[MUSIC PLAYING] SPEAKER: How to apply for OPT. There are eight steps to apply for OPT-- choose a start date, pay your fee, request a new I-20, complete your I-765, print your I-94, get photos, mail the OPT application, and get your EAD or Employment Authorization Document. We'll walk you through each step, pun intended.
Step one, choose a start date. Just remember that you're allowed to pick a start date anytime within 60 days of the end of your program, whether the end of the exams or your graduation date. And we have an app for that. It's called the OPT Timeline Tool. So exciting. First, you need to choose your end date according to your academic status, which is described here. Please note that these dates must be before the last date as a registered student.
Here's how to use the OPT Timeline Tool. Suppose you graduate on June 9, 2021. The earliest date that you can apply for your new I-20 is March 11th, 2021. And the latest start date for your OPT is August 8, 2021. Here's what you need to keep in mind when choosing your start date. Choose the earliest date you hoped to begin working, because you can't begin before the start date on the OPT card or until you receive your OPT card.
Plan for any possibility. For example, what if you get a job offer with a stipulation that you start the day after graduation? The day after. Or if you want the latest possible day to start your work authorization, the last day you may choose is 60 days after your graduation or your last day as a registered student, whichever is earliest.
Step two, pay the $100 fee. Using the I-20 request procedure, which you'll learn how to do in step three, pay $100. You will be given the option of using a bank transfer, credit card, or PayPal, depending on your home country. $100 will be converted in your home country currency or euro equivalent.
Step three, request an updated I-20. All of this can be done online, and we'll walk you through it in a moment. But first, let's go through some of those burning questions you're likely to have. Why do you need an updated I-20? If you don't obtain an approved extension before the end date on your I-20, you'll be in violation of your immigration status. And that's why you need to get a new I-20.
Also, your new I-20 will include an Office of Global Learning advisor recommendation for your OPT. That's built into your online I-20 application. You'll sign this new I-20 and send it with your application to US Citizenship and Immigration Services. When should you request your updated I-20? If you recall, this question came up when we discussed how to choose a start date.
This is part of your overall OPT timeline. You may use the OPT Timeline Tool we demonstrated earlier or just use a calendar. And how long will it take to get it? It usually takes at least five business days. If you need a new I-20 with a STEM recommendation, please go to the F-1 OPT STEM extension page and follow the directions.
Yay, you're at step four. You're halfway through with your application. Step four, you'll need to download and complete the I-765, which you get from the USCIS website. Let's take a look at what's here. You've got the I-765 form, instructions for how to complete it, as well as an I765 worksheet. There's even a live chat available if you need specific guidance.
Keep a copy of your completed I-765 form for your records. Maybe you'd like to receive email updates about how your application is progressing. For that, just complete a G-1145 form. You complete this form and clip it on the top of the first page of your immigration forms or your OPT application materials. And that's it for step four.
You've now learned how to complete steps one through four of applying for your F-1 OPT. You know how to choose a start date, pay the fee, request a new I-20, and complete your I-765. It sounds like there are lots of forms and steps within steps and numbers. But there are only three, your I-20, your I-765, and that little e-notification form if you want it, G-1145. And besides, you're good at stepping.
Up next, steps five through eight.
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Are you a Cornell international student applying for F-1 OPT? Walk through the first four steps of your application with this video. Find out more on the
F-1 OPT webpage at the Office of Global Learning International Services.