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OPT and CPT – What’s it all about?. Work Options for F-1 Visa Students Work on campus Off campus work for severe economic necessity Curricular Practical.

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Presentation on theme: "OPT and CPT – What’s it all about?. Work Options for F-1 Visa Students Work on campus Off campus work for severe economic necessity Curricular Practical."— Presentation transcript:

1 OPT and CPT – What’s it all about?

2 Work Options for F-1 Visa Students Work on campus Off campus work for severe economic necessity Curricular Practical Training (CPT) Optional Practical Training (OPT) Note: For all classes of employment, except on campus, student must have been enrolled for a full academic year to be eligible.

3 Curricular Practical Training By definition, the internship or working experience must have an educational or curricular purpose. It must be “an integral part of the student’s program”. Must be related to major. Not minor. Whether paid or unpaid, student must register for credit. For example: ACCTG 380 Internship 1, 2, or 4 hours On-the-job learning experience in government or industry. The plan must be presented for departmental approval before the experience begins. (Note: Those students with less than a 2.50 GPA in the major must have departmental approval before interviewing.)

4 What is Illegal Work? More than you might think! All of these paid activities are considered illegal work. – Babysitting – Paid performances, music accompanying – House sitting – Dog walking – Cooking or catering – Tutoring (paid by someone other than Luther)

5 Optional Practical Training F-1 Students are allowed one full year of OPT per educational level, i.e. Associate degree, Bachelor’s, etc. OPT can be used before completion of degree or post-completion. Must be related to student’s major. Employment may be with a company, self- employment, musical gigs, contract work, etc.(keep records!).

6 CPT – How to Apply Visit the Career Center, both virtually and in person to find the internship you’re looking for! Attend Career Fairs Once you’ve found an internship, pick up internship paperwork from Career Center and check with your department for approval for 1-4 credits. Get department’s signature on the internship, and return forms to Career Center Visit your DSO for CPT approval on your I-20 and then you’re okay to do your internship!

7 OPT How to Apply Have a conversation with your DSO about a timeline. Your OPT application should be submitted relative to your date of graduation, whether you have a job or not, plans to leave the country, plans for graduate school, driver’s license renewal date, and other considerations.

8 Post-Completion or Pre-Completion? Pre-Completion OPT is possible, but limits you to 20 hours per week while taking classes, and cuts down or eliminates your post-completion time. (better to use CPT) F-1 Students are eligible for 12 full months of OPT per educational level: Associate Degree, Bachelor’s, Master’s, PhD. Post –Completion OPT must occur during the 14 months immediately after graduation.

9 OPT When to Apply When can I apply for post-completion OPT? How do I Choose a start date? Apply 90 days before your start date. No Job?

10 OPT When to Apply Have a job? Processing time is up to 90 days. With a job offer letter, can request to expedite application.

11 OPT When to Apply What if I have trouble finding a job?

12 OPT – How to Apply Download form I-765 and instructions for the Diversity Center Website, or pick up a packet in the LDC. students/opt/ students/opt/ Return forms, check or money order, passport photos to your DSO. Bring along current passport, I-94, visa and all I- 20s you’ve been issued. DSO will enter OPT application into SEVIS, after a brief “interview” to determine start dates and other information. You will be issued a new I-20 with OPT application. DSO will include a cover letter and help you assemble your application packet for mailing to the USCIS in Nebraska.

13 What Happens Next? In days, a receipt will be sent to the address on the application. (usually the LDC) The receipt will contain an LIN number (case number) and indicate a webpage where you can check the status of your application. Do not lose this receipt! In some cases, instead of a receipt, you might receive a “Request for Evidence”, indicating some piece of information is missing.

14 Already Have a Job? If you have a job offer when you apply for OPT, you can include a copy of the offer and request that USCIS expedite your application. This may shorten the processing time, but it’s unclear by how much. If you receive an offer, after submitting your application, your DSO can fax a copy of the offer, along with a copy of your OPT receipt to the USCIS Service Center.

15 Once You Get the EAD Work cannot be started before the “valid from” date on the Employment Authorization Document. (EAD) CRD&vgnextchannel=68439c7755cb9010VgnVCM f3d6a1RCRD

16 Employer Sponsorship Some employers hire F-1 students on OPT with the intention of sponsoring them for a H-1B working visa. (Or they discover they like your work after you begin at the company) H-1B petitions are usually submitted in April of each year, and accepted until the cap is reached. The adjudication of those petitions isn’t done until late summer, early fall, and the H-1B visas go into effect on October 1.

17 Cap-Gap Allowance Where does that leave you? Your OPT runs out in June, but your H-1B isn’t approved until October. Help!! That’s where Cap-Gap comes in! H-1B petition April 1, 2013 OPT ends June 15, 2013 H-1B approved or denied, Oct. 1, 2013

18 OPT Before Grad School Some students will work under OPT for the summer before graduate school. (Luther campus work ends at Commencement) OPT commences June 1, 2013 Grad school commences Sept. 1, 2103 (OPT ends when SEVIS record is transferred to graduate school)

19 What Else Should I Know About OPT? During the 12 month period of OPT, you are allowed a maximum of 90 days of unemployment. This may be a cumulative total of more than one period of unemployment. It costs $380 to submit your application. While on OPT, you are required to notify your DSO of your personal address and the name and address of your employer. It can take up to 90 days to process the application The onus is on you to prove that your work is related to your academic major.

20 17 Month STEM Extension What are STEM fields of study? S – Science T – Technology E – Engineering M – Mathematics At Luther, these majors include: Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Environmental Studies, Math, Math & Statistics, Physics You are eligible to apply for 17 additional months of OPT, providing your employer is an e-Verify employer. You must apply before the end of your current OPT employment. The application process is the same as OPT.

21 Wrap Up When in doubt, don’t rely on the wisdom of your friends, go to your DSO! Begin the process early enough, so that you can begin working when you need to. Don’t come rushing in at the last minute! Ask lots of questions!!!!


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