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-2409 Fax: (928) 523-9489 firstname.lastname@example.org
OPTIONAL PRACTICAL TRAINING (OPT)
Please remember that immigration rules and regulations, forms, fees, and mailing addresses change from time to time. CIE will make changes in this form as soon as possible after being notified of any changes to the process and for SEVIS reporting. DEFINITION Optional practical training (OPT) is defined in the F-1 regulations as "temporary employment for practical training directly related to the student's major area of study." F-1 students may apply for post-completion OPT, which begins after graduation. Graduate students may be eligible for pre-completion OPT prior to graduation. See your International Student Advisor for more information about this option. During OPT, you remain in F-1 student status and must follow reporting requirements. ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS As an F-1 student you must have been enrolled on a full-time basis in a SEVISapproved college or university for at least one full academic year to be eligible for OPT. OPT is available for a maximum of 12 months per educational level. You become eligible for another 12 months of OPT when you change to a higher educational level. No offer of employment is required to apply for OPT, but you are required to be employed during the OPT validity period. Students on OPT are limited to a maximum of 90 days of unemployment. Authorization of full-time Curricular Practical Training (CPT) for one year or more eliminates eligibility for OPT. Part-time CPT does not affect OPT eligibility. OPT REQUEST, APPLICATION, AND FILING An application for OPT consists of four steps: 1) The student makes a request for OPT to the International Student Advisor. 2) After determining eligibility, the International Student Advisor submits an OPT recommendation in SEVIS and prepares a Form I-20 with the OPT recommendation. 3) The student files a Form I-765 (with fee), the Form I-20, and supporting documents to the USCIS Service Center. 4) If the application is approved, USCIS will issue an Employment Authorization Card (EAD).
S. picture. but if there is a chance you may not meet the requirements. USCIS generally adjudicates an OPT application within 90 days of receiving it. PO Box 5598. To find out what current USCIS processing times are. 86011-5598 (you may have to handwrite this) The code for #16 is: (c)(3)(B) When you sign your name. 9) memo from academic advisor or department chair (sample letter is attached). make sure it doesn’t cross the upper or lower lines. REQUESTING OPT FROM YOUR INTERNATIONAL STUDENT ADVISOR Gather and complete the following paperwork: 1) Go to http://www. 2) photocopies of passport page/s showing number. Department of Homeland Security.WHEN TO APPLY AND HOW LONG IT TAKES An application for OPT can be filed up to 90 days before the official end of the semester you are graduating or up to 60 days after. 5) photocopies of pages 1 & 3 of ALL I-20s from ALL schools and degree programs clearly showing any stamps and notations. Download the form. and . 3) photocopy of your F-1 visa (it is okay if it is already expired or if it will expire during OPT).uscis. Flagstaff AZ. use the USCIS website: https://egov. 6) photocopy of either your NAU ID or Arizona driver’s license.gov/cris/jsps/index. and expiration date (must be valid for at least 6 months). If you plan to graduate. 7) check or money order for the I-765 filing fee or $340 made out to the U.jsp. birth date. including your signature Use the CIE address if there is any chance that you will move before your OPT is approved: c/o the advisor who assists you with the OPT application. or to check the status of a pending application for which you have a receipt number. 8) 2 passport type photos taken within 30 days of the filing of this application.uscis. lightly print your name and I-94 number (11 digits) on the back of each photo at the bottom. Make it “float” in the signature box. Tips: Make sure the revision date and barcode appear at the bottom of the printed form Use black pen for anything you handwrite on the form. discuss this with your International Student Advisor before you apply for OPT. Using a felt pen. 4) photocopy of the front and back of your I-94 card clearly showing the stamp and any notations. Walgreens and Kinkos do passport photos.gov and click on “Immigration Forms” at the top of the page. NAU CIE. name. Scroll down and click on Form I-765 (Application for Employment Authorization). fill it out. print it and sign it.
Your International Student Advisor will help you prepare your OPT application which you will mail to the USCIS service center that has jurisdiction over your place of residence. MAILING YOUR APPLICATION U. the time spent outside the United States will not count as unemployment. Skyharbor Circle S Suite 100 Phoenix. Make sure that whichever shipping service you use.10) when you have ALL the paperwork listed above contact the CIE front desk at (928) 523-2409 to make a 1 hour appointment with your International Student Advisor. The Post Office can explain all your options and costs. will recommend OPT in SEVIS and print you a new I-20. F-1 status is dependent upon employment and you may not be unemployed for an aggregate of more than 90 days during your 12 months of OPT. . if everything is complete. Even time spent outside the United States while unemployed will count towards unemployment during the EAD validity period. There are many considerations when choosing a requested employment start date. Your International Student Advisor will review your paperwork and. EMPLOYMENT START DATE You will have to choose a “requested employment start date” before your International Student Advisor can issue you a new I-20. Work can begin only after receiving the Employment Authorization Card (EAD) which is issued by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). which your International Student Advisor will discuss with you if you wish. and only on or after the start date on the EAD. You must choose a date between the official end of the semester and 60 days later. AZ 85034 For courier/express deliveries: If you are not living in Arizona. you get proof that your application was delivered (for example: certified mail with return receipt or FedEx with a tracking number). If there is any chance that you may not be able to successfully graduate on time then you need to discuss this with your International Student Advisor. If you travel while employed either during a period of leave authorized by your employer or as part of your employment. 90 DAY UNEMPLOYMENT LIMIT During OPT. 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 time spent unemployed.S. Each day during the period when OPT authorization begins and ends that the student does not have qualifying employment counts as a day of unemployment. Postal Service deliveries: USCIS PO Box 21281 Phoenix. please ask your International Student Advisor for the correct mailing address based on your current residential address. AZ 85036 USCIS Attn: AOS 1820 E.
supervisor. the dates and duration. In this situation. Additionally. Your legal name 2. proof of the duration of that position. Work for hire: This is employment where an individual performs a service based on a contractual relationship rather than an employment relationship. you must work full time. You must be prepared to provide evidence showing a list of all gigs. Employer/Company/Business address 7. Dates of times unemployed 9. Payment by multiple short-term multiple employers: If you are a musician or performing artist you may work for multiple short term employers (gigs). If it is not clear from the job description that the work is related to the student's degree. In such cases. ALLOWABLE EMPLOYMENT Regular paid employment: For at least 20 hours per week in a position directly related to your major. and a description of the work. Immigration and Customs Enforcement may examine SEVIS data and terminate your SEVIS record if it fails to show that you maintained the proper period of employment. or manager stating how the your degree is related to the work you are performing. Self-employed business owner: Students on OPT may start a business and be selfemployed. Start and end dates of employment 8. Your residential and mailing address.of the position held. if different 3. You should maintain a list of all gigs. REPORTING REQUIREMENTS Reporting Requirements while on OPT for ALL students (these include both the Homeland Security requirements and those needed by the CIE International Student Advisor): 1. as long as it is directly related to your major and commensurate with your educational level. You must be able to prove that you . including maintaining employment. Employer/Company/Business name 6.Consequences of over 90 days of unemployment: You may be denied future immigration benefits that rely on your valid F-1 status if the Department of Homeland Security determines that you exceeded the limitations on unemployment. you must be prepared to provide evidence showing the duration of the contract periods and the name and address of the contracting company. You may work for multiple employers. in case it is requested by the Department of Homeland Security. it is highly recommended that you obtain a signed letter from your employer's hiring official.for each job . you will be given an opportunity to show that you complied with all OPT requirements. If requested by the Department of Homeland Security. Supervisor’s name and contact information You must report changes to your International Student Advisor within 10 business days of the change to avoid situations where a Department of Homeland Security official may determine you are out of status. contact information for the student's supervisor or manager. You should maintain evidence . Your phone number/s 4. the job title. Your Email address 5.
The Sample OPT letter is on the next page . and You are returning to begin or resume employment You present a passport valid at least 6 months into the future You present a valid visa (unexpired) CANCELLING YOUR OPT APPLICATION Contact your International Student Advisor if you decide to cancel or withdraw your OPT application or quit earlier than the employment end date indicated on your EAD. TRAVEL AND REENTRY DURING OPT During OPT. The work must be at least 20 hours per week and you must be able to provide evidence from the employer that you worked at least 20 hours per week during the period of employment. Employment through an agency: You must be able to provide evidence showing you worked an average of at least 20 hours per week while employed by the agency. as long as: You present an I-20 signed by your International Student Advisor within the preceding 6 months. REMEMBER! While on OPT you are still in F-1 student status and must report to your International Student Advisor to maintain your F-1 status. you can travel outside the United States and be readmitted to begin or resume employment for the remainder of the period authorized on your EAD card. Volunteers or unpaid interns: You may work as a volunteer or unpaid intern.have the proper business licenses and are actively engaged in a business related to your major. where this does not violate any labor laws. Recovering all or part of a period of optional practical training that has already been granted by USCIS is difficult and sometimes impossible. and You present an unexpired EAD.
To: NAU International Student Advisor From: (Name of academic advisor or department chair) Date: _______________________________________ is currently an undergraduate student (Name of Student) pursuing a major in ________________________ and has an expected graduation date of ______________________________. (Official end of the semester: MM/DD/YYYY) Signature (must be original): ____________________________________ Email: _______________________________ Phone: ______________________________ . and must contain the advisor’s (or department chair’s if your advisor is not available) original signature.SAMPLE OPT LETTER The information below must be typed or written on official school or department letterhead.
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