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Attending a University out of your Country?

You are looking for a F-1 Visa with CPT status. What is CPT? How can I get one? Please click on the the drop down button to know more. 

  • CPT stands for Curricular Practical Training.
  •  It is for practical experience for undergraduate or graduate student. 
  • CPT is an alternative work/study, internship, cooperative education, or any other type of experience that is offered in cooperation with a university and a Sponsoring employer who willing to give international students employment.
  • It has to be related to the work the international student has studied. (For example, a student in Public Health would not be able to do their practical training in Computer Science.)
  •  The international student can ONLY begin their work after a Designated School Official (DSO) has to completed the I-20 From endorsement page.
  • The DSO is the point of contact for the international student. 
  • Graduates can apply as long as they have NOT finished their internship.  
  • An international student can present these documents to establish identity and employment authorization.
    • Unexpired passport from their country
    • Form I-20 with the DSO’s endorsement for employment
    • Form I-94 or Form 94A indicating F-1 nonimmigrant status

Finishing school?

You are looking for a F-1 Visa with OPT status. What is OPT? How can I get that type of status? What are the requirements? Please click on the drop down button to find out.

  • OPT stands for Optional Practical Training.
  • OPT status is required after CPT status. 
  • Provides experience directly related to field of study.
  • Those seeking OPT must obtain an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). 
  • Cannot start any employment until you have a EAD.
  • Cost $410 USD to file.
  • Applying for Pre-Completion OPT?
    • Must be hired before graduating.
    • Your university MUST approve.
    • The time varies to hear back from the time that you apply. 
    • You may work:
      • Up to 20 hours while school is in session
      • Full-Time when school is NOT in session (For example, you may work full-time in the summer or winter break).
  • Applying for Post-Completion OPT?
    • Must apply between 90 days before graduating and 60 days after graduating. 
    • Your university MUST approve.
    • You are mandated to work.
    • The time to hear back from the time you apply is normally 100-150 days. 
  • STEM extension:
    • Must be receiving their Bachelor’s, Master’s, or Doctoral degree in Science, Technology, Engineering, and/or Mathematics.
    • May apply in post-completion OPT. 
    • Employer must be enrolled and in good Standing with E-Verify before student begins STEM OPT employment.
    • Following documents establishes the student’s identity and employment authorization for Form I-9:
      • Unexpired EAD
      • Expired EAD with Form I-2o endorsed by DSO (acceptable for ONLY 180 days. Work authorization will need to be reverified.)
  • Cap-Gap Entension
    • Bridges the gap between end of F-1 status to H-1B status. 
    • Allows for international students to remain employed during the “gap”. 
    • Available to those who as of April 1 of the calendar year:
      • On approved OPT or in their 60 day grace period; and 
      • Have pending or approved H1B change-of-status petition with an October 1 start date filled prior to end of OPT or 60-day grace period. 
    • Documents that international students need to use as identification and employment authorization for Form I-9 during the extension:
      • Expired EAD; and
      • Form I-20 endorsed by DSO recommending the Cap-Gap Extension.
    • Documentation is accepted through September 30 of given year in which employer files for H-1B status unless petition is rejected, not selected, denied, revoked or withdrawn before October 1 of given year. 

Done with school. Now what?

Your done with school!! Congratulations!! Now what? You will want your sponsoring employer to file for H-1B status. How does that work? What do I need to know? Please click on the drop down button to find out.

  •  It is a work visa.
  • You are no longer a student.
  • You will need a employer who is willing to be your sponsor during the time period of your visa.
  • The sponsoring employer will have to file for you H-1B visa.
  • The employer will pay for the fees of the application. 
  • The cost of the application is $460 USD.
  • The time frame to file is between April 1 and April 7 each calendar year. 
  • It is based on a lottery system (USCIS picks randomly).
    • 1 or 2 per 100 applicants 
    • 65000 accepted annually
  • 2 Types of Processing:
    • Regular Process
      • Takes about 60 to 75 days to receive an answer.
    • Premium Process
      • Takes about 1 month (30 days) to receive an answer.
  • Cap Exemption:
    • 20000 petitions are allocated to this section per year. 
    • There is NO time frame.
    • Cap exemption are given to U.S. employers who work in:
      • Higher Educational Institution
      • Non-Profit Organization associated with a Higher Institution
      • Non-Profit research or government organization

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