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Presentation on theme: "OPTIONAL PRACTICAL TRAINING Workshop"— Presentation transcript:

Clemson University Office of International Services

2 Welcome! This presentation will answer many questions regarding OPT, including: What is OPT How do I apply for OPT? When do I apply for OPT? Can I cancel/change my application? What about OPT extension? Travel on OPT And more…

3 WHAT IS OPT? Employment limited to your field of study
Off campus work authorization permitting a work experience in your field of study at a U.S. company or organization. Employment limited to your field of study Maximum authorization is 12 months

4 WHAT EXACTLY IS OPT? Xiaoyu majored in Chemistry and is hired by Coca-Cola to work in their Research and Development department.

5 WHAT IS NOT OPT? Maria is completing a degree in Biology. She wants to work as a waitress.

6 WHEN CAN I USE OPT? Pre-Completion During school vacations (full-time)
During school year (part-time) Post-Completion After completion of program

7 WHEN CAN I USE OPT? Masters or PhD students:
Once all coursework has been completed, students may concurrently work full-time on Pre-Completion OPT while writing their thesis/dissertation. Full-time enrollment is required. Time spent during pre-completion will be subtracted from the total 12 months.

8 WHAT IS COMPLETION? (when your I-20 will expire)
Your completion date is when your I-20 expires, and you have completed your program. Using post-completion OPT means you are FINISHED as a student. You are no longer eligible to extend your I-20. You are also ineligible to work in your graduate assistantship.

9 WHAT IS COMPLETION? (when your I-20 will expire)
You CANNOT work, paid or volunteer, between your completion date and your OPT start date.

10 WHEN CAN I APPLY? It is recommended that you apply before your completion date. USCIS must receive your application BEFORE the end of your 60 day grace period. The earliest you can apply is 90 days before your completion date. OPT must start within 60 days of the completion date.

You will receive a new I-20 You will send the required documents to USCIS You receive a Notice of Action (receipt letter) within 2-3 weeks You can track your application with the receipt number at: Your Employment Authorization Document (EAD) will arrive within 90 days

12 WHAT IF I CHANGE MY MIND? Your OPT can be cancelled without losing any time if you have not mailed your application NO REFUNDS. You will lost the $380 application fee to USCIS Your OPT may be cancelled once it has begun, but you risk losing considerable time during the cancellation process ANY CHANGE to your OPT application is NOT recommended once it has been submitted If you start a new degree program or transfer your SEVIS record to a new school during your OPT period, this will cancel your OPT work authorization

13 OPT Rules You MUST work at least 20 hours a week
Your work MUST be in your field of study You cannot accrue more than 90 days of unemployment You must report changes in address, employers, and period of unemployment to International Services using the IS-150 Data Validation Form

14 TRAVEL I-20 travel signature: no more than 6 months old!
If your application is still pending and you have completed your program, travel is risky If your application was approved and you have: A job; it is recommended that you travel with written support from your supervisor No job; leaving the country is risky. Carry proof of your job search

Extension of your OPT work authorization is available if you have a pending non-exempt H-1B petition (contact our office) If your degree is in Science, Technology, Engineering, or Math (STEM), you may qualify for a 17 month OPT extension (contact our office) You have a 60 day grace period after your OPT expires. You can use this time to: Apply to change Visa status Prepare to leave the U.S. Begin a new degree program

IS-140 Form signed by both you and your academic advisor 2 US Passport photos (2x2) Copies of: front and back of I-94, Visa, passport photo and biographical page (if there is one) G-1145 Form (typed) I-765 Form (typed) Check made out to U.S. Department of Homeland Security for $380 NO job offer required

17 G-1145Form USCIS Website MUST be filled online, NOT handwritten NOT a required form, but we strongly recommend students to complete and submit with their application to receive confirmation of USCIS having received the documents


19 I-765 Application Form MUST be filled online, NOT handwritten
USCIS Website Address: Make sure you use a reliable address where you will be in 90 days. USCIS will NOT forward mail! If you are unsure, use International Services address A-Number OR I-94 Number: You will write your I-94 number Date and Place of last entry: Can be found on your I-94 card

20 I-765 Application Form Manner of Entry and Current Status: F-1 Student
Pre-Completion Code: (c) (3) (A) Post Completion Code: (c) (3) (B) OPT Extension Code: (c) (3) (C) Question 17 is for Extension applicants only


22 Waiting Game A watched pot never boils!

23 NEED MORE HELP? OPT and other immigration questions can be ed to Advising Hours Monday and Tuesday: 9:00-11:30 Wednesday and Thursday: 1:30-3:30 Or by appointment. Please call Requests for appointments through will not be considered

24 OPT Questions?


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