Post-Completion Optional Practical Training Part I : Before you apply for OPT Stanford University Bechtel International Center You will be able to know… • Introduction to Optional Practical Training • Things You Should Know Before Applying for OPT Introduction to Optional Practical Training What is OPT (Optional Practical Training)? OPT is temporary work authorization that allows you to gain work experience directly related to your major field of study at a U.S. company or organization. Post-OPT is work authorization after the completion of a degree program. Optional Practical Training requires work permission from US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS), who issues an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) as proof of your work authorization. Maximum period of OPT: 12 months (29 months in some cases, see information on STEM OPT extension, http://icenter.stanford.edu/students/current/STEM_ext.html.) Post-Completion OPT can only be full-time. What is OPT (Optional Practical Training)? • You have been enrolled full-time for at least an academic year by the time you graduate. • You have applied to graduate. • You seek employment that is directly related to your field of study. • You are NOT eligible for Post-OPT if any of the following situations apply to you: Note: No job offer is required to apply for OPT. • You have already been granted 12 months of OPT for the same degree level. • You have completed 12 months of full-time CPT. • You have returned from a leave of absence, but have not completed one academic year in valid F-1 status. • You have applied for and received approval of a change of status from F-1 to any other visa type. • You are outside the US at the time of filing your OPT application. You must be in F-1 status to apply. (You have no visa status when you are outside the us.) • You are outside the US after your degree conferral date. You may not apply from outside the US nor are you eligible to reenter the US to regain your F-1 status during the grace period. Your F-1 status will have completed, ending all benefits associated with the F-1. Duration of Status & OPT Timeline Departure Earliest Start Date of OPT Back to school/CDL Transfer Out Change of status Latest Start Date of OPT 1 2 3 4 ACADEMIC 60 Days 12 Months 60 Days Degree Start Date Degree Conferral Date OPT Completion Date : Studies : Grace period after completion of studies : OPT (should be done within 14 months after completion of studies) : Grace period after completion of OPT (no school, no work) Things you should know before applying for OPT Points to Consider When Applying for OPT 90 Day Processing Time If You Do Not Know If You Will be Graduating Calculating Your OPT Dates Degree Conferral Date: 6/15/2014 Earliest OPT Requested Start Date: 6/15/2014 Latest OPT Requested Start Date: 8/14/2014 Requesting 12 Months of OPT: Start: 6/15/2014 End: 6/14/2015 • Apply early for OPT! USCIS can take up to 90 days to process OPT work authorization. There is no guarantee they will process it faster. • You may not begin employment until you receive your EAD card and the dates are valid. • Only students who are certain they will be graduating should apply for Post-OPT. • If you apply for Post-OPT and fail to graduate, you risk your OPT being denied. • If the OPT has been approved and you fail to graduate, you will be responsible for equally maintaining your student status and your Post-OPT status at the same time. • If you are not sure if you will actually be able to graduate by your intended date and wish to apply for Post-OPT, speak with an International Student Advisor to discuss you options. • When applying for OPT, you have to choose a start and end date for the period of OPT you are requesting. • Start Date of OPT: This date can be as early as your degree conferral date and no later than 60 days after. • End Date of OPT: This date will be one year later if you are eligible and applying for the full 12 months of OPT. • You would be eligible for less than 12 months if you were granted PreCompletion OPT for this same degree program or have been granted a portion of OPT for another F-1 program at the same degree level. Pre-Completion OPT – Calculating the Remaining Period of OPT: Deduct the number of days you were granted Pre-OPT from the 12 months(365days) of OPT. If you were approved for part-time Pre-OPT, deduct at a half time rate (e.g. 60 days of part-time Pre-OPT only counts as 30 days of full-time OPT). • Deadlines Failure to meet these deadlines will result in either a denial or rejection of your OPT application!! • You may apply for Post-OPT up to 90 days before your degree conferral date and no later than 60 days after. • USCIS cannot receive your application any earlier than 90 days prior to your degree conferral date. • USCIS must receive your application no later than 60 days after the degree conferral date. • Once the OPT I-20 has been issued, USCIS must receive the OPT application within 30 days. • If your application is denied or rejected, you will not be eligible to reapply if your grace period is over. Denial of OPT application = Your application is processed, including the application fee, resulting in a denial. Rejection of OPT application = Your application is not processed and is returned to you, including the application fee. When this happens, you will most likely have to request for a new I-20 if it has been 30 days or more from the I-20 date. Post-OPT Requirements To maintain your F-1 status while on POST-OPT, you are required to do the following: • Update your non-Stanford email address in Axess Make sure this is an email address you check regularly. • Update your SEVIS US address in Axess within 10 days of moving. This address must be a physical residential address and not a P.O. Box. • Report all periods of employment and unemployment once your Post-OPT begins, within 10 days of any change in your employment status. Students update their employment status on the I-Center site, http://www.stanford.edu/dept/icenter/employmentinfo.fb. Students should always keep documentation for their own records of the employment information they report. • Report changes to your visa status (e.g. change to H-1B) on the I-Center site, http://www.stanford.edu/dept/icenter/employmentinfo.fb. • Report early completion of your Post-OPT on the I-Center site, http://www.stanford.edu/dept/icenter/employmentinfo.fb. Report your final departure date from the US in F-1 status if you decide to forfeit the rest of your OPT period and leave the US. This means that you are requesting that we complete your F-1 record and you no longer wish to continue your OPT. • Do not accrue any more than 90 days of unemployment. Unemployment While on OPT • You can not accrue any more than an aggregate total of 90 days of unemployment once your OPT begins. If you accrue 90 days of unemployment, you automatically lose your OPT and must depart the US by the time you reach the 90th day of unemployment. Contact the I-Center if you are approaching 90 days of unemployment. • If you volunteer or intern without pay at least 20 hours per week in your area of study (where this does not violate any labor laws), this time would be considered as employment for OPT and it will not be counted against the 90 days of unemployment. Things to Know • You may legally remain in the US while your OPT application is being processed. • You may not begin employment until you receive your EAD card and the dates are valid. • You cannot take classes while on OPT except for incidental classes. • After graduation, you cannot work on campus unless you have OPT authorization and the job is related to your field of study. • After your H-1B effective date, your F-1 OPT status automatically ends. --> You must contact the I-Center of your change of status by reporting the change here, http://www.stanford.edu/dept/icenter/employmentinfo.fb. Also, email a copy of your H-1B Notice of Approval to [email protected] • You have a 60 day grace period after your EAD card expires to prepare to go home, transfer to a new academic program in the US, or change your status. End of Part 1 Thank you!