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Optional Practical Training: Online Workshop

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Ashley Johnson

on 18 March 2016

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Transcript of Optional Practical Training: Online Workshop

I-765 (continued)
BUTLER Gerard James
1324 S. Lumpkin Street
Athens, GA 30602
Paisley Scotland
573656564 12 (11 digit # on I-94 card)
#1, Name: Your name should be exactly as it is written on your passport biographical page.

**NOTE: The name on your I-20 should also be the same as the name written on the passport biographical page. If your name is different, inform an advisor at time of application.
#10, I-94 Number: If there are 2 sets of numbers, use the bottom set that has not been crossed out.

If you changed your status in the U.S., your I-94 card is at the bottom of your I-797 approval notice.
Choosing an OPT Start Date
You have a 60-day grace period from your completion date
to begin OPT.

Gerard Butler’s program completion date: May 1, 2012
Gerard chose an OPT start date of June 15, 2012
Gerard could choose his OPT start date between 5/2/2012 and 6/30/2012
OPT Start Date:
Employment Start Date (continued)
Gerard’s EAD start date: June 15, 2012
Gerard receives EAD card May 15, 2012
Employment can only begin on EAD card start date (in this example- on 6/15/2012)
OPT Work May Begin
Students who receive their EAD before their OPT start date need to wait for their EAD start date to begin employment.
I-765 Form (continued)
Los Angeles, California (LAX)
#11: Check “no” unless you have applied for Economic Hardship, Off-Campus Special Student Relief, a previous OPT or J-2 work permission. You must provide copy of old EAD card with application.
Student (F-1)
Student (F-1)
C 3 B
= Post Completion OPT
Only complete #17 if applying for the OPT extension.
Form I-765 (continued)
Gerard J. Butler
{Signature in Blue Ink}
If you do not sign between the lines, your signature could be rejected and cause a delay in your application!
To be eligible for OPT, you must:
Be in valid F-1 status at the time of application, in good academic standing, and have been enrolled on a full-time basis for one full academic year (two full academic semesters/9 months)

Be in the final semester of your academic program (unless applying for pre-completion OPT)

Have attended an in person workshop or completed an online employment workshop within the last year.

Have not been approved for OPT for the same or high education level
* Students in STEM fields who wish to apply for the 17-month OPT extension have additional eligibility requirements. Please see the ISSIS website for more information:
Reminder: You do NOT have to have a job offer to apply for OPT!
OPT I-20
Once you have completed the OPT Request Form and the I-765, you are almost ready to submit the application to the USCIS.
Make sure to have the documents below ready to mail while you wait for your I-20.
G-1145 Electronic Notification Form
Completed and signed I-765 Form
Personal Check or Money Order for $380 dollars made out to “Department of Homeland Security”
Photocopy of passport biographical information page (showing passport expiration date & photo)
Photocopy of I-94—front and back copy (dark enough to show the red stamp on the front of it)
Photocopy of I-797 Approval Notice if you changed status in the U.S. (if applicable)
Photocopies of all old I-20s for Full-Time CPT (if applicable)
Photocopy of all previous EAD cards (if applicable)
Your International Student Advisor will email you when your new I-20 is ready at the front desk. You will receive two copies (one for your record; one for mailing with your application). Your new I-20 will show the OPT recommendation on page 3.
Please allow 5 business days for processing time.
In the next few slides you will learn more about the application process. Click to proceed to the next slide…
Completing the Forms
In this presentation, we will guide you through each form in an effort to answer questions that you might have.

If you still have questions after viewing the entire presentation, please come to walk in hours or contact your International Student Advisor at immigration@uga.edu.

Walk in hours
Monday: 9:00 to 11:00 am
Tuesday: 2:00 to 4:00 pm
Wednesday: 2:00 to 4:00 pm
Thursdays: 10:00 am to 12:00 noon

Always use the most current version of Form I-765.
It is better to use an “early” start date if you:
have an employment offer
would like to be available for employment right after program completion

It is better to use “later” start dates if you:
do not have any employment offers at the time of OPT application
do not expect that you will be able to secure employment soon after program completion
submitted your application “late” (e.g. during the 60-day window after program completion)
Choose a realistic start date while keeping in mind current USCIS processing times. There is no “right” or “wrong” start date, simply choose one during your grace period. The date you choose depends more on your personal and employment situation.
Online OPT Request Form

Complete all items of this online form. The information will be collected by your international advisor and a new OPT I-20 will be produced.
How to Complete Form I-765
You should have Form
I-765 in front of you for the next few slides.

IS encourages you to fill your form out while reviewing these next few slides.
I-765: Your Mailing Address
1324 S. Lumpkin Street
Athens, GA 30602
OPT Application Process
STEP 1: View this online workshop.

STEP 2: Read the OPT Information Sheet.

STEP 3: Complete the Online OPT Request Form and Form I-765.

STEP 4: Pick up your new OPT I-20 from OIE.

STEP 6: Prepare your documents and mail them to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). If you need help assembling your application, please email immigration@uga.edu.
Who is NOT eligible?
You are NOT eligible to apply for OPT if...
You used 12 months or more of full-time Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

You have NOT been enrolled on a full-time basis for one full academic year (two academic semester/9months)

You are ‘out of status’ (violated your immigration status)
Common reasons for students to become “out of status:”
Failure to pursue a full course of study (i.e. 12 credits for undergraduates; 9 credits for graduates)
Failure to follow immigration transfer procedures when changing schools
Working without proper authorization
17-Month OPT Extension
Is a one-time, 17-month extension of post-completion OPT for a total of 29 months of OPT (12 months of post-completion+17 months of OPT extension= 29 months)

Eligibility criteria:
Earned a Bachelor’s, Master’s of PhD. in a UGA major that is STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) eligible. For a list of eligible STEM Majors, visit: http://www.ice.gov/sevis/stemlist.htm

Employer is E-Verify-registered
The remainder of this presentation will focus only on Post-completion OPT.
Application Timelines
May apply up to 90 days before and within 60 days of program completion

May apply up to 90 days prior to anticipated employment start date or prior to completion of a full academic year

OPT 17-month extension:
May apply up to 120 days prior to the end of post-completion OPT
Applying too early may result in application denial and fee payment for new application
I’m not sure if I should apply for OPT or CPT, what is the difference?
What is OPT?
OPT=Optional Practical Training

OPT is off-campus work authorization that allows a student to work off campus in their major filed of study for a maximum of 12 months

Students in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) majors may also be eligible for an additional 17-month extension for OPT.

Work authorization for OPT is the Employment Authorization Document or EAD card, issued by USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services)

If you complete a degree at a higher educational level, you may be eligible to apply for another 12 months of OPT.
If you are applying for OPT now on the basis of your Bachelor’s degree, and if you later obtain a Master’s degree, you will be eligible to apply for another 12 months of OPT on the basis of the Master’s degree. You only get 12 months of OPT per degree level.
Pre-completion OPT
Pre-completion OPT is authorized for work before the student’s program completion date. Both undergraduates and graduates are eligible for pre-completion.

Immigration Services does not recommend Pre-completion OPT except in very limited circumstances. Please see an advisor if you have more questions. If you want to work prior to completion of your studies, Immigration Services recommends you pursue Curricular Practical Training or on-campus work.

Note: If you pursue Pre-completion OPT and you want your employment to continue after program completion, a separate I-765 application must be filed for Post-completion OPT. You will have to pay a $380 application fee again and wait to receive a new EAD card before working.

Pre-completion OPT takes time away from Post-completion OPT. (Example: if you do 3 months of Pre-completion OPT, you will only have 9 months of Post-completion OPT eligibility after completion of studies).
Post-Completion OPT
Post-completion OPT is appropriate for students who want work authorization after completion of their academic program.

Definition of completion of studies: For undergraduate and graduate non-thesis students, completion of a course of study is the last day of final exams of the semester in which all degree requirements are completed. All other graduate students (thesis/dissertation students) can choose between two dates for completion of studies:

Completion of a course of study on the date the student successfully defends their thesis/dissertation project and have completed all requirements of the Graduate School.

Completion of a course of study at the end of the semester in which the final degree requirement is met. This is the same for non-thesis students.
Post-Completion OPT (Continued)
When applying for Post-Completion OPT, ISSIS will shorten your I-20 expiration date (See section #5 on I-20) to the last day of finals of the semester you will be graduating (or if thesis/dissertation student, to your requested defense date).

Example: If you have an I-20 end date of 12/13/2014 and you are completing your last degree requirement in the Fall 2011 semester, Immigration Services will shorten your I-20 to the last day of finals for this semester (12/13/2011) when you apply for OPT.

Since Immigration Services will be shortening your I-20 end date, you need to be 100% certain you will complete your studies before applying! If you fail to complete your last degree requirements after filing an OPT I-765 Employment application, you may fall out of legal status and be ineligible for OPT.
When should you apply for
Post-completion OPT?
The earliest you can apply is 90 days (3 months) prior to completion of your studies.

The latest you can apply is 60 days after your completion date!
Please note that USCIS must send a receipt of your application prior to the 60th day of your grace period (see next slide for more details).

USCIS may take up to 90 days from the receipt notice date to process your OPT application! On average, USCIS takes up to 90 days to process and issue an EAD card from the mailing date.

There is nothing Immigration Services can do to expedite the application. Your best option—apply early! Remember, you don’t need a job to apply!
Employment Start Date
You can only begin paid or unpaid employment if you have met the following requirements:

You have received your EAD (Employment Authorization Document) and

The date of your authorized employment period has begun (refer to dates on your EAD card).
Your Immigration Documents
To begin, have the following documents in front of you:
OPT Request Form
Form I-765
I-94 document
Change of Status Approval Notice if applicable: (if you changed F-1 Status in the U.S., your I-94 document will be attached to your I-797 Approval Notice)
Three Types of OPT
Pre-Completion OPT

Post-Completion OPT

17-month OPT Extension
Let's Get Started!
EAD Card Arrives
One line 3 of the I-765 write the following address:
1324 S. Lumpkin Street
Athens, GA 30602
OPT I-20 (Sample)
OPT Dates You Requested
OPT Recommendation
Travel Signature
(Must be valid for 6 months)
Preparing your OPT Application
When you pick up your new I-20 you will need to pay the 1 year ISCF of $122 as a check or money order.
You can also pay this fee online: www.tinyurl.com/iscfonline

This fee covers the continued advising you will receive from ISSIS during the OPT period.

After you have picked up your new I-20 with the OPT recommendation:
Sign BOTH your new I-20’s at the bottom
Review all information on I-20s for accuracy
Copy all the pages of your new I-20
Copy both sides of your I-94
Copy all F/T CPT I-20’s (if applicable)
Copy your passport biographical page (with photo and expiration date)
Copy any previous EAD cards
OPT Photos
All photos must be of only the applicant and must be identical

All photos must meet the specifications for full frontal/passport photos and must be no more than 30 days old when an application is filed. For more information, please see the Department of State website for more specific and most up-to-date passport photo requirements.

Do NOT cut the pictures!

Print your full name and I-94 number in pencil/or light pen on the back of each photo.
Check or Money Order (Sample)
Gerard J. Butler
3 Broad Street
Athens, GA 30602
Check 258
Pay to the Order of:________________________________________________________
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Three hundred and eighty dollars and 00/100 cents------------
Gerard J. Butler
Your name should be printed, not handwritten.
DO NO USE “Starter Checks.”

The check does not have to be your
own personal check,
i.e. can be friend's, relative, etc.
The address does not have to be
your address.
For current I-765 application and fee, visit www.uscis.gov.
Quick Checklist
Completed G-1145 Electronic Notification Form
Completed original form I-765
2 photos with I-94# and full name printed lightly in pencil on back of photos
Check or money order for current I-765 fee, see www.uscis.gov for current fee
Original I-20 with OPT recommendation (signed and dated with blue ink)
USCIS must receive your application no later than 30 days after your OPT
I-20 has been issued (refer to date next to the Adviser’s signature in #10 on page 1 of the OPT I-120). Please account for mailing time.
Photocopy of passport biographical information (showing passport expiration date & photo)
Photocopy of F-1 Visa
Photocopy of Change of Status I-797 Approval Notice if you changed status to F-1 in U.S.
Photocopy of I-94 – front and back (dark enough to show the red stamp on the front of it)
Photocopy of Full Time CPT I-20’s (if applicable)
Photocopy of Previous EAD cards (if applicable)
Job offer letter (optional)

NOTE: Remember to make copies of all your documents before mailing to USCIS!!!!
Review application materials before mailing out and make a copy for your reference.
OPT Mailing Instructions
Mail all documents to USCIS using the address below:

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
P.O. Box 660867
Dallas, TX 75266
USCIS must receive your application within
30 days of the issue date on your I-20.
Do not wait to mail it!
Expedited OPT
Your application cannot be expedited. IS strongly encourages you to apply for OPT in a timely manner (90 days prior to completion of studies date).

Remember… you do not have to have a job to apply! 
After mailing out your application:
In the next few slides, we will review the following:
Notice of Action (I-797C)
Request for Evidence
EAD Card
OPT Reporting Requirements
Unemployment Limit
F-1 Visa Renewal
International Travel
H-1B Work Visas
Cap-Gap Extension
How to find a job?
You’re almost done! Just a few more slides…
Notice of Action (Form I-797C)
You will receive a Notice of Action (Form I-797) in about 2-4 weeks after you mail the application. Please allow 4 weeks for arrival before inquiring to ISSIS about receipt.

SRC number: Form I-797 has a reference number or SRC number, which can be used to track the status of your application online at https://egov.uscis.gov/cris/Dashboard.do

ISSS will notify you via email when your Notice of Action (Form I-797) arrives. You will need to visit the ISSIS office to confirm the accuracy of your name, address, and Date of Birth (DOB) and to pick up the receipt. If incorrect, contact your International Student Advisor immediately.

Dates: “Received date” refers to the date USCIS may begin processing your application, and “Notice of Action date” refers to the date the notice was created.
Notice of Action (I-797)
Receipt Notice Date: The date USCIS received your application and your 90 days of processing time begins.
Request for Evidence (RFE)
USCIS Request for Evidence (RFE) –
If there is a problem with your application, USCIS will send you a notice to the ISSIS office by mail called a “Request for Evidence (RFE).” If ISSIS receives an RFE, you will be contacted immediately about its content and an advisor will assist you in responding to the RFE.

Please note that an RFE is not a rejection notice. You just need to send in additional documents before your EAD can be issued.

Please note the deadline to respond to the RFE. If you fail to meet this deadline, your application will be automatically canceled and you will have to file a new application with a new fee.

Getting an RFE will delay the processing of your application for OPT. For this reason, it is important to make sure that you have completed the I-765 correctly and sent the proper documents to USCIS.
EAD Card
Once approved for OPT, USCIS will mail the EAD card to the ISSIS office.

You are required to obtain your EAD before beginning employment, paid or unpaid.

ISSIS will make a copy for our records & notify you of its arrival for pick up.

Update your employment information on the OPT reporting website at: www.international.uga.edu
OPT Reporting Requirements
During OPT, you are required to:

Keep your address updated through OASIS

Get your I-20 signed for travel if necessary

Report your employer’s information to ISSIS online

Remember that there is no limit on…

How much money you can make

How many jobs you can have

How many hours you can work (you must work a minimum of 20 hours a week on OPT)
Failure to report your employment results in you violating your status and the 90 days of unemployment limit.

Your SEVIS record will automatically terminated once 90 days of unemployment as accrued.

If you don’t report your employment, it is as if you don’t have a job. Please wait to report your employment until you receive your EAD card.
Unemployment Limit
OPT is an employment benefit of the F-1 status, and you must maintain eligible employment on OPT

Employment must be
minimum 20 hours per week (average out to 20 hours/week in a month in the case of variable appointments)
at the appropriate degree level in field of study (as noted on I-20)

Unemployment is limited to 90 calendar days during the initial 12 months of post-completion OPT (Weekends and Holidays are counted)

Internships, unpaid positions, and part-time work do count as employment

Exceeding this limit could negatively impact your future immigration benefits
Unemployment on OPT
Unemployment is counted from approved OPT start date (refer to dates on EAD card) EVEN if you have not received your EAD Card.

Unemployed = you do not have eligible OPT employment

Maximum unemployment is 90 calendar days (includes weekends, 7 days a week)

No 60-day grace period if 90 days of unemployment is reached; must leave the U.S. immediately
Unemployment Suggestions
Keep track of unemployment days

Remember to report employment changes within 10 days to IS by logging into iStart.

Always request an employment verification letter from employer even if the position is unpaid. Your letter should include the following information:
Position title and description
Dates of employment
Number of hours per week employed
Supervisor’s name and contact information
International Travel on OPT
After you have completed your studies, you will need the following documents for travel on OPT:

Original I‑-20 signed for travel by the International Student Advisor within the last six months and

an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) and

a valid F-1 visa (unless eligible for automatic revalidation of an expired visa) and

a valid passport (valid for six months at the time of re-entry to the U.S.) and

employment verification (an offer/employment verification letter from your prospective/current employer with dates of employment, position title, dates of authorized leave for vacation or business).

ISSIS recommends that you do not travel outside the U.S. if your OPT application is pending. USCIS may cancel your application if you leave the country.
Students who do not meet these requirements may not be allowed to
re-enter the U.S.
F-1 Visa Renewal on OPT
While on OPT your immigration status is still F-1.

It is possible to renew your F-1 visa based on participation in OPT.

ISSIS does not recommend visa renewals on OPT towards the end of your OPT period because the non-immigrant intent could be difficult to prove at that point.
After OPT
When your OPT period ends, you have a 60 day grace period.

Your three options after OPT are:
Leave the U.S.
Enroll in another program of study as an F-1 student and receive an I-20 for that university within your 60 day grace period
Change your status
Work Visas
H-1B Visa is most common type of work visa

H-1 B Visas are always filed by your employer

There are two types of H-1B Visas: (1) Cap-Subject and (2) Cap-exempt

Cap-subject employers: These employers are typically in the private sector.
Only 85,000 application spots per fiscal year or as mandated by Congress
April 1st is the first day employers can apply for OPT for the fiscal year
Once all 85,000 H-1Bs have been granted, no more can be issued.
All Cap-Subject H-1Bs begin on October 1.

Cap-exempt employers: These employers are typically in the public sector (universities, not-for-profit organizations, government entities, etc.).
There is no limit on how many H-1Bs can be granted
No set start time (Employer requests a start date).
For more detailed information on H-1B Visas, please see www.uscis.gov
Cap-Gap Extension (Continued)
Jose’s OPT (EAD) end date: June 30
Jose’s Cap-Subject company files an timely H-1B application for him on April 1 that is receipted by USCIS prior to June 30.
USCIS extends F-1 Employment until October 1 via “Cap-Gap Extension” and you can stay and work until H-1B is effective.
Employer files H-1B: April 1st
USCIS receipts application: April 13th
OPT extended until September 30, H-1B begins Oct. 1
OPT End date: June 30
USCIS extends F-1 Employment with CAP-GAP Extension
After H-1B has been approved or receipted, student can request new I-20 showing Cap-Gap extension
How do you find a job?
OPT Workshop Attendance Submission
Congrats! You are now ready to apply for OPT! Please click on the link below to submit proof of your completion of the online workshop. Failure to submit your information via the link below will result in denial or delay of your application:

(Link works best in FULL SCREEN mode)
WALK-IN HOURS/SATELLITE HOURS: The Career Center holds walk-in hours for quick questions about resumes, cover letters, and job search strategies. A Career Consultant and/or a Career Development Intern is on hand Monday through Friday from 12 PM - 2 PM. In addition, specific colleges have their own set of hours when a Career Consultant comes to you! Check the Career Center website for days, times, and locations.
INTERN FOR A DAY: Intern For A Day is a volunteer “job shadowing” opportunity for students to spend one day to one week observing, and often working with, professionals, investigating a career field and experiencing a typical day on the job.
MOCK INTERVIEWS: Don’t make the mistake of scheduling your most important interview before you prepare for it. Participate in a Practice (Mock) Interview at the Career Center. The practice interviews are designed to replicate the type of interview that you may expect from a recruiter. Practice your interview skills using Interview Prep.
How do you find a job?

MEET WITH YOUR CAREER CONSULTANT: Explore your job/internship options and develop a plan to help you reach your career objectives.
CAREER ASSESSMENTS: Utilize these tools to learn how your personality, interests, values, and skills play an important role in identifying a fulfilling career.
CAREER CENTER LIBRARY: We have books and resources relevant to choosing majors, researching careers, searching for jobs, resume writing, interviewing, and applying to graduate school.
STUDENT EMPLOYMENT OFFICE: Assists students with information in obtaining on-campus and off-campus part-time employment. Attend the annual student part-time and summer job fairs.
OPT Online Workshop
Unless specified otherwise, all information in this presentation refers to post-completion OPT.

Press the forward arrow button on the bottom of the screen to advance to the next slide. For optimal presentation performance, Immigration Services RECOMMENDS you use the FULL SCREEN slide show when reviewing this presentation.

After viewing this presentation, you must collect and complete all necessary forms BEFORE turning in your application. If you have further questions, meet with an immigration advisor during advising hours.

Immigration Services recommends that you complete this online workshop at the beginning of your last semester of your academic program.
Optional Practical Training
Online Workshop

Please view workshop in full-screen mode. Select 'more' button beneath this slide in order to select full-screen mode.

Click the forward arrow button on the first slide.
Estimated time to complete workshop:
30-40 minutes
**There are no exceptions to the above.**
Be prepared to upload copies of your current immigration documents.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has just launched the new E-Verify Employers Search Tool that allows you to find employers currently enrolled in E-Verify.
Select Delivery Service to Receive Documents
When mailing out your application, you can also include prepaid courier service mailer (envelope) to have various documents to be mailed to you such as your receipt notice or EAD card.

This does not speed up the processing of your application, but provide you an option to receive your documents faster if you provide a prepaid courier envelope.

If pre-paid envelope is not provided, USIS will send documents through regular mail vial the U.S. Postal Services.

For more information about this option, visit USCIS website: https://egov.uscis.gov/crisgwi/go?action=offices.type&OfficeLocator.office_type=SC
Refer to information under:

Use of a Courier Service to Receive Certain Notices, Decisions, or Travel Documents"
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