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AAIE 2017 F-1 Employment: CPT/OPT/STEM OPT
Transcript of AAIE 2017 F-1 Employment: CPT/OPT/STEM OPT
Director, Office of Immigration and International Admissions
University of South Alabama
F-1 Employment: CPT/OPT Processes
US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
Customs and Border Patrol (CBP)
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
Exchange Visitor Program
Ports of Entry
DSO Immigration Advising
Factors to Consider
Knowledge of Regulations
Responsibilties to students and to the university
Cooperation with departments on campus and government agencies
Professional Code of Ethics
NAFSA Adviser's Manual Online
NAFSA publications, conferences, workshops
NAFSA knowledge community networks and discussion forums (ISTA)
Must be valid for 6 months into the future upon entry to the U.S. Passport agreements with some countries to allow entry http://www.ice.gov/sevis/travel/faq_f2.htm#_Toc81222004.
Must be valid at all times while in the U.S.
Renew with embassy/consulate in the U.S. or in home country.
Sticker in passport issued by U.s. Consulate abroad.
Permission to seek entry to the U.S. in specific status.
Not a guarantee - presented with other documents the port of entry (POE) officer will "inspect".
Does not indicate how long one can stay.
Permission to enter only between date of issue and date of expiration for specified number of entries.
Allowed to stay on expired visa as long as I-20 is valid. New visa will be required to re-enter U.S.
I-94 Arrival Page
Expiration of status
Status at time of entry
Date of entry
Port of entry
As of April 30, 2013 changed to online process to be printed out by student or international office.
Admission Record Number generated after Port of Entry CBP officer enters information into system.
Shows current non-immigrant status.
Shows the end date of status (D/S for students).
If information is wrong, advisor should contact local CBP office to have it corrected. Some corrections may require student to appear in person to CBP office.
Used to apply for the F-1 visa at U.s. consulate abroad.
Should be valid and correct at all times during student's stay in the U.s.
Update promptly when information changes.
Student may arrive to the U.S. 30 days before the start date on the I-20.
End date is an "estimate". Student may apply to extend, if applicable.
Visa vs. Status
Period of validity of visa has no relation to the period of time immigration may authorize stay.
Permission to stay is valid for as long as one is maintaining status.
F-1 students and F-2 dependents should be admitted at POE for D/S or "Duration of Status".
Must follow rules and regulations to maintain legal status.
To issue an I-20...
Admission to a program that is a full course of study.
I-20 issued by DSO only (*not paid recruiter*).
I-20 must be issued in the U.S.
School must have written and signed application from prospective student (hard copy/electronic).
Academic records must meet institutional requirements for admission.
Proof of language proficiency that meets the institution's standards for admission.
Financial certification showing student has adequate funds for program of study.
I-20 end date must be consistent with the normal length of program.
Must have their own I-20.
Will apply for F-2 visa.
F-2 children are dependent until the age of 21. They may attend K-12.
Cannot study full-time, except for children K-12. Spouses may study part-time "incidental" or "recreational" courses.
Will fall out of status if the F-1 falls out of status.
Port of Entry
Student receives I-20, pays I-901 SEVIS fee, and makes visa appointment
Student applies and is admitted to your institution
Typical timeline of a student coming to the U.S.
Present I-20 and passport to customs officer
Print I-94 Arrival Page after entry to U.S.
Arrival to Institution
Present immigration documents to international office to copy all documents for files.
Inform international office of current physical address in U.S.
Register for full-time courses
Register student in SEVIS
Travel to U.s.A.
Beware of lengthy security clearances for some countries!
*Exceptions to Credit/Debit Card Payments*
SEVP is currently unable to accept SEVIS I-901 fee payments by credit card on behalf of students from the following countries:
Institution issues I-20
21-Day Reporting Requirements
*Typically, students should report any changes to your office within 10 days of occurring. You then will have the additional days (total equal to 21) to report changes in SEVIS.*
Examples of 21-day reporting:
Failure to maintain status or complete program
Change of legal name (see passport) or U.S. address
Graduation or completion date, if earlier than I-20 end date
Disciplinary action as a result of a conviction of crime
Change in student's program, major, or visa status
Resumption of full-time study
30-Day Reporting Requirements
New students (including transfer-ins): Register within 30 days after program start date (listed on I-20).
Continuing students: Register within 30 days after next session start date.
*See office policy for plan of action for the following terminations*
If a student has reported to your institution, but not enrolled in courses 30 days after course registration deadline, student should be reported as "failure to enroll" in SEVIS.
If a student has dropped below full-time course load requirements 30 days after course registration deadline, student should be reported as "Unauthorized drop below full course of study".
Change of level, degree, and/or major
Curricular Pratical Training (CPT)
Adding or deleting dependents
Personal info update (name, country of citizenship, address)
Dependent personal info update
Completion of program (prior to end date) or shortening program of study
Registration each semester
Approved reduced course load
*DSO will complete notifications in SEVIS.
Change of status
Severe economic hardship work authorization
Optional Practical Training (OPT)
*DSO recommends action (updating I-20) requiring adjudication by USCIS in SEVIS. Following recommendation, the student will file a petition to USCIS in paper form (OPT and economic hardship) or online with the ELIS system (change of status and reinstatement).
*The USCIS Service Center for Mississippi is located in Dallas, TX.
USCIS Service Centers process most F-1 and F-2 adjudications including the Form I-765 for OPT, Economic Hardship, Form I-539 for change of status to or from F-1 or F-2, and reinstatement to student status.
The USCIS ELIS system is a quick and relatively easy online process for change of status and reinstatement.
Key Aspects to Remember
Both the DSO and students have responsibilities to maintaining status.
Critical for the DSO to communicate responsibilities to students (orientation, workshops, etc.).
Students must follow the rules! No matter what their documents say, it is possible for them to fall out of status at any time during their program.
Completion of studies or OPT = 60 days
Authorized Early Withdrawal = 15 days
Terminated for various other reasons = 0 days
*Be careful to use the terminology "should leave the U.S." when advising students who are terminated and have no intention of applying for reinstatement or transferring to another institution. Only ICE can enforce that they "must leave the U.S.".
Report to DSO upon arrival to institution.
Attend authorized school listed on I-20.
Maintain full course load and make normal academic process.
Refrain from unauthorized employment.
When traveling abroad, get DSO travel signature before leaving and re-enter in F-1 status if returning to school.
Keep passport valid.
Report any changes of address to DSO within 10 days of moving.
Apply for transfer, extension, CPT, OPT, etc. in a timely matter.
Undergraduate = 12 credit hours
Graduate = 9 credit hours
Associate = 12 credit hours
ESL or certificiate program = 18 clock hours
Elementary/High School = determined by school system for normal progress
Full course load credit hour requirements
*Online courses can only count towards one 3-hour course per semester*
Determine full-time courseload hours per level/program.
Certify that each student is enrolled in a full-time course load each semester.
Monitor and report drops below full-time course load.
Be an advisor/guide for international students (and sometimes Americans!) at your institution.
CPT vs OPT
Curricular Practical Training, or CPT, is defined as "alternate work/study, internship, cooperative education, or any other type of required internship or practicum which is offered by sponsoring employers through cooperative agreements with the school." Thus, CPT for F-1 students is intended to provide work experience in the U.S. in situations where the work serves as an integral part of a student's academic program and an established curriculum, prior to completion of that program.
Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
The student must have been lawfully enrolled on a full-time basis for one academic year before being eligible for CPT. An exception exists for graduate students whose programs require immediate participation in an internship, a practicum, or other employment.
It is available only while the student is in valid F-1 status and before the completion of his/her program.
*Students in English language programs are not eligible for CPT.
Student receives application from OIIA.
Student meets with Academic Advisor and Chair for authorization signature.
Student presents completed application with copy of job offer letter to Immigration Coordinator.
Immigration Coordinator approves or denies based on eligibility. If approved, a new I-20 is created to reflect dates and type (part-time/full-time) of employment.
CPT is an "in-house" authorization process.
Must be renewed each semester.
Process of CPT Authorization
Optional Practical Training, or OPT, is intended to provide hands-on practical work experience in the U.S., complementary to the academic program. An F-1 student is normally eligible for a MAXIMUM OF 12 MONTHS. However, the student is eligible for an additional 12 months of OPT at each level of study (Bachelor's, Masters, PhD).
NOTE: Certain science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) degree holders may be eligible for an additional 17 months of OPT time in addition to the regular 12-month OPT.
Optional Practical Training (OPT)
The student must have been lawfully enrolled on a full-time basis for one full academic year; currently maintaining a full-time program of study (pre-completion OPT) and valid F-1 status; and work in a job directly related to the major field of study.
Does not need a job offer prior to applying for OPT; however, the regulations require that one does have employment while on post-completion OPT period.
*Students in English language training programs are not eligible for OPT.
Student receives OPT application from OIIA.
Student prepares required documents and application materials.
Student submits application materials to Immigration Coordinator.
Immigration Coordinator creates new I-20.
Student picks up or sent by UEMS new I-20 to sign.
OPT petition is sent to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) by student.
Employment Authorization Document (EAD) or OPT card will be sent when authorization is approved (currently taking up to 120 days) to the address listed on the I-765.
*Students can not work until they have OPT card in hand and the card start date has begun.
Process of OPT Authorization