Work Authorization: -Intended to provide work experience in the U.S. in a field related to your major -May be eligible for a maximum of 12 months– generally -May be eligible 1 time per education level for OPT -May apply for “pre”- “post” or “stem extension” practical training or Curricular Practical Training -May apply for ‘economic hardship’-strict circumstances only Terms you should know: • EAD = Employment Authorization Document • DSO = Designated School Official • USCIS = United States Citizenship & Immigration Service • DHS = Department of Homeland Security • OPT = Optional Practical Training • CPT = Curricular Practical Training • CBP = Customs and Border Protection • STEM = Science Technology, Engineering & Math Eligibility for Authorization: • • • • Be physically present in the U.S. Be a registered student in good status Be full-time for at least one full academic year PostComPracTrain-Have completed all the requirements for the award of your degree at the time OPT begins • Not have used 12 months of full-time CPT to be eligible for OPT Steps needed for Employment Authorization 1. An OPT recommendation on a new SEVIS I-20 from your DSO— Must have verification from department advisor that degree requirements will be met on certain date 2. Mail in your application, I-765 and all supporting documents for the EAD to USCIS 3. Receive the EAD in the mail. Work only after you receive the EAD and no earlier than the start date on it. Curricular Practical Training • Must be an integral part of your curriculum • Is authorized by DSO in conjunction with verification from Department Head • No government cost but you must pay for the credits. • Can be up to 12 months • Generally credit bearing Curricular Practical Training • INTERNSHIP/STUDENT INFORMATION: • Name of student • • • JMU ID # • Course name & number, if any • How is this work experience related to the major? • • • • • • • • • • • • Student’s phone number Major No. of hours granted for internship: Term Beginning date_________________________End date___________________________ ACADEMIC ADVISOR/DEPARTMENT HEAD’S CERTIFICATION I verify that an internship is an integral part of this student’s established curriculum, and that the anticipated employment satisfies the requirements for the internship. If the student is in the first year of graduate school, I verify that this internship/employment is a required part of the established curriculum. Name: Title: Signature: Date: Pre-completion OPT • New SEVIS I-20 recommending OPT –dates indicated • • • • • • Submission of all I-20’s I-765 coded “C” “3” “A” Copy of visa Copy of passport Fee to DHS for $380. Copy of I-94 When to apply for Post Completion OPT?? • Applications can be received no sooner than 90 days prior to your date all your course requirements are met—this may not be your graduation date ( not the day the degree is conferred) or • Application must be received by USCIS before end of the 60 day grace period **5 month window to apply** What is needed to apply? • Photocopy of new SEVIS I-20 recommending OPT • Photocopies of all previous SEVIS I-20’s • Photocopy of current I-94 card-front & back or print out of the I-94 • • • • Photocopy of passport ID page and visa Completed I-765 form in blue ink 2 passport picturesCheck to Department of Homeland Security for $380 – SEVIS # lightly printed on back SEVIS # on check Completing the I-765 • Print neatly with your name matching the name in your passport • Use blue ink • Current address in Virginia-EAD will not be forwarded • Use the correct code on # 16 • Carefully sign your name within the 2 lines C 3 A Used for pre-completion C 3 B Used for post-completion C 3 C Stem Extension Mailing the application • Our office will copy all documents that are sent to USCIS • Send your documents by certified mail or by a courier service such as UPS or Fed/Ex • USCIS Dallas Lockbox PO Box 660867 Dallas, TX USCIS Attn: AOS I-765 2501 S. State Hwy. 121 Business Suite 400 Lewisville, TX 75067 When can I start my OPT? • Post-completion OPT must start within 60 days of the end date of your academic career. • Possibly think of time needed to look for a job, & relocate to help determine your start date? • Employment cannot start until the date on your EAD. (When to start??) Can I travel outside the U.S.? • Prior to receiving your EAD it is not advisable to travel outside the U.S. • After receiving your EAD, for successful reentry into the U.S. you would need: 1. a signed I-20, 2. valid passport, 3. valid visa, (not guaranteed renewal) 4. valid EAD, 5. documentation of employment What if I can’t find a job???? • USCIS allows for a cumulative total of 90 days of unemployment • Notify your DSO as soon as you find employment. This information must be entered into SEVIS. • If no employment is found, a volunteer job in your field for at least 20 hours/week can be entered into SEVIS and not counted as days of unemployment. Remember to: • Inform the DSO of any address change while on OPT • Inform the DSO of employment information as soon as possible including volunteer work. • No more than 90 day of unemployment allowed • If leaving the U.S. permanently, inform the DSO • Must update the DSO every 6 months Good luck in finding your new employment! • Enjoy your employment • Enjoy your hard-earned $$ • Stay in touch with your DSO!