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OPT Tutorial Part 1: Applying for OPT

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by Kim Bryant on 8 October 2014

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Transcript of OPT Tutorial Part 1: Applying for OPT

What happens after I apply?
In the following slides, we will go over the items that need to be brought to your OPT appointment and included in the application packet:

Completed OPT Recommendation Request Form
Completed form I-765
Check or money order for $380 made out to U.S. Department of Homeland Security
2 U.S. passport-sized photos with your name and I-94 number written on the back
Photocopy of passport ID page
Photocopy of front and back of I-94 OR printout of your electronic I-94 record
Photocopy of F-1 visa (Canadian citizens ONLY will not have this)
Photocopies of first and third pages of all previous I-20s (and EAD cards if you’ve done OPT before)
Completed form G-1145 (optional but recommended, allows USCIS to send you text and/or email messages with updates on your application)

To be added to your application packet after ISAP recommends OPT:
Photocopy of I-20 with OPT recommendation
Cover letter
Step 3: Gather together all required documents for your OPT appointment and application
How do I apply? – Step 3
How do I apply?
1. Watch both parts of the OPT tutorial: Part 1: Applying for OPT and Part 2: Maintaining Status on OPT.

2. Make an appointment with your academic advisor or program manager and have them fill out section 3 of the OPT Recommendation Request Form. You will need to complete the rest of the form yourself before your OPT appointment.

3. Gather all the required documents for your application.

4. Schedule an appointment with an ISAP advisor to review your application materials and get a new I-20 with OPT recommendation.

5. Photocopy your entire application packet for your records.

6. Mail your application to USCIS within 30 days.
Receipt notice:
This confirms that USCIS received your application. There will be a WAC number on this notice, which is your OPT application file number. You will need this number if you have to call USCIS about your application. You can also use this number to check the status of your application online at http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis.

Approval notice:
This confirms that your OPT has been approved. Please note that this notice is not proof of work authorization.

Employment Authorization Document (EAD card):
This is your official permission to work in the U.S. While your EAD card indicates “Not valid for re-entry to U.S.” this does not mean you can’t travel internationally. It simply means your EAD card isn’t a re-entry document. Your F-1 visa is your re-entry document (see travel section for more details).

Request for Evidence (RFE):
Most students don’t get RFEs, but if there was a mistake in your application, something was missing, or USCIS feels they need more information, they may send you an RFE. There are deadlines to respond to RFEs, so it’s important to respond as soon as possible. If you get an RFE, please contact ISAP immediately.
What happens after I apply?
After you meet with an ISAP advisor and OPT has been recommended, we highly suggest photocopying your completed application packet before sending it to USCIS. Keep the photocopied application in a safe place for your records. A complete application checklist is on the next slide.

How do I apply? – Steps 4 & 5
Be sure to write your family name in all CAPITAL LETTERS. Include your full legal name as it appears in your passport. Leave line 2 blank unless you have used another legal name in the U.S.
I-765: Lines 1 and 2
How do I apply? – Step 3
You have completed part 1 of the OPT Tutorial: Applying for OPT. You now need to read through the second part, Maintaining Status on OPT (click here to view: http://bit.ly/opt-tutorial-pt2) to learn about your responsibilities while on OPT.
What happens after I apply?
Remember, USCIS must receive your application within 30 days of ISAP’s recommendation. ISAP will provide you with mailing instructions. Before you mail your application, double-check that it’s complete, and includes all of the following:

Cover letter from ISAP
Photocopies of the first and third page of your I-20 with OPT recommendation
Completed form I-765
Envelope with your name and I-94 number written on the outside and the following two items inside:
2 U.S. passport-sized photos with your name and I-94 number written on the back
Check or money order for $380 made out to U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Photocopy of passport ID page
Photocopy of front and back of paper I-94 OR printout of electronic I-94 record
Photocopy of F-1 visa (Except Canadian citizens)
Photocopies of first and third pages of all previous I-20s (and EAD cards if you’ve done OPT before)
Completed form G-1145 (optional but recommended, allows USCIS to send you text and/or email messages with updates on your application)
How do I apply? – Step 6
How do I apply? – Step 3
Don’t sign the back of the check, only sign on the line as shown in the example above.
Filling out the check
I-765: Lines 16 & 17
How do I apply? – Step 3
Line 16 is where you indicate what type of work authorization you are applying for.
The code for post-completion OPT is (c) (3) (B).

Leave line 17 blank.
I-765: Line 9
How do I apply? – Step 3
If you have never been issued an SSN, leave this line blank.
Fill these out with your information.

Remember! In the U.S., the order for dates is month/day/year!!
I-765: Lines 4 through 8
How do I apply? – Step 3
How do I apply? – Step 3
We will go over how to complete the I-765 line by line. It is highly recommended that you complete the I-765 on the computer and then print it out and sign it.

First, indicate why you are completing the I-765.
Presented by:
International Student Affairs & Programs

Applying for Post-Completion OPT
I-765: Lines 12 and 13
How do I apply? – Step 3
This information can normally be found on the most recent admission stamp in your passport (or on your I-94 card, if you have a paper one).
Answer “no” unless you have previously submitted an application to USCIS for employment authorization.
Please note that CPT does not count.
The top two lines on the right are a continuation of line 11.
If you answered “no,” leave these lines blank.

Please note: If you mark “yes” to this question, you will need to include information about previous employment in your application.
I-765: Line 11
How do I apply? – Step 3
I-765: Line 10
How do I apply? – Step 3
Paper I-94: Your I-94 number is the entire number on the top left corner of your I-94.
This is the address where USCIS will send your EAD card.
Use an address where you will be able to receive mail for at least 3-4 months after applying.
Mail from USCIS will not be forwarded, even if you complete an address change with the Post Office.
I-765: Line 3
How do I apply? – Step 3
How do I apply? – Step 3
Photocopy of your F-1 visa*

Photocopies of the first and third page of all I-20s


Photocopies of any previous
EAD cards.

Form G-1145 (optional but recommended) Including this form will allow USCIS to send you updates via email or text on the status of your application.
Photocopy of your passport ID page.

Photocopy of the front and back of your paper I-94 OR printout of your electronic I-94 record. To print out your electronic I-94, go to: www.cbp.gov/i94. Have your passport with you when accessing this site.
The rest of the application packet…
How do I apply? – Step 3
Photo Requirements
Must be 2 inches by 2 inches with a white background.
Must have been taken recently, within the last 6 months.
Two Passport Photos - Be sure to write your name and I-94 number lightly in pencil on the back of each photo.

You’ve finished filling out the I-765!
You must sign in
black ink
. Be very careful when signing the I-765 and make sure that no part of your signature touches either the top or bottom line. Then, fill in your telephone number and the date as well.
I-765: Your Certification
How do I apply? – Step 3
This information can also be found on the most recent admission stamp in your passport.
For most students, the answers to 14 and 15 will be the same.
You can write either “F-1” or “student.”
If you did a change of status in the U.S., you may have a different answer for number 14.
I-765: Lines 14 and 15
How do I apply? – Step 3
Step 2: Make an appointment with your advisor or program manager to have them fill out section 3 of the OPT Recommendation Request Form. You must also fill out the other sections yourself before coming to your OPT appointment.
How do I apply? – Step 2
Completing the I-765
Write this out, don't abbreviate it.
This is where you write the amount in numbers.
This is where you write the amount out in words.
Step 4: Schedule an appointment to review your application materials and get a new I-20 with OPT recommendation.
Once you have gathered all application materials, you will need to make an appointment with an ISAP advisor to turn in your OPT Recommendation Request form, review your application materials and have OPT recommended. Be sure have a completed application packet as processing of your OPT recommendation request could be delayed if documents are missing or incomplete.

To schedule an appointment:
On the Oakland campus - http://meetme.so/kimberlybryant
On the San Francisco campus - http://meetme.so/jmcmillan
Step 5: Photocopy your entire application packet for your records.
Step 6: Mail your application to USCIS within 30 days.
Congratulations!
The OPT application process is a multi-step process:
Place
Date
*Except Canadian citizens.
You will receive several notifications from USCIS. Keep everything you receive from USCIS in a safe place.
Black and white copies of these documents are perfectly fine.
Electronic I-94: Go to www.cbp.gov/i94. Using your passport, enter all required information and print your electronic I-94 record. The "Admission (I-94) Record Number" is your I-94 number.
You will fill out
sections 1, 2, and 4.
IMPORTANT: Your advisor or program manager must fill out section 3 before you come to your OPT appointment!
*It is highly recommended that you go to a drug store (e.g. Rite Aid, Walgreens) or passport photo shop and get official U.S. passport-style photos.
Please note:
All U.S. government forms, including the I-765 and G-1145, are available for free both on the ISAP website and at http://www.uscis.gov/, the official website of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. There are companies who charge fees to assist in filling out these forms. ISAP will provide any assistance needed to fill these forms out and apply for OPT for no charge.
See the full transcript