All students on post-completion OPT and extended OPT must report to the Office of International Programs (OIP) every six months to verify the following information:
Each student is responsible for reporting any change in the information above, as well as unemployment information, to International Programs within 10 days of the change to avoid situations where a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officer may determine a student is out of status.
Students should keep a record of all reports made to the Office of International Programs. DHS also suggests that students keep clear records for all periods of employment and unemployment during OPT. The following list contains suggested evidence of employment:
You may be required to prove the existence (or nonexistence) of periods of unemployment in future petitions for immigration benefits; therefore, it is very important to document the start and end dates of any periods of unemployment, along with the employment information above. Remember, this is your responsibility.
17-month extension of OPT for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) degree-holders currently on OPT (Applicants for the 17-month OPT extension must request a OPT STEM Extension). The one-time 17-month OPT extension applies to F-1 students currently on OPT based on completion of a degree earned in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. USCIS created the extension so that employers may have a chance to file H-1B petitions, on behalf of STEM students, in two consecutive fiscal years if necessary.
In the United States, each academic degree program or major has an accompanying Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) code. For F-1 students, the CIP code is used in SEVIS as confirmation of the academic degree program or major name. A student’s CIP code must appear on the STEM Designated Degree Program List in order to be eligible for the 17-month OPT extension. To check your eligibility, locate your major name on Form I-20, section 5 and review the annotated STEM Designated Degree Program List (Please note the major name listed on Form I-20 may differ slightly from the title of your major at Roosevelt University): http://www.ice.gov/sevis/stemlist.htm.
The F-1/H-1B “Cap-gap” occurs when F-1 students’ status expires before they can start approved H-1B employment in the next fiscal year beginning October 1. The Cap-Gap Extension applies to all F-1 beneficiaries of H-1B and concurrent change of status petitions. Under this rule, F-1 status is extended while the H-1B petition is pending; F-1 students may remain in the U.S. until October 1 of the next fiscal year when their H-1B status begins.
Current interpretation of the new provision suggests the extension applies not only to F-1 status, but also to work authorization, through October 1. Limits of OPT unemployment continue through the Cap-Gap Extension period. The Cap-Gap Extension terminates when USCIS rejects, denies, or revokes the H-1B petition. F-1 students may only benefit from automatic Cap-Gap extension if they have not violated their status.
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