[MUSIC PLAYING] SPEAKER: Welcome to steps five through eight of your OPT application process. You're going to print your I-94, get photos, mail your OPT application, and get your EAD, or Employment Authorization Document. Let's begin with step five, print your I-94 or your Arrival Departure Record. Remember when you first arrived the United States? How could you forget? You need to print your I-94 Arrival Record created on that historic day. So grab your passport. You'll need it in front of you to retrieve your record.
And now, let's explore the USCIS site to learn more about the I-94. You can see that you can download your history, get a new I-94, and make sure you are in compliance. Step six, now the fun part, get some new photos. Why can't you use your old passport photos where you had a great haircut? Sorry, these must be taken within the last 30 days. And don't cut them yourself. USCIS will trim the photos to their preferred dimensions. You can get all the specifications and tips for having perfect passport photos on the USCIS website.
You have arrived at step seven, mail your OPT application to USCIS. But before you do that, let's make sure you have everything you need. Go to our website and see the checklist of documents you must include. We suggest that you print this out and check things off as you physically compile all the items for your application. And the USCIS website has some very important tips. It takes time to go through them, but do so carefully, because it saves time by preventing costly mistakes.
What if your return address on the I-765 is not in New York state? You can find out which address you should use here. And what if you miss the deadline for submitting your application? Well, your OPT application will be denied. You don't want that. Send all the documents by certified mail with a return receipt so that you have a tracking number and proof that USCIS received your application. You may also use a career service like FedEx or UPS.
So here we are at step eight, wait to get your Employment Authorization Document, EAD, or OPT card. It may take up to five months. Do not begin working until you receive your card. If you do, you could jeopardize your immigration status. This is the USCIS case status online page. You'll see some helpful tools here, such as changing your address, submitting a case inquiry, USCIS processing times, and USCIS office locations.
Here's where it can get a little bit gnarly. You'd like to know if you can travel to visit your parents, for example, before you get your EAD. Or maybe you'd like to know if you can travel while on F-1 OPT. Let's take a look. You can re-enter the United States without your EAD card as long as the date of your graduation is at least one month away. Now, there's a lot more about travel while on OPT here. Follow that link.
The main thing we are concerned about is that if you travel while you're on OPT, you follow the rules and carry all the documents you need so that you don't invalidate your OPT authorization you've worked so hard to obtain. If you're on a postgraduate OPT, which is an extension of your F-1 status and you return to the US in another status, for example, as a tourist, you will invalidate your F- 1 status and OPT authorization. Don't do it. As you can see, there are a number of issues you should keep in mind. Use the link below to explore these topics on our website. We trust you'll take the time to examine everything you'll need. And we invite you to contact us with any questions.
We're just about to congratulate you on completing your application. But before we do that, what if you get a job? Well, first, we'd like to congratulate you on that. And now you've got to report it. It's easy. Go onto our international global learning website and click on the Report OPT Employment button. It'll take you to the next page, where you'll find complete instructions for reporting your employment through the government's SEVP Portal. That stands for the Student Exchange Visitor Program Portal.
Yes, you've completed steps five through eight. Take a break. And remember, if you do have any questions or concerns, get in touch with one of our advisors. Here's the best way to reach us. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or call us during business hours, Monday through Friday, 8:30 to noon, or 1:00 to 4:30, at this number, 1-607-255-5243. Good luck.
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Are you a Cornell international student applying for F-1 OPT? Walk through the last 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.