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					                                                  Visa and Immigration Services


                              Optional Practical Training for F-1 Students Guidelines

Optional Practical Training (OPT) allows students in F-1 status to gain practical experience and training in a field directly
related to the major area of study before or after completion of program. Students are eligible to apply for OPT after one
academic year in F-1 status. Students are allowed a maximum total of 12 months of OPT, which may be completed all at
once, or at several different intervals (e.g., three months each summer). The initial 12 month OPT limit may be extended
by 17 months (a total of 29 months) for certain STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) degree holders.
Employment authorization is given in the form of a small, plastic card called an Employment Authorization Document or
EAD. This card will show your photo, signature, the terms in which employment is authorized, and specify the dates you
are eligible for employment.

Eligibility Requirements
         1. Be enrolled as a full-time F-1 student at least for one academic year
         2. Satisfactory GPA:
                 2.0 for undergraduate students
                 3.0 for graduate students
         3. Gain employment directly related to your major field of study
         4. Attended an OPT Workshop


Pre-Completion OPT
Students may only work up to 20 hours per week while school is in session if OPT is authorized before completion of
program. There is no specified limit to the number of hours students may work during vacation periods or after
completion of program. Part-time OPT is defined as 20 hours or less per week and counts ½ the time of full-time OPT
(i.e., 4 months of part-time OPT = 2 months of full-time OPT). Full-time OPT is defined as more than 20 hours per week.
Doctoral students who have been advanced to candidacy (G5 graduate level) may use full-time OPT during their
dissertation research period while continuing full time registration. Students must confirm advancement to “G5” graduate
level before applying for full time OPT.


Post-Completion OPT

   Students applying for OPT after completion of program may apply to United States Citizenship and
    Immigration Services (USCIS) 90 days before completion of program.
   The application period is “open” until the 60th day after completion of studies.
   Once OPT is recommended in SEVIS by a VIS Advisor, you must file Form I-765 with USCIS within
    30 days of issuance of Form I-20 recommending OPT.

For undergraduate and master students, the completion date is the date all requirements for the degree are met. For
doctoral students the Graduate School considers your completion date to be the end of the semester in which your
dissertation is accepted by the Graduate School. F-1 regulations do not allow students to postpone completion of program
for any reason except outstanding academic requirements for the degree. Post-completion OPT is always defined as full-
time (more than 20 hours per week) with the expectation that you will be engaged in full time employment or seeking full
time employment.

  Please consult your VIS Advisor immediately if you realize you will not complete your program by the
  end date posted on your Form I-20. The Form I-20 cannot be extended once the program end dated
  has passed.




           E5310 Melville Library Stony Brook, NY, 11794      631-632-4685                www.stonybrook.edu/visa
                                                  Visa and Immigration Services


Limited Periods of Unemployment to Maintain Status:
During the 12 month post-completion OPT F-1 status is dependent upon employment.
    Students may not accumulate a total of more than 90 days of unemployment during any period of authorized post-
        completion OPT.
    If the 90-day unemployment limit is reached, then there is no additional 60-day grace period afterwards.


Travel while on OPT:
Travel while on OPT is a complicated issue. In most cases, re-entry to the U.S. will not be possible once students
complete their program unless they have received their EAD card and have possession of a valid offer of employment
letter. Once you complete your studies, you need documentation showing continuing status in order to reenter the U.S.
For F-1 students on OPT, the proof that USCIS has granted you continuing status is the EAD card. Travel outside of the
United States while an application is pending with USCIS is strongly discouraged. Consult with your VIS Advisor before
making international travel plans. A travel signature is only valid for six months while on OPT.


Grace period:
Upon completion of OPT, students have 60 days to depart the U.S., enroll in a new academic program or change to
another nonimmigrant status.


H-1B Cap-Gap Extension:
Duration of status and work authorization will be “automatically extended” for students on OPT who have timely filed a
cap-subject H-1B petition requesting an employment start date of October 1 of the following fiscal year. An application
is filed with USCIS when your H1-B application has been receipted in by USCIS and the filing fee check cashed.
Although this extension is meant to be automatic, a request must be made in SEVIS. Please contact your VIS Advisor to
request a new Form I-20 before your EAD expires in order to take advantage of this cap gap extension. The extension of
duration of status and work authorization would automatically terminate upon the rejection, denial, or revocation of the H-
1B petition.


Reporting Requirements while on OPT:
While authorized for OPT you are still an F-1 student at Stony Brook University. Make sure your email address is
updated in SOLAR. We will contact you by email in the event of regulatory changes.
    Provide Visa and Immigration Services with a photocopy of your Receipt Notice (I-797C) and your Employment
       Authorization Document, or EAD card (front and back).
    When applying for OPT, you must receive authorization from USCIS by receiving in hand an Employment
       Authorization Document (EAD) before beginning employment. This may take 2-6 months or longer.
    Complete a Departure Record when you end OPT and plan to depart the United States.
    Students must report to VIS within 10 days of any change of:
            1. Legal Name
            2. Residential Address (local) - This can be updated in SOLAR.
            3. Employer Name/ Address
            4. Loss/ Interruption of Employment
            5. Immigration Status




           E5310 Melville Library Stony Brook, NY, 11794      631-632-4685               www.stonybrook.edu/visa
                                                 Visa and Immigration Services

                                   Optional Practical Training Application Process

Part 1 – Applying for new Form I-20 for OPT
   1. Confirm Local/Off-Campus address is up-to-date in SOLAR. Processing of your I-20 will be delayed if the
        information in SOLAR does not match the address indicated the request form.
   2. Make an appointment with a VIS Advisor. Bring the following to your appointment:
             Completed application (attached). This form should be filled out by you and your Academic Advisor.
               The form must be completed before your Academic Advisor signs it. If applying for post-completion
               OPT, application must be submitted as early as possible but normally no later than 4 weeks before the end
               of the term or within 30 days after completion of studies.
             Original immigration documents (for your VIS Advisor to review)
             Employment offer letter (if any)
             Academic Progress Review form (for undergraduates only)
*All students applying for post-completion OPT will be charged a onetime $100 international student fee for the duration
of post-completion OPT.

Part 2 – Applying for EAD card
Mail the following documents to USCIS within 30 days of the issue date of Form I-20 for OPT (Processing takes 3-6
months. You CANNOT begin OPT without the EAD card):
   1. A money order, certified check or personal check for the amount of $380, payable to Department of Homeland
        Security
   2. Cover letter addressed to the USCIS processing center
   3. Completed Form I-765 Download the most current version and instructions at www.uscis.gov
   4. One original Form I-20 issued for OPT (Keep the other for your records)
   5. Photocopies of all Forms I-20 ever received (pages 1 and 3)
   6. Photocopy of current Form I-94 (both sides)
   7. Photocopy of identity pages in passport, including expiration date and most recent U.S. Visa
   8. Two identical passport photographs, with white background see guidelines at
        http://www.travel.state.gov/passport/pptphotoreq/pptphotoreq_5333.html
   9. Photocopy of any previous Employment Authorization Document (EAD) issued to you

  You may request that USCIS keep you posted regarding your I-765 application electronically by completing Form
  G-1145 (http://www.uscis.gov/files/form/g-1145.pdf)

NOTE:
   You may not begin employment until you receive the EAD from USCIS.
    While engaged in OPT, students are under Stony Brook’s F-1 program.
    Changes of local addresses MUST be reported to solar within 10 DAYS by updating the system.
    Changes of foreign addresses MUST be updated by contacting Visa and Immigration Services directly.
    You must report any interruptions of employment to visa and immigration services.

Filing Location for Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization:
(For addresses on the I-765 application in AL, AR, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MS, NC, NH, NJ, NM,
NY, PA, RI, SC, OK, TN, TX, VA, VT, WV)
                                    For Express mail and courier service deliveries:
                                                        USCIS
                                                       Attn: AOS
                                       2501 S. State Hwy. 121, Business Suite 400
                                                 Lewisville, TX 75067
      THIS LIST IS CURRENT AS OF 1/2012. PLEASE ALWAYS CONSULT THE I-765 APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS FOR CORRECT FILING LOCATION.
                                                      Visa and Immigration Services                                 VIS OFFICE USE ONLY
                                                                                                                    Date Received: ___________
                                                                                                                    Pre________ Post_________
                                     OPTIONAL PRACTICAL TRAINING REQUEST FORM                                       Nolij:
                                                 FOR F-1 STUDENTS                                                     Visa/PP: ______________
                                                                                                                      I-94: _________________
Date _____________________ (mm/dd/yy)

Name: _________________________________________________________               SOLAR I.D. Number: ____________________
Academic Major: ____________________________ Academic Level: __________ Degree Level: _________________________
I-20 End Date: _________________ (mm/dd/yy)            SEVIS Identification Number: __________________________________
Telephone Number: ___________________       Preferred Email Address: _______________________________________________
Local Address: _______________________________________________________________________________________________

Have you attended the Employment Workshop?                [ ] Yes [ ] No         If yes, when did you attend? ____/____/____

Employer’s name and address (if any):
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Start date requested for OPT (Mo/Day/Yr) [consult a VIS Advisor]: _______________________
Number of months of OPT requested: ____________________ (1 – 12)
[ ] Full-time (greater than 20 hours/week) [vacations, G5’s, or post-completion, only]
[ ] Part-time (20 hours/week or less)        [vacations or while school is in session. Pre-completion only]

Signature of Student_______________________________________________________                           Date_______________

NOTE: All students applying for post-completion OPT will be charged a one-time $100 international student fee for the
duration of post-completion OPT.
      ************************************************************************************************************
The information below should be completed by the Academic Advisor. The signature of the Academic Advisor indicates
verification of the student’s level and field of study and, especially, the expected completion date of studies (including general
education requirements for undergraduates).
Degree Expected (BA, BS, MA, MS, PhD, etc.): ______________________________________
Expected Completion Date (Month/Day/Year): _______________________________________
        This date was determined as follows (check one):
                 [ ] Anticipated Graduation (must be registered in that semester)
                 [ ] Dissertation Defense (for some Doctoral students)
                 [ ] Other. Explain: _______________________________________________

Has the student been authorized to take a Reduced course load (Underload)?              [ ] Yes              [ ] No
    If yes, is the student in his/her final semester at Stony Brook?                    [ ] Yes              [ ] No
Number of incompletes (INC) or unreported (NR) grades student has prior to the current semester. (OPT request will not be processed
until all INC/NR grades are resolved.): ___________________________________________________________________________
Is the student in good academic standing? [ ] Yes       [ ] No
     If No, please explain: _____________________________________________________________________________________

 I certify that the above information is correct and satisfies the information required by Visa and Immigration Services to recommend optional
 practical training for this student.

 Graduate Faculty Advisor: ________________________________            Signature: _______________________________           Date: ___________

 Graduate Program Director: _______________________________            Signature: _______________________________           Date: ___________

 Undergrad Program Director: ______________________________            Signature: _______________________________           Date: ___________

 NOTE: Undergraduates are required to submit an “Academic Progress Review Form” from the Academic & Pre-Professional Advising Center,
 CEAS or the HSC Advising Center.


            E5310 Melville Library Stony Brook, NY, 11794                631-632-4685                      www.stonybrook.edu/visa
                                           Visa and Immigration Services




                                                   Cover Letter
                                                  Cover Letter



Dear Officer:
Dear Officer:
Enclosed please find the following items related to my request for Optional Practical Training:
 Enclosed please find the following items related to my request for Optional Practical Training:
   1.    Check for the amount of $380.00, payable to Department of Homeland Security;
    1.    Check for the amount of $380.00, payable to Department of Homeland Security;
   2.    Completed Form I-765;
    2.    Completed Form I-765;
   3.    Print Form G1145
    3.    Form I-20 issued for OPT – original;
   4.    Form I-20 issued for OPT – original;
    4.    Photocopies of all Forms I-20 ever issued to me;
   5.    Photocopies of all Forms I-20 ever issued to me;
    5.    Photocopy of Form I-94 (front and back);
   6.    Photocopy of Form I-94 (front and back);
    6.    Photocopy of identity page of passport and visa stamp;
   7.    Photocopy of identity page of passport and visa stamp;
    7.    2 passport photos, cut with white background and I-94 number written on the back;
   8.    2 passport photos, cut with white background and I-94 number written on the back;
    8.    Form G-1145;
   9.    Other evidence: _____________________________________________________
    9.    Other evidence: _____________________________________________________

Please feel free to contact me if further information is needed.
 Please feel free to contact me if further information is needed.
Sincerely,
 Sincerely,



_______________________________                               ____________________
 _______________________________                               ____________________
Signature                                                     Date
 Signature                                                     Date

				
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