contact ISS before any unauthorized changes Plan in advance how to use CPT and when to apply because follow-up sessions fill up quickly!

7 Optional Practical Training (OPT) Conditions Work must be directly related to major Report personal and work- related changes to ISS while on OPT Eligible for one year of OPT after each higher degree level

8 How to Apply for OPT Apply up to 90 days before end of degree program Online workshop: Follow-up session with Immigration Counselor ISS recommends student for OPT Student sends application to USCIS Wait for authorization Do not need a job offer to apply Apply EARLY

9 Image credit: University of Southern California

10 EAD Card Image credit: Yale University

11 Travel on OPT Must have with you:  Valid passport  Valid F1 visa  Valid EAD  Current I-20 endorsed for travel within 6 months  Job offer letter ***Note: Be sure to check with your employer before traveling abroad.*** Port of Entry “Is it risky to travel?”

12 ***Authorization Dates*** Work only on dates authorized CPT – see I-20 OPT – see EAD Note: Zero tolerance for unauthorized work! I-20 or EAD

13 H-1B Employment An Overview Minimum qualifications “Specialty” occupation Employer specific and Site specific 6 aggregate years ( 3 year increments) Possible 1 & 3 year extensions beyond the 6 years Must obtain DOL and CIS approval Processing times Regular vs Premium Processing

14 H-1B Employment The Process Compliance with Labor laws Wages (Actual and Prevailing) The LCA – “Labor Condition Application” Compliance with Immigration laws The I-129 application Department of State Applying for a visa at the US Consulate or Embassy abroad

15 H-1B Employment Application Steps Specialty Worker & Job D.O.L. DOL USCIS Approval Key issue: Cap Problem Wages © 1999 by David Schaumburg

16 H-1B Employment Visa “The Cap” Dates to remember October 1 to September 30 = FFY April 1 st – 6 month window Numbers to remember 65,000 “New” H-1B’s each FFY 6,800 reserved for nationals of Chile (1,400) and Singapore (5,400) 20,000 ‘bonus’ allotment for graduates of US Master’s and Doctorate programs

17 H-1B Employment Visa The “Cap” H-1B Cap lottery Strategizing around the “Cap” One time STEM extension (if applicable) Exempt vs Non-exempt employers Institutions of Higher Education Non-profit research organizations Government research organizations Change to another visa status (J-1, O-1, L-1) Work in the company’s branch office overseas The Cap Gap

18 Bridging the Gap © 1999 by David Schaumburg H1B OPT Cap Gap

19 Other Employment Visa Status Options J-1, Exchange Visitor Program J-2 may apply for an EAD card L-1, Intracompany Transferee O-1, Persons of extraordinary ability TN, Trade NAFTA

20 H-1B Employment Visa; $$ Fees $$ USCIS fees Base fee is $ Anti-fraud fee is $ $1, or $ non-exempt training fee Premium Processing is $1, Attorney fees Company vs outside attorney $3-5,000

21 Strategizing Together Know your employer Are they exempt from the H cap? Will they sponsor employment visas? Are they done in-house? Do they have offices in other countries? Know & build on your strengths Know your Visa Options Understand the “Cap” and timing issues

22 Things to Keep in Mind Your visa status is your responsibility Be aware of deadlines and expiration dates Know the rules and regulations surrounding your legal status Have a strategy in mind Employment is the employer’s responsibility Know who is handling your case Provide all needed documents promptly Keep track on the processing of your application

23 Important I.S.S. Information Location: Schleman Hall, Room 136 Phone: Fax: Office Hours: Monday-Friday 8:00-5:00 Walk-in Hours: Monday, Tuesday Wednesday, Friday: 9:00-11:30 and 1:30-4:00 Thursday: 1:30-4:00 only Counselors are only available during walk in hours, except by appointment.

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