2 Topics Covered What is OPT Who is Eligible How to Apply When to Apply FormsMailing your ApplicationUSCIS Notification and ApprovalTravel
3 Optional Practical Training Optional Practical Training (OPT) is temporary employment authorization that gives F-1 students an opportunity to apply knowledge gained in the classroom to a practical work experience off campus.12 months available at each degree level for use either during or following program completionFull-time during periods of recessPart-time when school is in session, deducted at half the rateFull-time after degree completion - Post Completion OPT.
4 OPT EligibilityMust be maintaining full time student status for at least one full academic year preceding the submission of your OPT applicationStudent is eligible for 12 months of practical training for each change to a higher educational levelPreviously approved OPT periods within the same degree level will be deducted from the 12 months totalA student who uses a year or more of full-time Curricular Practical Training (CPT), is not eligible for OPT
5 Type of EmploymentJob must be directly related to your academic field of studyNot employer specific – you can change employers and/or have multiple employersYou do not need a job offer to apply for OPTPlease inform ITU within 3 months regarding your employment. We need to update this information in SEVIS, or else your I20 gets terminated.You can work as volunteer too.No special permission is required to change employers or terminate your employment. However, you must notify ITU about it.
6 How to ApplySchedule an OPT appointment with Christine atComplete all required forms, take photographs, complete check list (see next slides for details)Bring all documents to OPT appointment to submit to ITU adviser for recommendation. ITU will issue you a new I20 with OPT Recommended.Upon receipt of new I-20 with ITU OPT recommendation, send application to immigration, USCIS within 30 days.
7 When to applyAt the earliest possible date! Immigration can take 90 days or longer to process your application.Submit the documents to USCIS within 30 days of receiving I20 from ITU.The application for post-completion OPT must received by USCIS no later than 60-days after your end of completion.
8 When to ApplyThe earliest you can apply for OPT is 90 days before your "completion date." The latest date the USCIS will accept your application is 60 days after your completion date.OPT applications must be submitted to USCIS within 30 days of receiving an OPT I-20 from the Berkeley International Office.
9 How to choose start date Your last day of study at ITU. 08/29/2008You can start applying from 05/30/2008 to 10/29/2008.Your OPT date can start from 08/30/2008 to 10/29/2008.The OPT period will be for 12 months.
10 Things to consider in Date selection You can not start working before the start date of OPT. Cannot begin employment prior to start date requestedEmployable only during USCIS approved periodOnce application submitted to USCIS, cannot change dates requested
11 Application Material I-765 Form I-765 form 2 Photos per passport photo specificationsPhotocopy of OPT I-20. Please do not forget to sign your I20.Copy of I-94 (front and back)$340 Check made payable to US Department of Homeland SecurityPrint SEVIS ID no. on the memo section of check..
12 Photo SpecificationSubmit 2 Identical Passport size photos within 30 days of filling of application.The photographs must have white to off white background. Must be printed on thin paper with glossy finish.Go to I-765 Instructions for further detailWrite I-94 number on the back of the photo by pencil.
14 Important changes in your I20 Please make sure we make these changes before requesting your OPTChange program end date as the 08/29/2008. Please give your names by end of this seminar, so we can change your program end date to be 8/29/2008Student needs to be last session.Make sure that the I20 says that student is proficient in English.Or else, your OPT request will be denied.Your address in the SEVIS should match with the address that you write on I-765
15 Fields required for OPT Request Employment Start DateEmployment End dateFull time/ Part timeExplain how the employment is related to course work.Has the student completed one full year of academic study.
16 New I-20 With OPT Recommendation YALEEllieNSample1616
17 Documents for Mailing I-765 Form I-765 form 2 Photos per passport photo specificationsPhotocopy of OPT I-20 Please sign this I20.Copy of I-94 (front and back)$340 Check made payable to US Department of Homeland SecurityDouble checkCopy all these documents for your ref. as well as submit one copy to ITU.
18 Mailing applicationWe recommend students to send the applications either by Certified mail with return receipt or by Courier with the signature required.
19 Mailing Address USPS If you live in CA USCIS California Service Center P.O. Box 10765Laguna Niguel, CA
20 Private Courier USCIS California Service Center 24000 Avila Road 2nd Floor, Room 2312Laguna Niguel, CA
21 After Application Submission RECEIPT NOTICE FROM USCIS:You will get a receipt notice from USCIS within 2-4 weeks.Check for errors. If your name is spelled incorrectly, contact USCIS.Follow the progress of your case online at Case Status Report using the WAC number assigned on your receipt notice. You can sign up for notifications about your application when you check the status of your case online.You may get a request for further evidence once your case is reviewed by a USCIS officer. If you receive such a request, respond immediately. Keep a copy of what you return to USCIS.USCIS processing can take up to 90 days!!!
22 OPT Approval & EAD CardWhen your OPT is approved, you will receive both an Employment Authorization Document (EAD card) and a USCIS Notice of Approval that looks like your receipt notice. The notice generally arrives before the card. At the discretion of your employer, if the notice so indicates, it may be used in lieu of your EAD card to begin employment (and to complete an I-9 form), but only for 30 days.If your card does not arrive within 10 days of receipt of the approval notice, contact USCIS.
23 Travel Issues Valid Passport Unexpired F-1 Visa Stamp in passport Original OPT I-20 (endorsed by OISS within the last 6 months)EAD card not valid for Re-entry.Letter of current temporary employment - Mandatory.
24 New reporting requirements during OPT Your NameYour Residential addressYour Phone and addressEmployer nameEmployer addressStart Date of EmploymentMore than 10 days of unemployment (During the initial 12-month OPT, students may not accrue a cumulative total of more than 90 days of unemployment. Periods of up to 10 days between the end of one job and the beginning of the next job will not be included in the calculation for the time spent unemployed.)Date of exiting the U.S (You need to provide date of exit if you decide to exit the U.S and complete your OPT status prior to the end date of your OPT)You will also be required to update this information within 10 working days of any changes.