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Post-OPT

Post-OPT

Post-OPT is a work benefit opportunity to gain off-campus work experience and is requested to be used after the completion of a degree program.

F-1 students are eligible for a total of 12 months of OPT per degree program. Those 12 months can be used while earning your degree (Pre-OPT), after earning your degree (Post-OPT), or a combination of both (Pre- and Post-OPT).

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Maintenance of F-1 status for a minimum of one academic year in a degree program.
  • Employment must be directly related to your field of study.
  • You must work at least 20 hours per week on average.
  • Any previously approved Pre-OPT will be deducted from your available 12 months of OPT time, on half when used during the semester, in full when used during the summer break when requested at full time.

Example: Four months of approved part-time Pre-OPT subtracts 2 months of available OPT while 2 months of approved full-time Pre-OPT subtracts 2 months of available OPT.

  • Undergraduate students will use their commencement date as their degree program completion date for Post-OPT.
  • Graduate students will review the Graduate Completion Dates webpage with their academic advisor to determine the best program completion date based on their final academic requirements.
  • You are not authorized to work or volunteer until the start date printed on your EAD card and your have received the card in the mail.
  • You are allowed 90 days of cumulative unemployment during Post-OPT to find new employment when other employment has stopped. We highly suggest applying for your initial employment during USCIS’s processing time of your application.
  • It is strongly recommended that you obtain health insurance coverage to bridge the gap between the end of your student health insurance and the start date of your employer's health insurance plan or if your employer does not provide health insurance.  Visit ASU Health Services - Health Coverage Options to see when your insurance will end after graduation. NAFSA's Global Partners - Insurance Companies is another useful resource when looking for health coverage.

Please note:  If 12 months of full-time Curricular Practical Training (CPT) or 12 months of full-time Pre-OPT have been used, you will not be eligible for Post-OPT (including STEM Extension). 

OPT Calculator

Use the OPT calculator to help determine your EAD card end date.

OPT Calculator

How to Apply for Post-OPT

one

Submit Post-OPT e-Form to ISSC

Submit your application materials to the ISSC through the eForms Self-service Portal (not to be confused with the SEVP Portal) no more than 100 days prior to your program completion date.  The I-20 will be released by ISSC on or after the 90th day prior to your completion date.  

Please have the following materials ready prior to submitting the e-Form:

  • Copy of biographical page of passport (page with your picture on it) valid at least six months into the future (NOT your visa).
  • Copy of recent I-94 arrival record (NOT your travel history).
  • Copy of the front and back of prior EAD cards at your current degree program level (if applicable).
  • Copy of $100 OPT Case Management Payment receipt email notification (NOT a screenshot of your “cart”).

Please allow the ISSC approximately 10 days to process your Post-OPT request.

The ISSC cannot process your Post-OPT request until AFTER your academic advisor has approved your completion date. Any delay in your academic advisor’s approval is NOT part of the ISSC’s 10 day processing time, so please make appropriate considerations.

two

Pick up Post-OPT I-20 from ISSC

  • USCIS CANNOT receive and will return the students application if received prior to 90 days before the program end date.   If you apply early to ISSC, your I-20 will be ready on the 90th day before your program end date. 
  • You will receive an email notification from the ISSC of the availability of your Post-OPT I-20 and supporting documents.
  • The notification will provide detailed information on how to pick up in person, by a representative, or by using eShipGlobal if you choose to have the Post-OPT I-20 Packet shipped.

You must review the information within your I-20 for accuracy, then sign and date in blue ink.

three

Mail Application to USCIS for Processing

After receiving your Post-OPT I-20, mailing instructions, and checklist from the ISSC, you must file the following documents with USCIS within 30 days of the I-20’s issuance (applications received after the 30-day signature limit will be denied):

  • Post-OPT application checklist.
  • Payment (choose one of the following): Form G-1450 (for credit card payments), personal or cashier’s check, or money order, for $410.00 payable to "US Department of Homeland Security" (do not abbreviate).
  • Form G-1145.
  • Form I-765.
  • Separate copy of pages 1 and 2 of new I-20 signed by DSO and student (do not include dependent I-20s).
  • Copy of recent I-94 arrival record (NOT your travel history).
  • Copy of the front and back of prior EAD cards at current program level (if applicable).
  • Copy of biographical page of passport (page with your picture on it) valid at least six months into the future (NOT your visa).
  • Two passport-style photos (2” x 2”) with name and I-94 admission number written lightly on back in pencil placed in an envelope or plastic baggie.

Carefully follow all mailing instructions provided to you when submitting your application materials to USCIS, and keep copies of all completed applications for your personal records. If you have a job offer letter from a company, you may include it with your application, but it is NOT required (add the letter at the end of your packet for USCIS). 

Tips for Avoiding Application Rejections, Denials, Delays, and Receiving a Request for Evidence (RFE) from USCIS:

  • DO NOT mail your application to USCIS prior to 90 days before your program completion date. USCIS will cash your payment and deny your application if it is received prior to 90 days before your program completion date.
  • Your application must be received by USCIS within 30 days of the date the ISSC signed your I-20.
  • Sign and date your OPT I-20 in blue ink.
  • Sign and date Form I-765 in black ink.
  • Do not staple anything, simply bind your entire application packet with one clip.
  • Fill out a personal check or money order, including the date, payable to the US Department of Homeland Security and write the amount in numbers ($410.00) and words (Four hundred ten dollars and 00/100), and sign it. Add your I-94 admission number in the “Memo:” or “For:” line on your check (bottom left), or somewhere appropriate on the money order.
  • Follow the mailing instructions and checklist provided by the ISSC.
  • If a change of address is unavoidable, you must inform USCIS and the ISSC of the new address by filing an on-line change of address with USCIS and updating your Local Address through My ASU.

If for any reason you receive a Rejection, Denial, or a Request for Evidence (RFE) Notice from USCIS, or if you receive your application materials back from the postal/shipping service, DO NOT resend the materials. Please contact ASU’s ISSC IMMEDIATELY for a new or updated I-20 for the resubmission of your application.

four

Receipt Notice, EAD Card arrival, and Maintaining Status

Receiving your Receipt Notice, EAD Card, and maintaining F-1 status while on Post-OPT.

Please remember, USCIS processes and approves your application, NOT ASU, therefore, contact USCIS (1-800-375-5283) regarding application issues and/or delays. They cannot change requested start/end dates nor can they change your completion dates. Once, submitted, the only way to edit anything will be to request USCIS to withdraw your case. You MUST speak with an ISSC advisor prior to requesting application withdraw from USCIS.

If you submit Form G-1145, you will receive notification of application arrival (i.e., receipt notice) via text and/or email within 72 hours, and you will also receive a paper Notice of Action (i.e., receipt notice) from USCIS within four weeks of filing. If you do not receive a receipt notice from USCIS within four weeks, please contact USCIS at 1-800-375-5283. You will receive your EAD Card approximately two weeks after USCIS approves your application.

Please note:

  • If you might not graduate as planned, please review this document for advisement.
  • The receipt number printed on the receipt notice will allow you to track your application’s progress using USCIS’s website.
  • It takes approximately 90 days to process a Post-OPT application. You may check USCIS website for current processing times. If your application is taking longer than the posted processing time you may request an expedite also at the USCIS website.
  • If your application is still processing after their currently posted processing times, you may submit a case inquiry with USCIS regarding their delay in processing times.
  • The United States Postal Service (USPS/“the post office”) will not forward EAD cards. If you are moving, your address must be updated in your My ASU account and with USCIS (known as an AR-11) within 10 days of the change. USCIS can provide you with the option for shipping using an “In Care Of” address. This option is provided during the on-line address change process. You may also use an “In Care Of” address on Form I-765.

 

While on Post-OPT, you must continue to maintain F-1 status by doing the following:

  • DO NOT work until you receive your EAD card, or before or beyond the dates authorized on your EAD card (this includes volunteering and unpaid internships).
  • Check your My ASU account and ASU email on a regular basis for immigration updates.
  • Do not exceed the 90-day period of cumulative unemployment allowed during the Post-OPT period. Periods of unemployment occur when students have a valid EAD card and are allowed to work but are not working.
  • Submit a copy of your EAD card and report demographic and address information changes through the Optional Practical Training link in your My ASU account.
  • Update all Post-OPT employment through the SEVP Portal.

 

60-Day Grace Period After OPT

You will have a 60-day grace period following your Post-OPT expiration date to leave the U.S., change your visa status, transfer your F-1 to a new school, or pursue a new degree program at ASU.

If you are eligible for the 24-Month STEM OPT Extension, you must apply for the STEM OPT Extension with USCIS prior to the last day on your current Post-OPT EAD card or you will not be eligible to apply for the extension.

Early Completion of Post-OPT and Leaving the U.S., or Change of Status

If you decide to leave the US before your OPT expiration date, please submit a Demographic and Document Update eForm (located in your My ASU) so we can update your record accordingly. This update will invalidate your Post-OPT employment authorization and your I-20 and EAD card will be no longer valid.

If you change your visa status before your OPT expiration date, please email the ISSC  at issc.employment@asu.edu so that we can update your record accordingly.

 

Post-OPT FAQs

Post-OPT FAQs

DO I NEED TO KEEP MY PREVIOUS I-20S SINCE I WAS ISSUED A NEW ONE?

DO I NEED TO KEEP MY PREVIOUS I-20S SINCE I WAS ISSUED A NEW ONE?

Yes. You must keep all original I-20s and all your immigration documents indefinitely, for possible using in the future. The ISSC does not retain students’ documents as this is the responsibility of the student to maintain their own F-1 visa status.

CAN I WITHDRAW MY POST-OPT APPLICATION?

CAN I WITHDRAW MY POST-OPT APPLICATION?

If your Post-OPT application has NOT been submitted to USCIS, return all of your Post-OPT application materials to the ISSC and the ISSC will cancel your Post-OPT request internally (if appropriate).

If your Post-OPT application has been submitted to USCIS, please come into the ISSC or call so we can provide you further immigration advisement. 

Withdrawing is not always guaranteed. Approval of withdraw will depend on the time frame of the request, including USCIS’s 30 days to process your request. The $410 filing fee is non-refundable.

HOW DO I APPLY FOR A VISA RENEWAL WHILE ON POST-OPT?

HOW DO I APPLY FOR A VISA RENEWAL WHILE ON POST-OPT?

Since you remain in F-1 status while you are on Post-OPT, the same visa renewal information applies. Keep in mind, you are allowed to remain in the US on an expired F-1 visa for the duration of your program and any Post-OPT is over. Only if you are traveling outside of the US will you need an unexpired visa to re-enter the US.

Documents needed for visa renewal purposes: Post-OPT I-20 with valid travel signature, passport valid six months into the future, valid EAD card, and proof of employment.

For more information on travel, please read through Visa and Travel.

CAN I CHANGE MY ADDRESS WHILE MY POST-OPT APPLICATION IS PENDING?

CAN I CHANGE MY ADDRESS WHILE MY POST-OPT APPLICATION IS PENDING?

You must update your Local Address via My ASU within 10 days of any changes. You must also submit an address change via USCIS’s website within 10 days of moving. 

The United States Postal Service (USPS/“the post office”) will not forward EAD cards. If you are moving, your address must be updated in your My ASU account and with USCIS (known as AR-11) within 10 days of the change. USCIS can provide you with the option for shipping using an “In Care Of” address. This option is provided during the on-line address change process. You may also use an “In Care Of” address on Form I-765 when applying.

WHAT IF THERE ARE ERRORS ON MY POST-OPT EAD CARD?

WHAT IF THERE ARE ERRORS ON MY POST-OPT EAD CARD?

Please remember, USCIS produces the EAD cards, NOT the ISSC, so please contact USCIS for details (1-800-375-5283).

Although Form I-765 has 30 character spaces available for both your first and last names, there is an 18 character limit on the physical EAD card for your first name and an additional 18 character limit for your last name. It will not be considered an “error” if your name is longer than the available spaces.

The below is taken from USCIS’s website:

Typographical errors made by USCIS:

Submit a letter that explains the error (e.g., name misspelled, start and end dates very different than requested, date of birth wrong, etc.) and include the original EAD card with the error. Include documents showing that USCIS made an error (such as a copy of the application you sent to USCIS with the correct information, a copy of your birth certificate, the I-20 the ISSC provided you, or anything that shows the correct information).

Send your letter and supporting documents to the Potomac Service Center:

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
Potomac Service Center
2200 Potomac Center Drive, Stop 2425
Arlington, VA 20598-2425

If USCIS made an error, you do not need to submit a new Form I-765 or pay a new filing fee.

The ISSC highly suggests that you start working prior to returning your EAD card for correction so you are not unemployed while your card is being corrected. It could take up to 90 days to receive your corrected EAD card.

 

Typographical errors made by applicant:

If you need a replacement because your EAD card contains errors that are not due to a USCIS error, you must submit the following to the Potomac Service Center:

  • A new Form I-765
  • The filing fee ($410)
  • Document(s) showing the correct information and/or a letter explaining your request
  • The EAD card containing the error

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
Potomac Service Center
2200 Potomac Center Drive, Stop 2425
Arlington, VA 20598-2425

The ISSC highly suggests that you start working prior to returning your EAD card for correction so you are not unemployed while your card is being corrected. It could take up to 90 days to receive your corrected EAD card.

WHAT IF I DO NOT COMPLETE MY DEGREE PROGRAM AS REPORTED ON MY OPT APPLICATION?

WHAT IF I DO NOT COMPLETE MY DEGREE PROGRAM AS REPORTED ON MY OPT APPLICATION?

See below:

Completion Date Passed

Application

Submitted to USCIS

Action

No

No

Please bring your application materials and an Academic Advisor Letter (written by your academic advisor) stating the justification for an extension to your I-20 and your new program completion date to the ISSC so we can cancel your request internally and provide you further advisement. You must also enroll in the necessary class(es).

No

Yes

Keep as is.

Enroll in the class(es) as needed, obtain a job or volunteer position to maintain OPT status, and complete the class(es) to obtain your degree. Also, do not go over 90 days of unemployment or your OPT will be cancelled and you will need to make other arrangements to complete your studies to obtain your degree.

Yes

No

Please bring your application materials and an Academic Advisor Letter (written by your academic advisor) stating the new program completion date to the ISSC so we can cancel your current Post-OPT request internally and provide you a new Post-OPT I-20 request, depending on the timeframe. You will most likely still apply for Post-OPT and enroll in the necessary class(es).

Yes

Yes

Keep as is.

Enroll in the class(es) as needed, obtain a job or volunteer position to maintain OPT status, and complete the class(es) to obtain your degree. Also, do not go over 90 days of unemployment or your OPT will be cancelled and you will need to make other arrangements to complete your studies to obtain your degree.

CAN I DO A SECOND POST-OPT AFTER I FINISH A SECOND DEGREE?

CAN I DO A SECOND POST-OPT AFTER I FINISH A SECOND DEGREE?

You are eligible for 12 months of OPT (Pre and Post) at each higher degree level. For example, if you have been granted OPT at the bachelor’s level previously, you will not have OPT available again at the bachelor’s level. Also, if you are pursuing dual majors at the same degree level (minors do not count), you will need to decide which major to use when applying for Post-OPT.

ARE THERE ANY EMPLOYER OR LOCATION RESTRICTIONS FOR WORKING IN THE U.S. WHILE ON POST-OPT?

ARE THERE ANY EMPLOYER OR LOCATION RESTRICTIONS FOR WORKING IN THE U.S. WHILE ON POST-OPT?

If you are authorized for Post-OPT, there are no employer or location restrictions; however, please chose a job that will have you work in the U.S., not in another country, and the job, not the title, must be related to your course of study. Working remotely, from you outside of the US, is not authorized.

DO I NEED A SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER TO WORK IN THE US?

DO I NEED A SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER TO WORK IN THE US?

WHAT IF I LOST MY EAD CARD?

WHAT IF I LOST MY EAD CARD?

The only way to receive a new EAD is by submitting a new I-765 and supporting documents (i.e., I-765, fee, letter of explanation, and I-20). It is impossible to replace an EAD card if you are outside the U.S.

If you need a replacement EAD card, you must submit the following to the Potomac Service Center:

  • A new Form I-765
  • The filing fee ($410)
  • A letter explaining your request
  • Copy an updated I-20 copy showing OPT as approved

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
Potomac Service Center
2200 Potomac Center Drive, Stop 2425
Arlington, VA 20598-2425

If you did not receive your EAD card that USCIS mailed, you can also submit an inquiry on non-delivery of a card here.

The ISSC highly suggests that you start working prior to returning your EAD card for correction so you are not unemployed while your card is being corrected. It could take up to 90 days to receive your corrected EAD card.

CAN I APPLY FOR LESS THAN 12 MONTHS OF POST-OPT AND SAVE THE OTHER MONTHS FOR LATER USE AT THE SAME DEGREE LEVEL?

CAN I APPLY FOR LESS THAN 12 MONTHS OF POST-OPT AND SAVE THE OTHER MONTHS FOR LATER USE AT THE SAME DEGREE LEVEL?

There is no problem with breaking months in a Pre-OPT situation (separate filing fees apply); however, breaking Post-OPT time into different months is not recommended because the ISSC cannot guarantee that you will be granted use of the remaining months later.

MY EAD CARD SAYS “NOT VALID FOR RE-ENTRY” ON IT, DOES THIS MEAN I CANNOT TRAVEL OUTSIDE OF THE U.S.?

MY EAD CARD SAYS “NOT VALID FOR RE-ENTRY” ON IT, DOES THIS MEAN I CANNOT TRAVEL OUTSIDE OF THE U.S.?

It simply means that you must carry other documents to show proof of your eligibility to re-enter the U.S. such as your I-20, passport and valid F-1 visa stamp. The EAD alone is not enough to re-enter the U.S. 

CAN I ENTER THE US ON A DIFFERENT VISA STATUS AND CONTINUE TO WORK ON POST-OPT?

CAN I ENTER THE US ON A DIFFERENT VISA STATUS AND CONTINUE TO WORK ON POST-OPT?

No.Do not enter the U.S. on any visa other than F-1 or you will lose your F-1 status and your Post-OPT will be invalidated.

CAN I TAKE CLASSES WHILE ON POST-OPT?

CAN I TAKE CLASSES WHILE ON POST-OPT?

The primary purpose of Post-OPT is working; however, you are allowed to enroll in non-degree earning part-time courses.

CAN I EXTEND MY POST-OPT?

CAN I EXTEND MY POST-OPT?

You have an additional 60-day grace period after your OPT ends to either change your visa status, transfer to another school, pursue a new degree program at ASU, or return home. Nevertheless, you are not authorized to work during this time (unless you are STEM OPT Extension eligible and filed).

WILL I HAVE TO PAY US TAXES FOR INCOME EARNED WHILE ON POST-OPT?

WILL I HAVE TO PAY US TAXES FOR INCOME EARNED WHILE ON POST-OPT?

In general, F-1 students who have been in the U.S. for fewer than six years are exempt from social security (FICA) and Medicare taxes as long as you continue to declare non-resident status for tax purposes (see Internal Revenue Service Publication 519, US Tax Guide for Aliens, which you can order by calling 1-800-TAX-FORM or download at www.irs.gov). You should bring this to the attention of your employer because many employers are not familiar with this provision of the tax laws.

Unless you qualify under a tax treaty between the United States and your home government, your earnings as an F-1 student will be subject to applicable federal, state, and local taxes, and employers are required by law to withhold those taxes from your paychecks. By April 15 of each year, you must file a federal income tax return and a Form 8843, Statement for Exempt Individuals, covering the prior calendar year – whether you owe more taxes or not.

CAN I START A NEW DEGREE PROGRAM WHILE ON POST-OPT?

CAN I START A NEW DEGREE PROGRAM WHILE ON POST-OPT?

No. If you decide to pursue a new degree program, your Post-OPT will be invalidated. If you will start a new degree program at ASU, you need to request a new degree I-20 from the ISSC before the new degree program start date or before the end of the 60-day grace period following the Post-OPT expiration date, whichever is earlier. 

If you will start new degree program at another institution, you have to request for SEVIS transfer out from the ISSC. This must be done before the end of the 60-day grace period following the Post-OPT expiration date.

HOW LONG CAN I STAY IN THE U.S. AFTER MY POST-OPT ENDS?

HOW LONG CAN I STAY IN THE U.S. AFTER MY POST-OPT ENDS?

You have an additional 60-day grace period after your OPT ends to either change your visa status, transfer to another school, pursue a new degree program at ASU, or return home. Nevertheless, you are not authorized to work during this time (unless you are STEM OPT Extension eligible and filed).

CAN I CHANGE EMPLOYERS WHILE ON POST-OPT?

CAN I CHANGE EMPLOYERS WHILE ON POST-OPT?

Yes, so long as the new employment is directly related to your field of study and you work a minimum of 20 hours per week. No special permission is required to change employers, however, you must update your employer information using the SEVP Portal within 10 days of the change.

WHAT DO I DO WHEN I RECEIVE MY POST-OPT EAD CARD?

WHAT DO I DO WHEN I RECEIVE MY POST-OPT EAD CARD?

Submit a copy of your EAD card and report biographical changes using the ISSC’s eForms Self-service Portal or in your My ASU within 10 days.

DO I NEED TO REPORT EMPLOYMENT?

DO I NEED TO REPORT EMPLOYMENT?

Yes, you will do this via the SEVP Portal (not in My ASU). Once your OPT is approved and the start date is current, you will receive an email from do-not-replay.SEVP@ice.dhs.gov with directions on how to set up your SEVP Portal account. Check your SPAM and JUNK email folders if you do not receive this email once your Post-OPT is approved and the start date is current.

MY APPLICATION HAS BEEN PROCESSING FOR 90 DAYS, WHAT DO I DO?

MY APPLICATION HAS BEEN PROCESSING FOR 90 DAYS, WHAT DO I DO?

As long as your application was received by USCIS, you are allowed to stay in the US until your application is adjudicated. You do not need to leave the US simply because your OPT was not approved within 90 days. Please visit USCIS Case Status Online and enter your receipt number (YSC########) to monitor your application progress. Check USCIS processing times to see how long they are taking on I-765 applications for Potomac, and if they are outside of their normal processing time, submit a Case Inquiry. Nevertheless, you cannot work, intern, or volunteer, and you should not travel until your application is adjudicated. If your OPT application has been approved you need to wait until your EAD card arrives (1-3 weeks after approval). You are NOT considered unemployed when your application is still pending.

CAN I START WORKING AFTER I FILE WITH USCIS?

CAN I START WORKING AFTER I FILE WITH USCIS?

No. You cannot start working until your application is approved, the start date is current, and you have your EAD card in-hand.

MY 60-DAY GRACE PERIOD HAS ENDED BUT MY APPLICATION HAS NOT BEEN APPROVED, WHAT DO I DO?

MY 60-DAY GRACE PERIOD HAS ENDED BUT MY APPLICATION HAS NOT BEEN APPROVED, WHAT DO I DO?

As long as your application was received by USCIS, you are allowed to stay in the US until your application is adjudicated. Your 60-day grace period will no longer be in use because you would have applied for Post-OPT so you do not need to leave the US simply because your OPT was not approved within your 60-day grace period. Nevertheless, you cannot work, intern, or volunteer until your application is adjudicated. 

I HAVE BEEN UNEMPLOYED FOR ALMOST 90 DAYS, WHAT SHOULD I DO?

I HAVE BEEN UNEMPLOYED FOR ALMOST 90 DAYS, WHAT SHOULD I DO?

If you accumulate 90 days or more of unemployment during Post-OPT, you are in violation of status and will be accumulating unlawful presence in the U.S. Please be prepared to self-deport or make other arrangements to keep your record free from unlawful presence accumulation. If you have a job offer that will start after your 90 days of unemployment, we do not suggest taking it since you will have accumulated unlawful presence until then which may prevent you from further work benefits in the US.

DO I HAVE TO HAVE A JOB WHEN I APPLY FOR POST-OPT?

DO I HAVE TO HAVE A JOB WHEN I APPLY FOR POST-OPT?

USCIS does not require proof of employment when you apply for Post-OPT; however, you should obtain employment within 90 days of the start date on your EAD card or you will need to self-deport because you will be in violation of unlawful presence in the U.S. Also, both the 24-month STEM OPT Extension and the Cap-Gap extension require paid employment.

CAN I CHANGE MY REQUESTED START AND END DATES?

CAN I CHANGE MY REQUESTED START AND END DATES?

If you have NOT mailed your application to USCIS, you may be able to. Please visit the ISSC with your application. However, if you HAVE mailed your application to USCIS, it is very difficult to change dates, which requires withdrawing your application, and may result in losing your Post-OPT benefit. Withdrawing the OPT application is difficult and the fee is non-refundable, and you would need to pay again if you can re-file. It can take up to 30 days for USCIS to respond to the withdraw request in which your application may be approved by then. Once OPT has been approved, no changes can be made.

CAN I SEND MY APPLICATION TO ANY SERVICE CENTER?

CAN I SEND MY APPLICATION TO ANY SERVICE CENTER?

No. You must submit the Post-OPT application to the appropriate lockbox designated by USCIS, based on the address you list on Form I-765. For Arizona residents, applications must be submitted to the Phoenix lockbox. For other locations, please check USCIS’s I-765 lockbox addresses.

CAN I CHECK THE STATUS OF MY OPT APPLICATION AFTER I MAIL IT TO USCIS?

CAN I CHECK THE STATUS OF MY OPT APPLICATION AFTER I MAIL IT TO USCIS?

Yes. When you receive your text/email or your USCIS Notice of Action (i.e., receipt notice with receipt number), visit USCIS Case Status Online and enter your receipt number (YSC########). You can also call them. Their phone number is 1-800-375-5283, and have your receipt number ready before you call. You can also set up an account with them. (When their phone prompts, your receipt number letters YSC = 972).

CAN YOU EXPEDITE MY POST-OPT APPLICATION?

CAN YOU EXPEDITE MY POST-OPT APPLICATION?

The ISSC takes approximately 10 days to process your request. Our processing times can vary due to case load, therefore cases cannot expedited and will only be processed on a first come, first served basis, respectively. File accordingly. The average USCIS processing time is 90 days, however they can also take longer, and frequently do. To request expedited processing from USCIS, please visit USCIS’s website for details. The ISSC suggests to include a copy of your job offer letter to further support your expedite request. Please also visit USCIS’s Processing Times website for their most up-to-date processing times.

WHAT IS MY VISA STATUS AFTER I COMPLETE MY PROGRAM?

WHAT IS MY VISA STATUS AFTER I COMPLETE MY PROGRAM?

You will remain in F-1 status if you have applied for Post-OPT either 90 days before your completion date or up to 60 days after your completion date, and you will remain in F-1 status until your application is adjudicated and you complete your Post-OPT. However, you will not be authorized to work until application approval. Once your Post-OPT ends, you will have an additional 60-day grace period to either change your visa status, transfer to another school, pursue a new degree program at ASU, or return home.

DOES MY I-20 EXPIRE?

DOES MY I-20 EXPIRE?

Not necessarily. Your I-20 has a program start and end date, which is in line with your program time line and when you will complete your program. If you decide to move into a higher degree level or change programs, your end date may change too. Also, if you complete your program and apply for Post-OPT, your I-20 is still valid throughout your Post-OPT time. Theoretically, your I-20 will expire after your 60-day grace period, either after you complete your program or after you complete Post-OPT (including STEM OPT if that is an option).

WHAT DOCUMENTS ARE NECESSARY WHEN TRAVELING DURING THE POST-OPT PERIOD?

WHAT DOCUMENTS ARE NECESSARY WHEN TRAVELING DURING THE POST-OPT PERIOD?

You must have the following documents to return to the U.S. in F-1 status: 

  • SEVIS form I-20 with travel signature endorsed by ISSC within 6 months
  • Valid F-1 visa
  • Passport, valid 6 months into the future
  • Current EAD card
  • Job offer letter (if available, but not required)

For more information on travel, please read through Travel While on F-1 OPT.

DO DEPENDANTS OR SPOUSES GET A NEW POST-OPT I-20?

DO DEPENDANTS OR SPOUSES GET A NEW POST-OPT I-20?

Yes they will, however, you will NOT provide USCIS with copies of their I-20s for your Post-OPT application. Only provide USCIS with your I-20.

HOW CAN I GET A TRAVEL SIGNATURE?

HOW CAN I GET A TRAVEL SIGNATURE?

Before submitting Travel Signature Request eForm, make sure your employment and local address are updated.

Travel signatures while on Post-OPT are good for six (6) months. Processing time is approximately 10 days due to case load, and therefore requests are processed first-come, first-served. Plan your travels accordingly as we cannot accommodate expedite requests.

To request a travel signature:

  • Submit a Travel Signature Request eForm through the ISSC’s eForms Self-service Portal and follow the step-by-step instructions. Once you click the "submit" button, you will see a screen indicating that you successfully submitted your request. Processing time is approximately 10 days due to case load, and therefore are processed first-come, first-served. Plan your travels accordingly as it may take 10 days to process your requests.

CAN I TRAVEL WHILE ON POST-OPT?

CAN I TRAVEL WHILE ON POST-OPT?

Yes, traveling while on approved Post-OPT is allowed.

However, traveling while your application is pending should be undertaken with caution. USCIS may send you an RFE (Request for Evidence) while you are away, so you would want to make sure you have provided the correct U.S. address both to your DSO/school and on the application and would be able to send in any requested documents.

Also, if USCIS approves your Post-OPT application, you will be expected to have your EAD card in hand to re-enter the United States. Like an RFE, USCIS can only send the EAD card to your U.S. address.

Travel signatures while on Post-OPT are only good for six months.

For more information on travel, please read through Travel While on F-1 OPT.

CAN I WORK ON CAMPUS AFTER COMPLETING MY PROGRAM?

CAN I WORK ON CAMPUS AFTER COMPLETING MY PROGRAM?

No. On-campus student-worker positions end upon completion of your degree program. Any student employment, including assistantships (e.g., TA/RA), after completion date, is considered unauthorized and will affect your immigration status, unless you have approved Post-OPT and are hired on as a “staff” or “faculty” member at ASU.