Student Employment

Student Employment Header

ON-CAMPUS EMPLOYMENT RULES

F-1 and J-1 students who are under The University of Alabama’s sponsorship do not need authorization from International Student & Scholar Services in order to engage in on-campus employment. However, there are some conditions that must be met in order for the student to maintain his or her status, and in order for the University to legally employ an international student.

On-campus employment means that you are paid by The University of Alabama, and the work must occur on The University of Alabama campus.  You may be employed in a student hourly position or an assistantship, but employment on-campus is limited to no more than 20 hours per week during fall and spring semesters.

Students who wish to work off-campus must do so through special authorization and should make an appointment with an international student advisor to discuss this in advance of accepting any employment.

These are the conditions under which a student in F-1 or J-1 status may work on campus:

• The student is enrolled full-time;
• F-1 and J-1 students may not work more than 20 hours per week during the fall or spring semesters (This means you may work 20 hours per week total for all on-campus jobs combined. In other words, you may work one job at 10 hours per week plus another on-campus job at 10 hours per week, but you may not work one job at 15 hours a week plus one job at 10 hours per week as this would equal 25 hours per week total);
• Students may work more than 20 hours per week only during official university breaks (Summer break, Winter break, and Spring break).

Students:

• Make sure that you are enrolled full-time and do not work more than 20 hours per week during the semester;
• You should not begin working until you have completed the I-9 process with your hiring department;
• If you do not have a Social Security Number (SSN), you will have to apply for one since U.S. federal law requires all individuals employed in the U.S. to have a SSN. SSNs are used to identify employees and tax salaries, and are only issued for the purpose of employment. A SSN is not required to begin employment, but must be obtained immediately after being hired;
• If you do not already have a SSN or you have lost your Social Security Card, have your employer complete the Employer Verification Form and bring it to International Student & Scholar Services for validation;
• If you wish to work more than 20 hours per week, you will need to make an appointment with an advisor at International Student & Scholar Services to discuss your options, before you take on the additional hours;
• If you are completing your degree requirements, you may not work on campus past the end of your final semester. However, you may wish to apply for F-1 Optional Practical Training or J-1 Academic Training in order to work off-campus after graduation;
• If you are transferring from The University of Alabama to another university and are not completing your degree requirements, it may be possible to continue your on-campus employment for a short time beyond the end of your last semester at UA.  Please schedule an appointment with an advisor at International Student & Scholar Services to discuss your options;
• To look for a job at UA, go to the student employment site.

UA Employers & Departments:

• Make sure that the international student is a full-time F-1/J-1 student (verify enrollment in Banner) and do not offer more than 20 hours per week;
• Process the I-9 documentation using the student’s F-1 I-20 or J-1 DS-2019 document as the proof of their legal ability to accept work on-campus. The I-20 or DS-2019 must list The University of Alabama as the student’s institution, and the eligibility for employment expires the same date that is listed as the expected graduation date on the I-20/DS-2019 document (in Program of Study section on page 1 of the F-1 I-20 or in Section 3 of the J-1 DS-2019);
• The spouses and children of F-1 students (F-2 dependents) are not eligible to work;
• The spouses and children of J-1 students (J-2 dependents) are eligible to work only with a valid Employment Authorization Card (EAD Card).

Questions regarding on-campus employment for international students may be directed to International Student & Scholar Services.

Economic Hardship

Economic Hardship is an immigration term that refers to a specific definition for the need to work. Under F-1 and J-1 student visa regulations, the meaning of this term includes such criteria as “a severe and unforeseen circumstance” which results in a demonstrated need for employment.

For example, such circumstance could be a devaluation of your home country’s currency (usually more than 25%) against the U.S. dollar. To prove the economic impact, you would have to show that your family or government was sponsoring you, and that because of the devaluation of your currency, an insufficient amount of funding is now available to you to pay for your studies and living expenses. If you are on an assistantship or scholarship from UA which is sufficient to cover your tuition and cost of living expenses, the fact that there has been a significant change in your home country’s financial structure or family’s personal finances will not be sufficient proof of Economic Hardship. You have to show a loss of your personal source of financial support for your studies and living expenses.

In addition, there are certain time related issues for eligibility.

Setting Appointment:
Since the process for F-1 and J-1 obtaining employment under Economic Hardship is treated differently, you will need to make an appointment with a International Student & Scholar Services Advisor. This personal advising session will enable the advisor to fully discuss your needs and eligibility for this type of employment.

F-1 Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

CPT PROCESSING TIMES AND PROCEDURES: Applications are processed by appointment every Tuesday and Wednesday from 9:00 am until 11:00 am at International Student & Scholar Services in 105 B.B. Comer.  You must make an appointment for CPT Processing, and you must bring a complete CPT Application Packet (please come at least 5 minutes prior to your intended appointment time; those who are late will have to reschedule an appointment).

NOTE – F-1 students are required to attend a CPT Seminar prior to applying for CPT the first time (CPT Seminar Slides).

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is used by F-1 students to seek off-campus work/internships related to their current degree. CPT must be conducted during the degree program; for information on work authorization after completion of a degree, please see our Optional Practical Training (OPT) section.  CPT cannot be authorized for work in a field related to the student’s minor emphasis or previous major.

CPT can be authorized for part-time work (fewer than 20 hours a week) or full-time (20+ hours a week). Despite the full-time CPT work option, the standard 20 hour work limit during fall and spring semesters applies while a student is pursuing coursework (an exception to the 20-hour limit is made for graduate students in their thesis/dissertation research phase). On-campus employment and CPT together cannot amount to over 20 hours of work a week during fall and spring semesters (this includes Assistantships).

CPT is designed to provide work experience directly related to and integral to a student’s degree of study. It is not intended for general, ongoing work authorization. Traditional volunteer work (e.g. at a soup-kitchen, homeless shelter) does not require CPT authorization. However any work or internship, even unpaid, requires CPT authorization PRIOR to a student’s participation in the work experience.

CPT Eligibility

• A student must be in valid F-1-status and have been a full-time student for one full academic year (At least one fall and spring semester) before participating in CPT.

NOTE: An exception to the one academic year requirement may be made for graduate programs that require an internship in the first year of study. This first year internship requirement must be documented in the advisor recommendation letter. Graduate programs that allow for the internship to be completed after the first year of study are not eligible for CPT authorization under this exception.

• English Language Institute (ELI) and Non-Degree Students are not eligible for Curricular Practical Training.

• A student must have a written job offer on company letterhead before applying for CPT. The job offer must indicate the position, the exact dates of employment, the number of hours to be worked per week and the company’s address.

• A student must continue to maintain full-time student status for the duration of the CPT. This means 12 credit hours per semester for undergraduate students.  Graduate students must maintain full-time status per Graduate School guidelines.

• A student must continue to make normal degree progress, as defined by their department, while participating in CPT. This could require course-work during the CPT period. Students should verify that participation in CPT will not interfere with their ability to take courses required for degree completion that may not be taught in subsequent semesters prior to the program end date indicated on their I-20. CPT should not delay degree completion beyond the program end date listed on the Form I-20.

• Approval from the student’s academic department/advisor is required for CPT. Individual departments may set their own academic requirements for, or limitations on, participation in CPT. It is allowable for academic departments to require a minimum GPA, a pre-requisite course and/or a number of credits taken in the department’s curriculum before authorizing participation in CPT.

3 Types of CPT

Required for the Degree – Required internships are those that are a required part of a structured degree program as noted in the university catalogue.  To be considered a requirement, everyone in the program must do an internship or they will not be able to complete their program. Required internships do necessitate CPT authorization if the internship takes place off-campus, and the student needs to register for course credit (as determined by the academic program) in order for International Student and Scholar Services to authorize the CPT experience.

Integral to the Curriculum – Most internships will fall under this category.  Integral to the Curriculum means that the internship is not a required part of the program’s curriculum, but the internship is considered integral to the academic experience (e.g. highly recommended but not required for graduation). In this case, a student must register for at least one credit hour per semester of internship experience in order for International Student & Scholar Services to authorize the CPT experience.

Dissertation Research – For doctoral students in their dissertation phase, CPT may be authorized for them to be able to conduct off-campus research/work associated with their dissertation.  In this case, the student must register for dissertation hours or department-specific dissertation credit. The academic department’s recommendation letter must specifically indicate that this CPT experience is for dissertation research.

Duration of CPT

• CPT is authorized by semester (Fall, Spring, Summer). Therefore, students must submit a new CPT request, including all the necessary documents, for each semester, including summer session(s).
• For CPT that will take place during the summer, students will be limited by the session in which they register their experience (e.g. registration for full summer will allow for CPT authorization for full summer; registration for first summer will only cover dates from the day after spring semester through the last day of the first summer session; registration for second summer session will cover CPT authorization from the first day of second summer session through the day prior to the start of fall semester classes).
• Participation in CPT may begin on or after the first day of the semester. CPT must end before the first day of the following semester. For example, CPT can be extended through the winter break, but must be complete before the first day of spring semester. Spring semester CPT must end before the first day of summer session, and so on.
• A student may participate in CPT as much as their program will allow and their academic department will authorize. However, a student will be ineligible for Optional Practical Training (OPT) if he/she participates in more than 364 days of full-time CPT.

Special Notes on CPT and Enrollment Requirements

• You may not use incomplete courses or deferred grades from a previous semester for CPT authorization.  For CPT which requires course credit, the credit must be earned in the semester in which CPT will be authorized.
• International Student & Scholar Services’ enrollment policy for CPT requires employment to correlate directly to academics. Enrollment in each semester (pursuant to the CPT option chosen) is mandatory.
• Please note: Withdrawing from or dropping credits that are tied to CPT work authorization immediately cancels the CPT authorization. Work done without this authorization is illegal and a violation of status that will result in termination of your F-1 SEVIS record.

Applying for Curricular Practical Training – CPT Processing Every Tuesday and Wednesday, 9 am – 11 am, by appointment only.
CPT Applications are processed by appointment every Tuesday and Wednesday from 9:00 am until 11 am at International Student & Scholar Services in 105 B.B. Comer.  You must make an appointment for CPT Processing, and you must bring a complete CPT Application Packet with all your documents and forms as listed below (please come at least 5 minutes prior to your intended appointment time; those who are late will have to reschedule an appointment):

1. Attend the Curricular Practical Training Seminar – CPT Seminar Slides.
2. Receive a job offer related to your major area of study. Make a copy of the official offer letter and submit it with CPT application materials. A sample job offer letter that would meet CPT requirements is on page 8 of the F-1 Curricular Practical Training Application Packet.
3. Obtain a Recommendation from your department which indicates that this CPT internship experience is either: an integral part of your degree program, requirement of your degree program, or related to your dissertation research (doctoral students only). Recommendation form is on page 7 of the F-1 Curricular Practical Training Application Packet.
4. Complete the F-1 Curricular Practical Training Application Packet. This form is fillable; please type responses directly into it. This will reduce the likelihood that your handwriting will be misunderstood. Read, check, and sign the Student Responsibilities Checklist in the appropriate section.
5. Bring proof that you have registered your CPT experience for credit in the semester(s) it will occur. (e.g., registration form or printout of your course registration screen).
6. Bring your original passport, visa, I-94 record, current I-20 and ALL of your previous I-20s from every school attended (No photocopies necessary). If you are submitting CPT application materials via mail include copies–do not send originals.
7. Bring a copy of your unofficial transcripts.

Tax Issues:
Social Security (FICA) should not be withheld from the wages of an F-1 student on CPT if the student is classified as a non-resident for tax purposes. Earnings are, however, still subject to federal, state, and local taxes. Look at IRS publication 519 (http://www.irs.gov/) for more information.

Impact on I-20 Extensions
Participation in CPT is not a valid reason for an extension of program.

• A student must have an extenuating academic or medical reason for an extension of program end date on his/her I-20 Form.
• Failure to complete required course-work or sufficient credit hours to graduate because of CPT is not a compelling academic or medical reason for an extension.
• Immigration regulations do not allow I-20 extensions due to delay caused by participation in CPT.

EAD Card sample

F-1 Optional Practical Training (OPT)

PROCESSING TIMES AND PROCEDURES : Applications are processed by appointment every Tuesday and Wednesday from 9:00 am until 11:00 am at International Student & Scholar Services in 105 B.B. Comer.  You must make an appointment for OPT Processing, and you must bring a complete OPT Application Packet with all documents, check, photos, and forms (please come at least 5 minutes prior to your intended appointment time; those who are late will have to reschedule an appointment).

The New OPT Packet is available here: http://is.ua.edu/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/F-1_OPT_Packet_New.pdf.

NOTE – F-1 students are required to attend a OPT Seminar prior to applying for OPT (OPT Seminar Slides).  OPT Seminar dates can be found on the ISSS Calendar.

Optional Practical Training (OPT) is a 12 month temporary employment authorization that provides an opportunity for F-1 students to apply knowledge acquired from their academic program to a work experience in their major field of study. It is a benefit of maintaining status that is available during an F-1 student’s course of study (pre-degree completion), after each degree level completed (post-degree completion), or may be used a combination of both pre- and post-degree completion as long as one does not exceed the equivalent of 12 months of OPT authorization.

A one-time 24-month post-completion OPT extension may be available to certain STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) graduates.

OPT must be recommended by International Services and approved by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). USCIS work authorization is issued in the form of an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) commonly referred to as an EAD Card. The EAD Card is a photo identity card similar to a university ID or driver’s license. It indicates the date an authorized F-1 student may begin employment and the date the student must end employment.

OPT Eligibility
In order to be eligible to apply for OPT, you must meet all of the following requirements:

• Be an F-1 student visa holder who has been enrolled full-time for at least one full academic year prior to submitting an OPT application;
• Be maintaining lawful F-1 status;
• Intend to obtain employment in a position directly related to your major field of study;
• Have not completed more than 364 days of full-time Curricular Practical Training (CPT);
• Have not utilized an equivalent of 12 months of OPT work authorization at the current or higher degree level;
• Are not in an English language training or non-degree program (English Language Institute (ELI) and Non-Degree Students are not eligible for Optional Practical Training).

When OPT Can Occur

Prior to Degree Completion (Pre-Completion OPT):

• Part-time or Full-time: During your annual vacation if eligible and if you intend to register for the next term or session. (Pre-completion OPT)
• Part-time: While school is in session provided that OPT does not exceed 20 hours per week and you maintain your full-time student status. (Pre-completion OPT)
• Full-time: If you are in a master’s or doctoral degree program, after completion of all course requirements for the degree, excluding thesis, dissertation or equivalent. (Can be either pre-completion or post-completion OPT. Please talk with an International Student & Scholar Services advisor about which might be most appropriate for your case.

After Degree Completion (Post-Completion OPT):

• Full-time: After completion of your degree.

PLEASE NOTE: Any OPT utilized prior to degree completion will be deducted from the initial 12 month allowable benefit.

Comparison of Pre and Post-Completion OPT benefits when one’s course work is complete and only dissertation or thesis is remaining.

Pre-Completion OPT  Post-Completion OPT

• Part-time employment while school is in session; full-time during approved school breaks

• Full-time or part-time employment

 

• Unemployment is not counted

 

• Unemployment is counted; maximum unemployment 90 days from OPT start date.

 

• May extend program end date if eligibility requirements are met

 

• Cannot extend program end date; must complete dissertation/thesis by end of OPT authorization

 

• Cannot apply for STEM extension

 

• Eligible to apply for STEM extension if you meet all requirements

 

• Not eligible for Cap-Gap Extension

 

• Eligible for Cap-Gap Extension

 


Duration of OPT
Initial OPT applications have a maximum duration eligibility of 12 months for each higher degree level (Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctoral Degree) you complete.

If you have used part of your OPT employment benefit during your degree program, you are only entitled to the remaining benefit, not a new 12 months. You will not receive additional OPT time if you complete another degree at the same level (e.g., two master’s degrees) or a lower level (e.g., complete a master’s degree and then go back to school to complete a second bachelor’s degree).

Also, please note that if you receive your Employment Authorization Document (EAD card) after the work authorization start date you requested, you are not eligible to recover the time that passed while you were waiting to receive your EAD card in the mail. You must still stop working on the end date indicated on the EAD card unless you are eligible for a 24-month STEM extension and applied in a timely manner.

When to Apply for OPT
Work authorization for OPT must be obtained from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) so please plan ahead to ensure a timely receipt of your application. If your application is received by USCIS more than 60 days after your program completion date, you will not be eligible for OPT.

OPT Submission Timeline

A Note About Completion/Graduation Dates: The date of the completion of your degree is not necessarily the date you participate in graduation ceremonies. Undergraduate students’ graduation dates are fixed to the official graduation dates of the university.

Graduate students who must submit a thesis or dissertation as part of their degree requirements are considered as completing their degree during the semester in which the complete thesis/dissertation is accepted by The Graduate School.  You have some flexibility as to which date you can choose as your date of completion.  If you would like to list your completion date as the date of acceptance of the thesis or dissertation (e.g. in the middle of the final semester) so that you may apply for OPT to begin prior to the end of the semester, you may do so.  The latest date you may list as your completion date is the final day of the semester in which you have submitted your complete thesis/dissertation to The Graduate School.  Your completion date should be specified by your academic department on the Recommendation Letter that they will provide to you as part of the OPT application process, but during OPT Processing, ISSS will verify the completion date with The Graduate School.

PLEASE NOTE: International students on F-1 or J-1 student visa status cannot use the 0-credit hour exception listed in the Graduate School’s minimum enrollment policy as the basis of maintaining minimum enrollment requirements as an active student. Please see “USCIS” section under “Minimum Hours – Other Policies and Regulatory Bodies” on page 3 of The Graduate School’s enrollment policy.

Pre-Completion OPT:

• If you will be completing your first academic year of study, you may submit your OPT application 90 days prior to the date you will complete your first year of study provided that the employment will not begin until after an entire academic year of study has been completed.
• If you have completed one full year of study, you may submit your OPT application as early as 90 days prior to the work authorization start date you requested.
• If you are applying for OPT based on completion of your coursework requirements, you may submit your application as early as 90 days prior to the work authorization start date you requested.

Post-Completion OPT:

•  If you are applying for OPT based on the anticipated completion of your degree, you may submit your application for OPT as early as 90 days prior to your program end date (e.g. if your graduation date is May 15 you may apply for your OPT as early as February 15). Please be aware that your application must be received by USCIS by no later than 60 days after the day you complete your program or the program end date indicated on your I-20, whichever occurs first.

OPT Application Process – Submitting Your OPT Application
OPT must be recommended by International Student & Scholar Services before you can submit an application for OPT to the USCIS.

Step 1: Read all of the OPT information included on this page of the International Student & Scholar Services Website, and attend the Optional Practical Training Seminar (OPT Seminar Slides).  OPT Seminar dates can be found on the ISSS Calendar.

Prepare the Following Documents for Your OPT Application:
• Complete the F-1 OPT (Optional Practical Training) Application Packet (read, check, and sign) This form is fillable; please type responses directly into it.
• Recommendation from the department (The recommendation form is on page 6 of the F-1 OPT Optional Practical Training Application Packet).  This recommendation form should be singed by an academic advisor and departmental chairperson.
• Complete the Form I-765 (sign the application in BLUE ink).  It is recommended that you use the International Student and Scholar Services address.  A sample of a complete I-765 can be found on page 8 of the F-1 OPT (Optional Practical Training) Application Packet.  You can download a clean copy of the Form I-765 at www.uscis.gov/i-765/.
• Clear photocopies of the following documents:

• Current and all previous I-20s from every school attended (first and third pages only – please do not staple copies);
• main passport page;
• most recent visa stamp, and
• your current I-94 record.

• If you were issued an EAD card previously (e.g. for previous OPT for your undergraduate degree, economic hardship employment), include a clear copy of your previous EAD card (front and back).
• Two identical, color passport photos (2×2 inches or 5×5 centimeters) with your name and I-94 number written lightly in pencil on the backs. Photos must meet frontal passport specifications and should be on a white background taken no earlier than 30 days prior to submitting your OPT application.
• Check or money order for $410.00 made payable to the “U.S. Department of Homeland Security.”

Step 2: Meet with International Student & Scholar Services to prepare I-20 with Recommendation for OPT. OPT Applications are processed by appointment every Tuesday and Wednesday from 9 am until 11 am at International Student & Scholar Services in 105 B.B. Comer.  You must make an appointment for OPT Processing (contact us at 205-348-5402 or international@ua.edu), and you must bring a complete OPT Application Packet with all documents, check, photos, and forms as listed above in Step 1 (please come at least 5 minutes prior to your intended appointment time; those who are late will have to reschedule an appointment).

1. Make an appointment with International Student & Scholar Services for Practical Training Processing (each Tuesday and Wednesday from 9 am until 11 am, or by special appointment for students with conflicting class schedules).
2. Bring ALL of the documents listed above with you when you attend your Practical Training Processing appointment.
If you will be submitting your application near the end of the 60 days after your program completion grace period, please discuss this with the International Student & Scholar Services Advisor at your Practical Training Processing appointment since your application must be received at USCIS by no later than 60 days after your program completion date.
3. It is your responsibility to mail your OPT application documents. International Student & Scholar Services no longer mails applications on behalf of students, but we will assist you with preparing the shipment during the appointment.

Step 3:  Once you have completed all of the above steps, you may mail your completed OPT application packet to the USCIS Service Center. You must mail the application within 30 days of the date the I-20 recommending OPT was issued; it must be received by USCIS no later than 60 days after the program completion date indicated on your I-20 requesting OPT.

Your petition must be sent to the USCIS Center which has jurisdiction over the address listed on the I-765.  This can be found on the USCIS site: https://www.uscis.gov/i-765-addresses.

Step 4:  USCIS will send an I-797 receipt notice to the address listed on the I-765 within 2-3 weeks of receiving your application. It will note the date your application was received (the receipt date) and the date the receipt was mailed (the notice date). On the I-797 Notice will be a case number (usually beginning with either YSC, SRC or EAC), which can be utilized to check the status of your case.

Step 5: If your application has been approved by USCIS, the Employment Authorization Document (EAD Card) should arrive in the mail within approximately 90 days of the date of filing. Please be aware that you may not begin working prior to reaching the start date on your EAD and you must stop working on the end date.

Step 6: If you do not choose to have your EAD Card mailed directly to International Student & Scholar Services, you must submit a photocopy of your EAD card to International Student & Scholar Services .  Please email scanned copies to: international@ua.edu

Step 7: After beginning your OPT Employment, you must report any changes of information (name, address, employment, interruptions of employment) to International Student & Scholar Services within 10 days of the change, using the F-1 OPT Information Update Form.  Please email the information to international@ua.edu with the subject line “OPT Updates”.

Application Processing Times
OPT application processing times vary. It is estimated that a typical application will take 2-3 months to process once received by USCIS.

Checking the Status of your Application
If you have your application receipt number, you are able to check the status of your OPT application processing case online. To do so, you may click on the link provided here or:

• Go to http://www.uscis.gov/
• On the left side of the screen, enter your Application Receipt Number (YSC, SRC or EAC Number) in the “Enter case number here” prompt and USCIS will inform you if your application is in process, if they have requested further information, or if it has been approved or mailed.

If, after applying for Post-Completion OPT, you learn you have to take another course…
Post-Completion OPT is based on your having completed your degree (undergrads) or at least your coursework (grads). If you learn that you must take an additional course in order to graduate, then you must do the following:

• Make an appointment to talk with an Advisor in International Student & Scholar Services to discuss the consequences to your OPT application and any actions that you need to take.
• If USCIS has not yet processed your OPT application, you can ask them to withdraw it so that you can reapply with later OPT dates. It is at USCIS’s discretion as to whether they will approve your request.
• If USCIS has already approved your OPT, then you cannot withdraw your application, and you may only work 20 hours or less on your OPT until you have completed your required course.
• Students in STEM fields cannot apply for a STEM extension unless they have earned their degree.

If Your OPT Application Has Been Pending For More Than 90 Days
Federal regulation (8 CFR 274a.13(d)) states that applications for Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) must be processed within 90 days. If your EAD for OPT has not been processed within 90 days from the received date on your USCIS receipt notice, then you may submit a request to USCIS to expedite your case.

Please use one of the following methods– but not both– to make your request only after 90 days have passed:

1) The student/applicant may request expedite service by calling the National Customer Service Center at 1-800-375-5283 to request a referral to the Service Center and a request for an expedite. When you make the request, state that you are requesting expeditious handling of an I-765 application because it is currently outside the normal processing times (ONPT) of 90 days, as required by federal regulation 8 CFR 274a.13(d) . You should take notes of the day and time of the call, the Officer’s name and the referral ID number. When this method is used, the expedite is reviewed within 24 hrs and if the expedite is approved the application is processed within five business days.

2) Request an appointment with a USCIS office through the InfoPass system: http://infopass.uscis.gov/. When you make the request, state that that you are requesting expeditious handling of an I-765 application because it is currently outside the normal processing times (ONPT) of 90 days, as required by federal regulation 8 CFR 274a.13(d). Rather than scheduling an appointment, USCIS will likely respond by sending a request to the designated Service Center for the file to be pulled and adjudicated.

If, after following either of these processes, no response is given within five business days after you contacted USCIS, please email us at international@ua.edu, providing your full name as you listed it on your OPT application, date of birth, citizenship, USCIS receipt number (starting with SRC or EAC), USCIS receipt notice date, date and time you contacted USCIS to request expeditious handling, and the name and referral ID number of the officer with whom you spoke (if you called).

Reporting Changes of Information (Address, Name, Employer) and Periods of Unemployment to SEVISF-1 OPT Information Update Form
While on OPT, you remain in F-1 status and employment is required to maintain status. In order to maintain status, you may not accrue more than 90 days of unemployment.

As part of your maintenance of status , you are responsible for reporting changes in personal and employment information to International Services within 10 days of the change using the F-1 OPT Information Update Form. Upon receipt of such information, we will update your SEVIS record in order for you to maintain compliance to U.S. immigration regulations.

You must report the following information to International Services within 10 days using the F-1 OPT Information Update Form:

• any change of address (within the U.S. or your foreign address)
• any change of name (first, middle, last)
• any periods of unemployment while authorized for OPT
• employer information (name and address) upon obtaining a job and changing jobs

Furthermore, current immigration regulations require you to re-verify employer and residential address information with International Student & Scholar Services every 6 months using the F-1 OPT Information Update Form, even if there is no change.

Termination of OPT upon Start of New Degree or Transfer of SEVIS Record
OPT authorization is automatically terminated when an F-1 student transfers to another school or begins coursework in a new academic program with an updated I-20.

Traveling When OPT is Pending or Approved (Prior to Degree Completion)
If you will return to the U.S. (from outside North America) before you complete your degree requirements (before the end date noted in Program of Study of your I-20):

You may re-enter the U.S. with the following immigration travel documents:

• Original current, valid I-20 with a travel signature no older than 6 months from the day on which you plan to re-enter the U.S.
• Valid F-1 visa*
• Valid passport
Transcripts
Enrollment Verification Letter
• Additional Photo ID (e.g., UA Action Card)
• Financial Documentation (e.g., bank statements, assistantship letter)

*If you are returning to the U.S. from Canada, Mexico, or an Adjacent Island, you may not need a valid visa to re-enter the U.S. if you:

• Have a valid travel signature (must be valid 6 months beyond the date you plan to re-enter the U.S.);
• Carry the necessary immigration travel documents listed above; and
• Do not meet any of the criteria posted on the Immigration and Customs Enforcement website.

You will still be required to have the rest of immigration travel documents listed above.

Traveling When OPT Has Been Approved (After Degree Completion)
If you will return to the U.S. after you complete your degree requirements (after the end date noted in Program of Study of your I-20), you must have the following documents to re-enter the U.S.:

• Original new, valid I-20 endorsed for OPT (on p.2) with a travel signature no older than 6 months from the day on which you plan to re-enter the U.S.
• Your EAD card
• A letter from an employer indicating a job offer in your major field of study or that you will be returning to resume your employment
• Valid passport
• Valid F-1 visa*

*If you are returning to the U.S. from Canada, Mexico, or an Adjacent Island, please check above criteria to see if you will require a valid visa to re-enter the United States or consult with an ISSS Advisor.

It is not advisable to travel outside of the U.S.:

• While OPT authorization is pending; or
• If you have been authorized for OPT but do not have a job to begin/resume.

OPT STEM Extension

STEM CHANGES: On May 10, 2016, new regulations for STEM OPT Employment went into effect.

For your reference, you can also see updates and history on the topic of STEM OPT here.

The STEM OPT Packet reflects these changes.  The OPT Webinar PowerPoint has been updated with STEM OPT Information.

NOTE – You are encouraged to review the OPT STEM Extension Information on the OPT Seminar Slides prior to applying. 

Some students may be eligible for a 24-month OPT extension if all filing criteria are met:

• The 24-month extension is possible twice per lifetime. Students are eligible for a second STEM extension after completing a subsequent higher STEM degree.
• The 24-month extension may be based on a previously obtained degree. Previous degree must be from an accredited, U.S.-based institution, and the degree must have been earned within the past 10 years.
• The extension can only be granted in one 24-month period; the period cannot be “split” into 2 periods.
• The employment start date on the new EAD card will be the day immediately following the expiration of your initial OPT employment authorization period.
• If you are eligible for a STEM Extension, you can apply for a STEM extension of OPT anytime up to 120 days prior to your current OPT expiration.

Student Requirements:

1. Currently engaging in post-completion OPT and working with an employer who is currently registered and in good standing with the USCIS E-Verify program – http://www.dhs.gov/e-verify.

2. Completed a degree in qualifying STEM program. Please view the ICE STEM list.

• The STEM Designated Degree Program List consists of select fields in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), as identified by the field’s CIP Code.  The degree and CIP code listed on page 1 of the I-20 must match the CIP Code on the DHS STEM Designated Degree Program List.  (Note: I-20’s issued after April 18, 2008, indicate CIP Code in upper left hand corner of page 3 of I-20, and I-20’s issued after June 26, 2015 will indicate the CIP code next to the Major in the Program of Study section on Page 1 of the I-20.)

• We are unable to re-classify students who have already completed their degree program and are currently on OPT. If there is a regulation change that would extend eligibility to CIP codes that are currently ineligible, we will include that information on our website.

• STEM Extension may be based on a previously obtained degree. Previous degree must be from an accredited, U.S.-based institution, and the degree must have been earned within the past 10 years.

• Students are eligible for a second STEM extension after completing a subsequent higher STEM degree.

3. Student must be working for or have accepted employment with a U.S. employer that is enrolled in E-Verify – http://www.dhs.gov/e-verify , and the job must be directly related to the STEM Field.

4. Student must complete an I-983 Training Plan with their Employer

5. Student must have maintained valid F-1 status during the initial 12-month period of OPT

• Report all employers (name and address), any changes of personal name, address (US, residential, mailing, foreign), and interruptions of employment within 10 days of change to International Services, using the F-1 OPT Information Update Form
• Have not accrued more than 90 days of unemployment

6. Submit a timely STEM extension application (i.e. prior to current EAD expiration- preferably, 90 – 120 days before OPT end date)


Employer Requirements

1. Employer must be enrolled in the E-Verify program (http://www.dhs.gov/e-verify) and must provide E-Verify Company/Client ID Number to applicant as it must be entered onto the I-765 application form (this is a 5- or 6-digit number issued by DHS; it is separate from the employer’s FEIN or Tax ID)

2. Employer must complete an I-983 Training Plan with the student

• Explain how training is related to the field of study
• State training goals and means of supervision/evaluation
• State duties, hours, compensation, and verify that the compensation is commensurate with similarly employed U.S. workers
• Sign off on a self-evaluation by the student at two times (12th month and 24th month/end of program)
• Any substantial change in employment duties will require and updated I-983

3. Employer must agree to report the termination or departure of the student who is working on STEM Extension OPT to International Services at UA. The employer should provide the student’s name, SEVIS ID number (if available), and the date that the student’s employment ended.

Requesting STEM Extension I-20
If you are not working in the Tuscaloosa-area and available to process the STEM Extension paperwork in-person, you may submit all application materials via email to international@ua.edu with “Attn: STEM Extension Application” as the subject of your email.  If you are in Tuscaloosa and would like to process your STEM Extension in-person, OPT Applications are processed by appointment every Tuesday and Wednesday from 9:00 am until 11:00 am at International Student & Scholar Services in 105 B.B. Comer or can be processed by special appointment.  If processing in-person, you must bring a complete OPT Application Packet with all your documents and forms as listed below.

Documents Required for STEM Extension Processing:

1. F-1 STEM OPT Application Packet, including your current mailing address on the form.
2. Form I-765 – completed and signed (See I-765 instructions)
3. Completed Form I-983
4. Copy/Scan of the following documents

• Diploma (including for previous STEM degree if STEM extension is based on previous degree),
• Degree bearing transcript (including for previous STEM degree if STEM extension is based on previous degree),
• Job offer/appointment letter from E-Verify Employer
• Current EAD card (front & back),
• Current and previous I-20s (including those for previous STEM degree if STEM extension is based on previous degree),
• Passport,
• Most recent visa stamp,
I-94 record

5. Two 2 x 2 inch, passport-style photographs taken within the past 30 days with your name and I-94 number written gently in pencil on the back of your photos
6. Check or money order for $410 made out to the “Department of Homeland Security”

NOTE: If you will require us to ship the documents to you, please review document shipping options on our Document Shipping Options page.

If you meet all of the eligibility criteria and submit all materials indicated above, International Services will issue a new I-20 recommending an OPT extension. This I-20 is required for the STEM Extension application.

Submitting your STEM Extension Application to USCIS
International Services will prepare the new I-20 recommending your STEM Extension, but it will be your responsibility to submit the STEM Extension petition directly to US Citizenship and Immigration Services

Mail your completed application to USCIS Service Center with jurisdiction over your residence- area.

Responsibilities While on STEM Extension
• Once you receive your new EAD Card, please submit a copy/scan of new EAD card to international@ua.edu; please use the email subject “STEM EAD Card” and be sure to include your name and CWID in the email body.
• F-1 students on STEM Extension cannot accrue more than an aggregate of 150 days of unemployment over the 36 month OPT period.  Any days of unemployment during the initial 12 months of OPT must be counted against the longer 150 day unemployment allowance.  Once 150 days of unemployment have been used, F-1 status ends and the F-1 student must depart the U.S. immediately.  In instances when students run out of time due to days of unemployment, there is no 60-day grace period.
•  You can change employers and positions during the STEM Period, but any new employment during STEM Extension authorization must be with an E-verify employer and any change in employment or change of employer will require submission of a new Form I-983.
• USCIS and SEVP advise against changing employers while the I-765 is pending, since the I-765 petition names a specific employer as your sponsor.
• Students may NOT be concurrently employed with a non-E-verify employer while on a 24-month STEM extension.  Employment is allowed only with E-Verify employers.
• For the 24-month STEM extension, employment must be traditional paid employment.  Unpaid employment (e.g. unpaid internships) cannot be the basis of your employment.

Mandatory Reporting Requirements – F-1 OPT Information Update Form:
• For the STEM Extension period (through Cap-Gap Relief period if applicable) F-1 students must use the F-1 OPT Information Update Form to report any changes to the following information to International Student & Scholar Services within 10 days of the change

• Change of legal name
• Change of residential or mailing address and e-mail address
• Change of employer name or employer address
• Loss, addition, or change of employment

• 6-Month Confirmation Reports: The student must re-verify employer and residential address information with International Services every 6 months, even if there is no change using the F-1 OPT Information Update Form.
• 12-Month and 24-Month Evaluations: The student must also complete and submit a self-evaluation using the I-983, signed by the employer and submitted to International Services at months 12 and 24 of the STEM Employment Period.

Employment While Extension Is Pending & Cap-Gap
• Students who timely file an application for the 24-month OPT STEM extension will be able to continue employment while the extension application is pending for up to 180 days or until a final decision on the I-765, whichever comes first.  For legal reference, 8 CFR 214.2(f)(11)(i)(C) and 8 CFR 247a.12(c)(6)(iv) automatically extend the student’s work authorization for up to 180 days while the student’s 24-month extension application is pending.
• F-1 students who have obtained a STEM Extension can still benefit from the cap-gap provision at the end of the STEM Period (please see the Cap-Gap Page for details).

OPT Cap-Gap Extension

NOTE – You are encouraged to review the OPT Cap-Gap Extension Information on the OPT Seminar Slides prior to requesting a Cap-Gap I-20. 

A Cap-Gap extension automatically extends an eligible F-1 student’s status to bridge the gap between the end of OPT (F-1 status) and start of H-1B status, thereby allowing the student to remain in the US and continue working during the “gap.”

The Cap-Gap extension is available to students who, as of April 1, were either on approved OPT or in their 60-day grace period and have a pending or approved change-of-status H-1B petition with USCIS with an October 1 start date.

This cap-gap extension will produce one of two outcomes, depending on your individual situation:

Scenario 1: Extension of your OPT work authorization to September 30. This happens if your approved OPT end date (on your EAD card) is April 1 or later.

OR

Scenario 2: Extension of your F-1 “duration of status.” If your OPT employment authorization expires before April 1 but your 60-day grace period ends after April 1, you are allowed to stay in the U.S. if you otherwise maintain your F-1 status. Be warned: this is just an extension of your status, but you are not authorized to work until the H-1B petition is approved and goes into effect October 1.

Who is eligible for the extension?
Students in all fields of study are eligible for the Cap-Gap extension as long as the student has not violated the terms or conditions of his or her F-1 status. To qualify for the extension, the student must be the beneficiary of an H-1B petition that:

1. Has been timely filed (within the acceptance period – after April 1, but before either the OPT period or 60-day grace period expires)
2. Requests an employment start date of October 1
3. Requests a change-of-status (rather than consular processing)

How do I apply for the Cap-Gap Extension?
There is no application process for the Cap-Gap extension. If your H-1B petition has been approved by USCIS, your SEVIS record will automatically be updated to reflect the Cap-Gap extension and your work authorization will be extended to September 30. However, because of the huge number of applications USCIS receives, it is not likely that a case will be either receipted or adjudicated quickly after April 1.

International Student & Scholar Services can prepare Cap Gap Extensions at three different steps as allowed by USCIS and SEVP:

1. When your H-1B case has been filed and you can provide International Student & Scholar Services with proof of the submission (i.e. delivery confirmation), we can update the SEVIS system to extend your OPT only to June 1. (Please note that if your OPT already is valid through June 1, there is nothing that can be done at this stage).
2.  When you get wait-listed by USCIS and you can provide International Student & Scholar Services with evidence of the wait-listing, we can then extend under Cap-Gap rules again to July 28. (Please note that if your OPT already is valid through July 28 or later, there is nothing that can be done at this stage).
3.  Finally, when you get an official receipt notice for your H-1B case, we can process the full Cap-Gap extension until September 30.

To obtain a Cap Gap I-20 from International Student & Scholar Services, please send an email to international@ua.edu with “Cap-Gap Extension” in the subject line. Include the following in the email:

• Name
• SEVIS number
• CWID number
• Employment start and end date as indicated on your current EAD Card
• Proof of filing (for an extension to June 1), or proof of wait-listing (for an extension to July 28), or scanned copy of I-797 H-1B approval and/or receipt notice (for an extension until September 30)
• Indicate whether you would like to pick up your document or have it mailed to you. If we will ship this to you, please see our Document Shipping Options page for instructions on completing the shipping request.

What happens if my H-1B is denied after receiving the cap-gap extension?
If the student’s H-1B sponsorship is denied or withdrawn, the student will have the standard 60-day grace period from the date of the rejection notice to depart the U.S. However, if a denial is based on a discovered status violation, no such grace period exists and the student must leave the U.S. immediately.

What if my OPT expires before April 1st? Will the cap-gap extension extend my OPT?
If your OPT employment authorization expires before April 1 but your 60-day grace period extends beyond April 1, your F-1 status will be extended.  Although your F-1 status would be extended, your OPT employment period is expired, and the cap-gap does not serve to reinstate or retroactively grant employment authorization.

You would be required to stop working until October 1. Also, keep in mind that the 90-day unemployment rule remains in full effect during your automatically extended work authorization (if you qualify for extension of work authorization.)

INFORMATION RESOURCES
For additional information on the Cap Gap Extension please see the Cap Gap Fact Sheet from the Department of Homeland Security.

For comprehensive information about F-1 On-Campus and Off-Campus Employment click here.

J-1 Academic Training (AT)

Academic Training (AT) is a form of practical training that can be authorized only for J-1 student visa holder.

Please note that for sponsored students (e.g. Fulbright, UGRAD, etc.), the training can be authorized only by your J-1 visa Program Sponsor in the form of a letter. You should contact your program sponsor for more information about the limitations of your eligibility.

The information that follows is a general description of the conditions of Academic Training.

General guidelines regarding Academic Training:

• The training must be related to your program of study.
• You must be in good academic standing.
• You must maintain health insurance coverage for yourself and any dependents staying with you in the US.
• Your academic advisor must approve the training.
• Academic Training can be authorized for up to 18-months total, or for the period of time spent in the full course of study, whichever is shorter.  Academic Training that is authorized during the course of studies will only be authorized on a semester-by-semester basis.
• Doctoral students can receive up to 36 months of Academic Training authorization, under certain conditions.  A maximum of 18 months may be used prior to graduation, and an additional 18 months are available after completion of doctoral studies.
• Part-time AT counts against the 18 or 36 month period the same as full-time AT.
• Earning more than one degree does not increase your eligibility for additional periods of Academic Training.
• AT may be taken either during or after completion of the program of study. If AT is to be utilized after the completion of the program of study, you must present a copy of this offer to ISSS no later than 30 days after the end of your program. After the 30 day period you will lose eligibility for this training.

APPLYING FOR ACADEMIC TRAINING
AT Applications are processed by appointment every Tuesday and Wednesday from 9:00 am until 11:00 am at International Student & Scholar Services in 105 B.B. Comer. Contact international@ua.edu or call 205-348-5402 to set an appointment.

For the appointment you will need to bring the following:

J-1 Academic Training Application Packet
• Department recommendation (found on page 5 of the J-1 Academic Training Application Packet), which must include:

• when student will complete degree
• goals and objectives for the training program;
• description of the training program including its location, name and address of the training supervisor, number of hours of work per week, dates of the training;
• how the training relates to the student’s major field of study; and
• why it is an integral part of the student’s academic program.

• Job offer letter from employer (sample on Page 6 of J-1 Academic Training Application Packet), which should include dates of employment, location of employment, contact information for employer, and number of hours to be worked per week.
• Proof of health insurance
• Copies of the following documents:

• Current and previous DS-2019s,
• passport,
• most recent visa stamp, and
I-94 record

For more information, make an appointment with an International Student & Scholar Services Advisor.

H-1B Process Flow

Employment After Training Ends

Life After Practical Training
Many students, after completing their program of study and available practical training, wish to remain in the United States to pursue or continue employment. The most widely used non-immigrant classifications for employment in the United States are H-1B (open to all foreign nationals) or TN (for Canadians or Mexicans only) status. These classifications are employer-dependent, which means that they require an offer of qualifying employment and valid status is dependent upon continued employment.

The information below is an overview of these classifications. This information is not legal advice. You should carefully consider your own circumstances and consult with your employer and an immigration attorney with any questions.

H-1B WORK VISA

Who Can Be Sponsored: Foreign Nationals with a bachelor’s degree or higher
Where to Process: Obtain change of status (COS) in the US OR obtain H1B visa at a US consulate abroad
When Can Employer File: Once employment is offered/accepted; can take 3 to 6 months to obtain approval. For private industry (Subject to the Cap), earliest H-1B start date is October 1 – filing date is on or after April 1.
How Long Can Employment Be Sponsored: Initial period of up to 3 years; extension for an additional 3 years (total of 6 years)

H-1B Requirements:

• Employment must be in a “specialty occupation” (requires application of highly specialized knowledge and at least a bachelor’s degree);|
• Foreign national must meet the minimum qualifications for the position;
• Employer must meet or exceed a prevailing wage as determined by Department of Labor – Wage Database;
• Visa status is considered to be dual intent, meaning that sponsorship of Permanent Residency will have no negative effect on future visa interview (path to permanent residency)

The H-1B is available to foreign nationals offered employment in a position that requires at least a Bachelor’s degree. The H-1B petition is completed and filed by the employer (individuals cannot self-petition). The foreign national is the beneficiary of the petition. The employer and beneficiary usually work together to gather the evidence necessary to show that the position is one for which an H-1B is available and that the beneficiary has the requisite education and skills for the position. H-1B status is granted for an initial period of up to three years, renewable for an additional three years. The beneficiary need not have temporary intent; dual intent is recognized for individuals in H-1B status. Dependents may accompany the principal to the US, but will not be eligible for employment authorization. Obtaining approval for H-1B status can take between 3 to 6 months.

H-1B Cap: Each governmental fiscal year (October 1 – September 30), 65,000 H-1B visa numbers become available nation-wide. An additional 20,000 H-1B visa numbers are available for individuals with a master’s degree or higher. All private employers are subject to the Cap, meaning that once all the H-1B visa numbers are used in a fiscal year, they must wait until the following filing period to sponsor an employee for an H-1B.  Unlike the private sector, institutions of higher education (colleges and universities), certain nonprofit organizations, and government research organizations are not subject to this annual H-1B numerical cap, and thus they are able to file for H-1B sponsorship at any time of the year. The earliest an H-1B petition may be filed is six months prior to the start date of employment.

Fees: The filing fee for an H-1B petition is currently $460. Employers are also required to pay an additional $500 “fraud prevention and detection fee” for initial H-1B petitions. Private companies (with some exceptions) must also pay a training fee of $1500 ($750 for small businesses). However, institutions of higher education, affiliated non-profits, and government research organizations are exempt from the training fee.

Premium Processing Fee: Premium Processing is an expedited handling of H-1B applications that a petitioner may request for an additional fee of $1225 (filing the form I-907). Under Premium Processing, the H-1B application will be adjudicated within 15 business days (rather than the normal processing time of 3 – 6 months).

Prevailing Wage: Employers must first satisfy Department of Labor wage standards BEFORE petitioning for H-1B status. The employer must meet or exceed the “prevailing wage” as determined by the Department of Labor for the position for which the H-1B is sought.  A wage database is available on the Department of Labor Website.

Attorney’s fees: You should also anticipate that you may be responsible, or partially responsible, for attorney’s fees connected to the filing of the H-1B petition. This will depend on the employer, your salary and other arrangements.

TN WORK VISA – TRADE NAFTA

Who Can Be Sponsored: Only Citizens of Canada and Mexico
Where Can TN Be Filed: Obtain TN status at the border (Mexican citizens must first obtain a TN visa from US consulate); Change-of-Status from within US is possible, but is slower than processing at the border.
When Can TN Be Filed: Once employment is offered/accepted.
How Long Can Employment Be Sponsored: TN status is available for up to 3 years and is renewable indefinitely

TN Requirements: 

• Canadian or Mexican citizenship;
• Job offer in particular field itemized in appendix to NAFTA;
• Qualified for position; and
• TN Employee must prove temporary intent

TN status is only available to citizens of Canada and Mexico for particular fields or occupations found in the appendix of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). TN status is granted for up to 3 years, but is dependent on the length of the appointment. TN may be renewed indefinitely. A TN applicant must establish that the job is one for which TN status is available, that he/she is qualified for the position and that he/she has “nonimmigrant” or temporary intent. Dependents may accompany the principal to the United States, but will not be eligible for employment authorization.

The TN is attractive because it is relatively easy to obtain. For Canadians, the application is made at the US port of entry at the Canadian border, and the status is granted or denied in an immediate adjudication by an Immigration official. No visa is required for Canadians in TN status. Mexican nationals seeking TN status are required to first apply for a TN visa stamp at a US Consulate.

Because a TN requires proof of temporary intent, it may be difficult to file for permanent residency while in TN status.

OTHER WORK VISAS – E-3, H1B1, O-1, & L-1
There are other options for employment in the United States, however citizenship in a particular country is required for some. For example, citizens of Australia may be eligible for an E-3 visa, citizens of Chile and Singapore may be eligible for an H1B1. Other options include the O-1 visa (requires meeting the “person of extraordinary ability” standard) and L-1 (intracompany transferee).

PERMANENT RESIDENCY (e.g. THE GREEN CARD):
There are several ways in which individuals may pursue Lawful Permanent Residency, also referred to as the “green card.” Most options involve a long process that can stretch over a period of one to three years, with no guarantee of success. The most popular routes to permanent residency are the diversity visa lottery, family based petitions, or employment based petitions.

A common route to permanent residency in the employment context is the labor certification process. This process requires an employer to sponsor the foreign national employee and, in most cases, requires filing an application with the Department of Labor, which demonstrates that there is a position for which there is no minimally qualified United States worker available. There are some positions, such as University professors, which do not require the employer to show the unavailability of US workers. Rarely, an applicant can bypass the Department of Labor altogether (where the individual can establish extraordinary ability) and file only with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.

UNDERSTANDING IMMIGRATION:
The process to obtain and change status in the United States involves a complex and constantly changing set of laws and regulations. The petitions and applications are most commonly pursued with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services/ Department of Homeland Security, and the Department of Labor. It is important that individuals who are considering filing any documentation with respect to immigration obtain as much information as possible on the procedures and consequences of filing. It is recommended that you consult with a qualified immigration attorney prior to pursuing benefits under US immigration laws.

IMPORTANT NOTE: International Student & Scholar Services is available to offer guidance and answer basic questions during your time as a student. International Student & Scholar Services staff members are not attorneys and should not be considered your legal representative 

Helpful websites: