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Employment in F-1 Status
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  • 1. On campus employment Off campus employment
  • 2.  Work on campus while enrolled in a full course of study  Institutional vs. work study  Does not have to be related to major of studies  Not guaranteed and limited to availability
  • 3.  Part-time › up to 20 hrs/ week/ semester &  full-time › > 20 hrs/ week/ official school breaks  On-campus employment must provide direct student services  Examples: Aramark, Barnes & Noble
  • 4.  Babysitting  House cleaning  Translating texts for the local town library  Editing papers for other students online  Working for outside companies  Participating as a research subject
  • 5.  An internship/ co-op that is  “an integral part of an established curriculum”  Must be part of a student’s program of study (required for completion/ optional, but for academic credit)  Most F-1 students are eligible  after 1 full year of academic study  Is job specific  new I-20 for changes in employers or employment terms
  • 6.  Part-time (up to 20 hrs/ week) or full-time (> 20 hrs / week)  International students with >12 months of full-time CPT are ineligible for OPT
  • 7.  Prove internship course registration for 0-3 credits  Internship policies vary  Job offer letter (job duties, proposed start and end of employment dates, salary, part-time or full-time employment & office location)  Completed CPT recommendation form
  • 8. I-20 (Page 3) of a CPT Student • Must receive SEVIS authorization from their DSO prior to starting employment • (no USCIS application required) • A new I-20 with CPT authorization will be issued • Free and quick processing • CPT authorization must be processed for both paid/unpaid positions
  • 9.  related to the student’s field of study and can occur during or after completion of a program of study  Does not have to be job specific
  • 10. Pre-completion  Rather uncommon  Deducted from the post- completion OPT time (12 months)  Must file a new petition each time and include processing fee  More difficult to establish a relationship with an employer in a short period of time  Could be a good option for STEM majors  Prepare well in advance Post-completion  No need to wait for a job offer  USCIS must receive your application 120 days before or within 60 days after your official graduation date  The application process takes 2-3 months after the application is mailed  Prepare well in advance
  • 11.  Application components › New I-20 from Trinity ISSS › Copies of all previous I-20 form(s) + all passport identity pages + previous Employment Authorization Documents (EAD cards) › Money order for $380.00 payable to the US department of Homeland Security › Verification of enrollment (anticipated graduation date from the Office of the Registrar and verifying major(s))
  • 12.  Application components › 2 recent passport-style photos on white background › electronic I-94 print out › Your name and I-94 number must be printed in pencil on the back of the photos › Completed I-765 form › Preferred beginning and end dates  ISSS mails and monitors your OPT application. You will receive scans of OPT petition submitted for your record keeping purposes, original Notice of Action documentation and an EAD card when it is received by our office.
  • 13.  Difficult to predict, but try to estimate strategically  Earliest start date: on or after the program completion date  Latest start date: 60 calendar days after the program completion date  You cannot begin working before you receive the EAD and you reach the stated start date  Dates cannot be changed after submitted, so think carefully
  • 14.  Post-completion OPT students may be eligible for a 17- month extension if they received a degree in a DHS- designated science, technology, engineering or mathematics field  What majors qualify?  E-Verify
  • 15.  Report any changes (official name, address, employer name & address, or loss of employment) within 10 days. throughout the OPT period  ISTEM extension students must report at 6- and 12- months after the start of the extension period  DHS may terminate the F-1 status of OPT students who do not fulfill all reporting requirements • part of the OPT update e-form
  • 16.  Paid employment of at least 20 hours per week  Unpaid employment (volunteer/unpaid internship) of at least 20 hours per week  Multiple employers  Work for hire/1099 employment  Self-employed business owner (student should have evidence of proper business licenses)  Employment through an agency or consulting firm  The job must be directly related to the major(s) and educational level that is on your current I-20  You and the employer make this determination  You can change employers as long as each job is directly related to your current major and educational level  If you withdraw your OPT application, you lose the paid SEVIS fee
  • 17.  Limit days of unemployment during OPT to maintain F-1 status  Students during the initial OPT period – maximum of 90 days allowed during the 12- month OPT period  Students with an OPT STEM Extension – an additional 30 days applies, for a maximum of 120 days allowed during the 27-month OPT period  *Report all periods of employment to avoid unnecessary accrual of unemployment days
  • 18. Students on OPT must have the following to re-enter the U.S.:  Valid, unexpired passport (expiration at least six months into the future  Valid, unexpired visa  OPT I-20 (valid signature on page 3)  OPT EAD  Proof of employment or evidence of an active employment search Homeland Security has indicated that a student may leave the U.S. while OPT is pending, but if the OPT is approved the student will need the EAD and proof of employment to re-enter. The ISSS recommends that students do not leave the U.S. while an OPT extension application is pending.
  • 19.  H-1B visa – work visa for skilled workers  There is often a gap of time between the OPT end date and the H-1B start date (corporate H-1B visas begin on Oct. 1 and most students graduate in May or Dec.)  USCIS provides a temporary extension of F-1 status & work authorization while the H-1B petition is being processed
  • 20.  This benefit is offered only from Apr. 1 to Oct. 1 & only in conjunction with a corporate H-1B petition that is pending or approved with an Oct. 1 start date. The extension begins the day after the OPT EAD end date and ends on Oct. 1  You can obtain a new I-20 that indicates this extension and remain F-1 until the H-1B start date  If your H-1B petition is denied or withdrawn and your OPT has ended, your status ends 60 days from the date posted on your denial/withdrawal  H-1Bs with nonprofit organizations do not follow these deadlines
  • 21.  F-1 students suffering a severe economic hardship due to unforeseen changes in their financial circumstances  Eligibility: › Be in F-1 status for 1 academic year › Be in good academic standing › On campus opportunities are unavailable or insufficient to meet your needs › Ex: loss of financial support or employment, medical bills, etc.  Application processing – 2-3 months
  • 22.  Application components: › Form I-765 › $380 fee (can request to waive the fee due to extreme economic hardship) › Copy of I-20 form with your ISSS adviser’s recommendation for economic hardship employment › A letter describing your financial situation & supporting evidence › Copies of passport/visa pages › Copies of previous EAD pages (if applicable)
  • 23.  You may work for a qualified international organization, as defined by the International Organization Immunities Act of Dec. 29, 1945  If you have an offer from an employer on the List of International Organizations you may apply to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)for an EAD  Application: similar to the employment based on severe economic hardship’s application process
  • 24.  Relieves students coming from countries suffering from temporary economic/ civil unrest  2012 – 2015: special student relief (SSR) benefits to F-1 students from Syria who are “experiencing severe economic hardship as a direct result of civil unrest”  Eligibility criteria  On-campus benefits  Off-campus benefits
  • 25. Ask ISSS Advisor before pursuing off-campus employment - Regulations often change & info from friends/ family may not be accurate - Homeland Security is increasingly strict about employment violations. There can be severe penalties for working without proper permission, including exclusion from the US for up to 10 years
  • 26.  Email: isss@trinity.edu  Website: http://web.trinity.edu/x9118.xml  Facebook: http://facebook.com/trinityisss  Inessa Stepanenko Assistant Director, International Student & Scholar Services istepane@trinity.edu (210) 999-7313  Stephanie Herzog International Student and Scholar Services Advisor sherzog@trinity.edu (210) 999-8853