You are in lawful F-1 status if you meet the following requirements:
- You are employed for more than 20 hours per week in your field of study (for post-completin OPT) or you are employed for less than 20 hours per week in your field of student (for pre-completion OPT);
- You have not been unemployed for more than 90 days during your post-completion OPT;
- You report to AUSB any changes of address within 10 days; and
- You report to AUSB any changes in visa status.
Usually F-1 students who have been in the U.S. for five years or less are exempt from social security taxes. Please inform your employer of your F-1 status because many employers are not familiar with this provision of the tax laws. F-1 students are subject to all other applicable taxes (e.g. federal, state, and local).
You will need to apply for a Social Security Number upon approval of OPT employment. Once the new I-20 endorsing OPT employment is received, you can apply for a Social Security Number through the Social Security Office.
Yes, you have a grace period of 60 days.
Non-thesis/undergraduate students who apply for post-completion OPT may NOT begin working until after their program end date. Thesis/PsyD students who apply for post-completion OPT may NOT work until they have completed all course requirements.
As soon as you receive your Employment Authorization Document card and the start date has passed.
You can, but it can (and often does) result in a delay of receipt of your Employment Authorization Document (EAD) card. Please use a mailing address you know will be valid for at least 3 months on your application, so that your EAD card will be delivered on time.
No. The start date is decided before your new I-20 is issued and can only be changed up until you mail the application to USCIS.
The program completion date is the last day of the final term of enrollment. For MEd thesis and PsyD students, the program completion date can be the last day of the final term of enrollment OR the defense date. The defense date must be within the final term of required enrollment.
For post-completion OPT, your start date must fall within 60 days after your program completion date. You can choose any date within that 60 day window.
The PDSO or DSO will review your application materials to confirm that all necessary documents are present. Once verified, the PDSO or DSO will need to issue your recommendation for OPT, which is reflected on a new I-20. The new I-20 is required to complete your OPT application materials.
Complete the following items and then schedule an appointment with the PDSO or DSO to review your application materials:
- OPT Application Packet
- OPT Status Responsibilities Form
- Advisor Approval Form (Post-Completion OPT only)
- I-765 form and supporting documents (see OPT Application Packet for more information)
Pre-completion OPT: up to 90 days prior to the planned start date of employment.
Post-completion OPT: up to 90 days prior to your program completion date or within 60 days after your program completion date.
Please note that is can take 2-3 months for USCIS to review & process your OPT application materials.
Yes. Pre-completion OPT is deducted from your 12 month cumulative allotment of OPT. Part-time OPT is deducted at a half time rate, so if you use 6 months of part-time pre-completion OPT, you have 9 months of post-completion OPT remaining.
Yes. You must notify the PDSO or DSO at Antioch University Santa Barbara of any employment changes, including periods of unemployment.
No. Your job may be anywhere in the U.S.