Travel on OPT?

This is one of the most frequently asked question simplyOPT.com Team gets from Students.  We thought it is a good idea to summarize all options for OPT Students to travel outside of USA.

OPT Application is still pending

 If your application is still pending, not approved, EAD card still not yet issued by USCIS, and you do not have a job or a job offer, you may leave and then re-enter the U.S. to continue to look for employment.

 You should have be sure you have the following documents:

  • Passport (valid for six months after you plan to re-enter the U.S)
  • Valid F-1 visa stamp in your passport
  • I-20 (with a travel signature no older than six months)
  • I-765 receipt notice (Form I-797)

 The visa stamp requirement does not apply to Canadian citizens.

OPT Application is Approved

If EAD card has been issued by USCIS and you have a job or a job offer, you may leave and re-enter the U.S. in order to begin or resume employment. If your post-completion OPT has been approved and you leave the U.S. before getting a job or a job offer, your OPT ends. You may not be able to re-enter the U.S. as an F-1 student.

After USCIS has issued an EAD card for post-completion OPT, in order to have the best chance of re-entering the U.S. without problems, you should be sure you have the following documents:

  • Passport (valid for six months after you plan to re-enter the U.S.)
  • Valid F-1 visa stamp in your passport
  • I-20 (with a valid travel signature no older than six months)
  • EAD card
  • Evidence that you already have a job in the U.S. or that you have a job offer.

CPT vs OPT

One of the frequently asked questions simplyOPT.com gets from students is "What is the difference between CPT & OPT".  Below is a summary of differences between CPT & OPT.

CPT

OPT

 

CPT requires a job offer

 

OPT does not require a job offer

 

CPT requires enrollment in a special class

in which on-the-job training is required

and for which course credit is received

during the time  the employment takes

place.

 

OPT does not require you to enroll in any

class

 

CPT is authorized for a specific employer

for work related to student’s field of studies

 

OPT allows work w/ ANY employer based on

student’s field of studies

 

CPT is issued by school

 

OPT is issued by the USCIS within 90 days

(after preliminary processing by School)

CPT work permit is granted on the I-20 (page 3)

OPT work permit is called the EAD (Employment Authorization Document)

CPT may only be issued for work before graduation.

OPT allows for employment both before and after graduation

CPT usually does not affect OPT as long as CPT is authorized for less than 12 months of full-time employment (more than 20 hours per week). Part-time CPT (20 hours per week or less) is never deducted from OPT.

NOTE: if you work total 4 months of full-time CPT, you will still have 12 months of OPT

OPT authorized part-time (20 hours or less per week) is deducted at half-time rate, but full-time OPT (more than 20 hours per week) is deducted at full-time rate from the 12 months of OPT.

NOTE: if you received 6 full-time months of OPT before graduating you will only have 6 months of OPT left after graduation

 

Thanks,

simplyOPT.com Team!

 

 

H-1B Debarred/Disqualified List of Employers

Department of Labor maintains a list of willful violators of H1-B program.  Please see the complete list below.  As the first step for any OPT Student from immigration perspective is to get a H1-B Sponsorship, it is critical that OPT Students work with well established and reputed companies.  simplyOPT.com recommends all OPT Students to refer to the below list whenever they are ready for H1-B Visa.

 

This list is effective as of September 30, 2012.      

 

Employer Name

Willful Violator

Debarment Period

Allied Solutions Group, Inc.
d/b/a Allied Solutions Group
4836 Brecksville Rd., Suite 3
Richfield, OH 44286

YES

10/31/2010
to
10/30/2012

Alrek Business Solutions, Inc
804 Woodfield Rd.,
Suite 100
Schaumburg, IL 60173

NO

12/12/2011
to
12/11/2012

ATV, Inc.
16201 Commerce Way
Cerritos, CA 90703

YES

9/7/2011
to
9/6/2013

Computer Institute of Technology
11631 Victory Blvd.
Suite 205
North Hollywood, CA 916061

NO

8/24/2012
to
8/23/2013

E Methods, Inc.
7457 Harwin Drive
Suite 208
Houston, TX 77036

NO

7/16/2012
to
7/15/2013

Electronic Design
& Research, Inc.
and Vladimir Shvartsman,
an Individual
7311 Intermodal Drive
Louisville, KY 40258

YES

4/11/2011
to
4/10/2013

EnterSoft Solutions, Inc.
370 Convention Way
Suite 3023
Redwood City, CA 94063

YES

5/25/2012
to
5/24/2014

Global Professional Healthcare Providers, Inc.
10700 W. Higgins Rd.
Suite 120
Rosemont, IL 60018

NO

10/10/2011
to
10/9/2012

GTRAS, Inc.
4229 Lafayette
Center Dr., Suite 1750
Chantilly, VA 20151

YES

3/16/2012
to
3/15/2014

International Construction Group, Inc.
d/b/a ICG, Inc.
1200 Moraine Drive
Woodstock, IL 60098

YES

7/1/2011
to
6/30/2013

Invent Information Technology, Inc.
675 E. Big Beaver Rd.
Suite 107
Troy, MI 48083

NO

8/24/2012
to
8/23/2013

JCG Technologies, Inc.
50 S. Belcher Road
Suite #104
Clearwater, FL 33765

NO

9/21/2012
to
9/20/2013

Law Offices of Sergio
Villaverde
PLLC
3109 Sedgwick Avenue
Bronx, NY 10463

YES

2/21/2011
to
2/20/2013

Lungs Associates, P.A.
and Moonasar Rampertaap, M.D.,
as President and Individually
203 Third Avenue, East
Bradenton, FL 34208

YES

5/31/2011
to
5/30/2013

MQ Solutions LLC and its members
and controlling agents
Mrs. Ellen Esquerra Durman,
and Mr. Mark Durman
1400 Marcia Drive
La Habra, CA 90631-2477

NO

10/31/2010
to
10/30/2012

Multivision Inc.
1220 Iroquois Ave.
Suite 210
Naperville, IL 60563

NO

11/16/2011
to
11/15/2012

Nevada Beauty Supplies, Inc.
d/b/a Beauty Supply Warehouse
21515 Hawthorne Blvd., #585
Torrance, CA 90503

YES

1/3/2011
to
1/2/2013

PC Tech Learning Center
and Mana R. Somalingham,
An Individual
1 Hillside Avenue
Pelham, NY 10803

YES

5/2/2011
to
5/1/2013

Pegasus Consulting Group, Inc.
a/k/a Pegasus Systems, Inc.
100 Matawan Road
Matawan, NJ 07747

YES

5/31/2011
to
5/30/2013

Prince George’s County Public Schools
14201 School Lane
Upper Marlboro, Maryland 20772

YES

3/16/2012
to
3/15/2014

Software Developers of America, Inc.
and Sameer Suri,
Vice President
5557 York County Road
Columbus, OH 43221

YES

2/16/2012
to
2/15/2014

Software Technology International Corporation
400 Amherst St. Suite 403
Nashau, NH 03063

NO

4/27/2012
to
4/26/2013

SS IT Consulting Corporation
6345 Green Jay Road
Columbus, OH 43230

YES

3/11/2011
to
3/10/2013

The Lambents Group, Inc.
and Venkat Potini,
Individually and as President
1425 Jefferson Road, Suite 18
Rochester, NY 14623

YES

2/16/2012
to
2/15/2014

Triune Technologies, Inc.
5406 Thornwood Drive
Suite 190
San Jose, CA 95123

YES

5/23/2011
to
5/22/2013

Usnets Systems, Inc.
and Sayed Hussain
President, an individual
860 US Highway 1
Edison, NJ 08817

YES

5/25/2012
to
5/24/2014

Visionsoft Solutions
LLC
2140 Peralta Blvd.
Suite #205
Fremont, CA 94536

YES

2/21/2011
to
2/20/2013

Worldwide Software Services, Inc.
1001 2nd Avenue North
Clinton, IA 52732

YES

8/24/2012
to
8/23/2014

 

Reference: http://www.dol.gov/whd/immigration/H1BDebarment.htm#.UN4A4nenEdo

 

Thanks,

simplyOPT Team!

OPT Student Tax benefits

International students, nonresident aliens for tax purposes, are not subject to Social Security and Medicare taxes also known as FICA taxes.

What is FICA Tax?

Payroll taxes for Social Security benefits are collected under the authority of the Federal Insurance Contributions Act, or FICA. This tax had its origins back in 1935, when it was introduced as part of the Social Security program.  Both employees and employers are required to contribute to FICA taxes through regular payroll deductions and there is a limit, or maximum contribution employees are required to pay each year towards Social Security.

FICA Tax rate?

Generally, FICA taxes are collected at a rate of 7.65% on gross earnings, which are earnings before any deductions are taken. The breakdown of FICA is 6.2% for Social Security (Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance or OASDI) and 1.45% for Medicare.

OPT Students are not subjected to FICA Taxes

If you are an international student on Optional Practical Training - OPT, nonresident alien for tax purposes, and your employer has deducted Social Security and Medicare taxes in error, you must first ask your employer for a refund. If you are unable to obtain a refund from your employer, you must file Form 843 and Form 8316 to obtain a refund from the IRS for the Social Security and Medicare taxes withheld in error by your employer. International students present in United States for less than 5 calendar years are considered nonresident aliens for tax purposes.

 

Thanks,

simplyOPT.com Team

simplyOPT.com, launched on Dec 12th...

simplyOPT.com is pleased to announce that we went live with our website on 12/12/12.  We hope that our website will be useful as a platform to connect OPT Students and Employers within US.

 

Using simplyOPT.com, students can

  • Search for Jobs
  • Search for Trainings
  • Search for Employers in various locations.
  • Send messages to multiple employers in a secure way.
  • Find number of H1-B visas sponsored by employers over the years.


Using simplyOPT.com, employers can

  • Search for Students
  • Search for Resumes
  • Post Trainings
  • Post Jobs and collect responses/resumes.
  • Post advertisements promoting your company
  • Send messages to multiple students in a secure way.
  • Participate in sponsorship events for various student organization related activities.

Please visit us at www.simplyopt.com

Thanks,

simplyOPT Team!