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Report
OPTIONAL PRACTICAL TRAINING 17-MONTH
EXTENSION (OPTX)
INFORMATION AND INSTRUCTIONS FOR QUALIFIED F-1
STUDENTS ON OPT
University Center North, Room 203, Houston, TX 77204-3024  Phone: (713) 743-5065  Fax: (713) 743-5079  http://issso.uh.edu
STEPS FOR APPLYING FOR 17-MONTH STEM
EXTENSION
1. LISTEN TO THE PRESENTATION, AND FOLLOWING ALL THE
STEPS OUTLINED IN THE POWERPOINT
2. SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT WITH A COUNSELOR
(PHONE OR IN PERSON)
3. SUBMIT THE REQUIRED DOCUMENTS BY MAIL OR IN
PERSON
4. FOLLOW ALL INSTRUCTIONS PROVIDED BY COUNSELOR
University Center North, Room 203, Houston, TX 77204-3024  Phone: (713) 743-5065  Fax: (713) 743-5079  http://issso.uh.edu
OPTIONAL PRACTICAL TRAINING
17-MONTH EXTENSION (OPTX)
DEFINITION:
In 2008, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
extended the maximum period of optional practical training
(OPT) from 12 months to 29 months (an additional 17 months)
for F-1 students on OPT who have completed a science,
technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) degree and
accept employment with employers enrolled in U.S. Citizenship
and Immigration Services (USCIS) E-Verify employment
verification program.
University Center North, Room 203, Houston, TX 77204-3024  Phone: (713) 743-5065  Fax: (713) 743-5079  http://issso.uh.edu
OPTIONAL PRACTICAL TRAINING
17-MONTH EXTENSION (OPTX)
ELIGIBILITY
To be eligible, you must:
• have completed your degree and currently be participating in an
approved period of post-completion OPT that has not expired
(students on pre-completion OPT are not eligible for the
extension).
• work for U.S. employer in a job directly related to the major area
of study.
• have completed a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctor’s degree in a
field on the DHS STEM Designated Degree Program List. [your
CIP code on pg. 3 of most recent I-20 must be on this list]
• have a job offer from an employer registered with the E-Verify
employment verification system
• not have previously received a 17-month extension, even if you
complete a second STEM degree.
University Center North, Room 203, Houston, TX 77204-3024  Phone: (713) 743-5065  Fax: (713) 743-5079  http://issso.uh.edu
WHEN TO APPLY
Applications for the 17-month extension can be filed up to
120 days prior to the end of the regular period of post-completion
OPT, but USCIS must receive and receipt the application, before
the current OPT expires.
USCIS recommends filing the
application between the 120th and 90th day before OPT expires.
EMPLOYMENT REQUIREMENTS
Students:
•
Must work in a position at least 20 hours per week for an E-Verify employer in
a position directly related to the student’s STEM degree
•
May work multiple jobs, but all employers must be enrolled in E-Verify
•
Are allowed to volunteer
•
Must not accumulate more than 120 days of unemployment during entire OPT
University Center North, Room 203, Houston, TX 77204-3024  Phone: (713) 743-5065  Fax: (713) 743-5079  http://issso.uh.edu
HOW TO APPLY
A. Complete form I-765 downloadable from
http://www.uscis.gov/files/form/i-765.pdf. The ISSSO
counselor does not endorse the I-765, but will review it for
completeness:
1. Check the third box under “I am applying for”:
Renewal…
2. Item 16 of Form I-765: enter the eligibility code: (c)
(3) (C) for the 17-month extension.
3. Item 17 of Form I-765: list the numerical CIP code as
shown at the top of page 3 of your OPT I-20 (example,
11.0101), your employer’s name as listed in E-Verify,
and your employer’s E-Verify Number (this is a 5 – 6
digit number; NOT the company’s Tax ID#)
University Center North, Room 203, Houston, TX 77204-3024  Phone: (713) 743-5065  Fax: (713) 743-5079  http://issso.uh.edu
HOW TO APPLY
B. Update the Self-Report on ISSSO’s website: Go to
http://issso.uh.edu, then click on OPT SELF REPORT and
complete it
C. Complete and sign the attached form “Student
Statement of Responsibility”
D. Complete form G-1145 downloadable from
http://www.uscis.gov/files/form/g-1145.pdf. This form is
optional and allows you to receive an email or text message
when your application has initially been received by the
Service Center.
University Center North, Room 203, Houston, TX 77204-3024  Phone: (713) 743-5065  Fax: (713) 743-5079  http://issso.uh.edu
HOW TO APPLY
E.
Make an appointment to bring the following documents to
ISSSO OR submit the documents to ISSSO by mail (either
way, you must have an appointment):
• If mailing, send to the address below:
Name of ISSSO Counselor (with whom you made the
appointment)
University Center North,
Room 203,
Houston, TX 77204-3024
i. Copy of completed form “G-1145” (optional)
ii. Copy of completed form “I-765”
iii. Copy of current OPT Employment Authorization
Document [both sides]
iv. Copy of diploma
University Center North, Room 203, Houston, TX 77204-3024  Phone: (713) 743-5065  Fax: (713) 743-5079  http://issso.uh.edu
vi. Copy of I-94 card [both sides]
vii. Copy of passport pages(s) showing your name,
photo, and expiration date
viii. Copy of F-1 visa [most recent]
ix. Job offer letter on company letterhead (include
supervisor name & email/telephone #)
x. Original Employer Statement of Understanding
xi. Original Student Statement of Responsibility
xii. A personal check payable to “University of Houston”
for $60*
xiii. A postage-paid label (for mailing package back to
student, where student expects counselor to return
package by mail)
* You must also prepare a check payable to U.S. Department
of Homeland Security for $380, but you do not need to submit
it to our office
University Center North, Room 203, Houston, TX 77204-3024  Phone: (713) 743-5065  Fax: (713) 743-5079  http://issso.uh.edu
F.
The ISSSO Counselor will review your request and
determine your eligibility. If a 17-month extension is
warranted, a recommendation for an OPT extension will
be processed in SEVIS which will generate a new I-20.
When you receive your new I-20, sign and date it. Then
make a copy to be included with your OPTX application,
and send a copy to ISSSO to be placed in your file. The
original I-20 is for your records.
G. Mail the I-765 with supporting documents to the
USCIS address provided by the Counselor. Submit the
I-765 within 30 days of the issue date of the new I-20 AND
before your current OPT expires. The Service Center
must receive and receipt the application, before the
current OPT expires.
University Center North, Room 203, Houston, TX 77204-3024  Phone: (713) 743-5065  Fax: (713) 743-5079  http://issso.uh.edu
MAILING CHECKLIST
Mail the following documents in this order to the address
provided:
1. Form G-1145
2. Form I-765
3. Check for $380 payable to U.S. Department of Homeland
Security attached to I-765
4. Photos [in holder or small envelope]
5. Photocopy of new I-20 with OPT Extension
recommendation on p. 3. You keep the Original I-20
6. Photocopy of passport photo page including expiration date
7. Photocopy of most recent visa page
8. Photocopy of I-94 card [both sides]
9. Photocopy of diploma from UH
10.Copy of current EAD [both sides]
University Center North, Room 203, Houston, TX 77204-3024  Phone: (713) 743-5065  Fax: (713) 743-5079  http://issso.uh.edu
ISSSO recommends that you mail your application package in
a verifiable manner (such as certified with proof of delivery
receipt). Be sure to keep a copy of all documents sent to and
received from USCIS.
Remember to provide ISSSO with an copy of the new EAD
card issued for OPT Extension
University Center North, Room 203, Houston, TX 77204-3024  Phone: (713) 743-5065  Fax: (713) 743-5079  http://issso.uh.edu
POST FILING TIPS—WHAT YOU
SHOULD KNOW
 Students who have properly filed Form I-765 (for 17-month
Extension) prior to the end date of his/her current postcompletion OPT will be able to continue employment while
their extension application is pending, until a final decision
is made on the I-765 or for 180 days, whichever comes
first.
 The employment authorization period for the 17-month
OPT extension begins on the day after the expiration of
the initial post-completion OPT employment authorization
and ends 17 months later, regardless of the date the actual
extension is approved.
University Center North, Room 203, Houston, TX 77204-3024  Phone: (713) 743-5065  Fax: (713) 743-5079  http://issso.uh.edu
POST FILING TIPS—WHAT YOU
SHOULD KNOW
 A student may change employers during the 17-month
extension, however, the new employer must also be an EVerify employer and the job must be directly related to the
student’s major. Students must report the change in
employment to ISSSO by updating the Self Report at
www.issso.uh.edu.
 Do not travel outside of the U.S. if your EAD is expired and
the 17-month extension request is pending. Wait until you
receive the new EAD.
University Center North, Room 203, Houston, TX 77204-3024  Phone: (713) 743-5065  Fax: (713) 743-5079  http://issso.uh.edu
POST FILING TIPS—WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW
 The student is expected to maintain evidence for each job
showing that it is directly related to the major. Keep evidence
of: i) the position held, ii) proof of the duration of the position,
iii) job title, iv) contact information of supervisor, and v) a
description of the work. If it is not clear from the job
description, obtain a signed letter from the hiring officer,
supervisor, or manager stating how the student’s degree is
related to the work performed.
University Center North, Room 203, Houston, TX 77204-3024  Phone: (713) 743-5065  Fax: (713) 743-5079  http://issso.uh.edu
POST FILING TIPS—WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW
 The employer must agree to report to ISSSO any job
termination or early departure. Please give the employer The
Employer’s Statement of Understanding together with
ISSSO’s handout about employer reporting responsibilities.
The employer must consider a worker to have departed when
the employer knows the student has left employment or if the
student has not reported for work for a period of five
consecutive business days without the employer’s consent.
 Know and comply with the Student Statement of
Responsibility.
University Center North, Room 203, Houston, TX 77204-3024  Phone: (713) 743-5065  Fax: (713) 743-5079  http://issso.uh.edu
OPTX APPLICATION
• Download the following from website:
http://www.uh.edu/issso/resources/forms/OPT_ExtensionAPP.pdf
• Complete the Application and prepare the required documents
• Make the appointment with a Counselor at ISSSO and follow
the instructions to submit the application package to the
Counselor
• If you have any questions, please ask the Counselor at the time
of the appointment.
University Center North, Room 203, Houston, TX 77204-3024  Phone: (713) 743-5065  Fax: (713) 743-5079  http://issso.uh.edu
ONLINE STATUS CHECK
• The status of your application can be checked online
with your receipt number (See I-797):
https://egov.uscis.gov/cris/Dashboard/CaseStatus.do
ONLINE REQUEST FOR UPDATE
• You can request an update if you haven’t received
your card after 90 days:
•
https://egov.uscis.gov/e-request/Intro.do
AUTHORIZATION
• The USCIS has the final authority to grant OPT.
SOURCES
• 8 CFR 214.2(f)(5)(vi); 8 CFR 214.2(f)(10(ii(D); 8 CFR 214.2(f)(10)(ii)(E);
8 CFR 214.2(f)(12)(i)
University Center North, Room 203, Houston, TX 77204-3024  Phone: (713) 743-5065  Fax: (713) 743-5079  http://issso.uh.edu

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