If you are finishing your coursework this fall, and have an I-20 or DS-2019 with an end date in December 2020, it is time to start thinking about U.S. work permission. After your I-20 or DS-2019 completion date, you will need Optional Practical Training/OPT (for F-1 students) or Academic Training/AT (for J-1 students) to remain in the U.S. to work.
If you are an F-1 student, please review our instructions to apply for OPT (under How to Apply). Students should take note that the USCIS OPT fee will increase from $410 to $550 for applications received on or after October 2, 2020. If you will be applying for OPT this fall, please submit your application to the HIO as soon as possible.
If you are a J-1 student, please review our instructions to apply for Academic Training (AT).
The HIO has received multiple reports of international students and scholars receiving scam phone calls from individuals representing themselves as employees with “U.S. Immigration” or other government entities. They alter caller ID systems to make it appear that the call is coming from a governmental number. The scammers obtain or verify personally identifiable information from their victims through various tactics, including by telling individuals that they are the victims of identity theft. The scammers also pose as law enforcement or immigration officials and threaten victims with arrest unless they make payments to the scammers using a variety of methods.
If you receive a call from anyone claiming to be a governmental entity, please ask for their contact information and callback number and contact your HIO Advisor immediately. Individuals receiving phone calls from these numbers must not provide any personal information. Do not provide your Social Security Number (SSN) or your bank information and do not agree to meet them somewhere. Hang up immediately and call your HIO advisor. Governmental officials and/or the police would never request payments over the phone. Be aware that the scammers may call multiple times with multiple requests for payment and/or personal information.
You can find more information on the HUPD website.
On October 2, 2020, USCIS will be adjusting its filing fees for certain immigration benefit applications and petitions. Please note that any applications received by USCIS as of this date must include the new filing fees, listed below:
I-129 (H-1B petitions):
- Fee increase from $460 to $555
I-129 (O-1 petitions):
- Fee increase from $460 to $705
I-129 (E-3 and TN petitions):
- Fee increase from $460 to $695
I-765 (OPT, STEM OPT, and J-2 work authorization):
- Fee increase from $410 to $550
I was attracted to Harvard for its excellent and broad scientific environment. Specifically, in my case Harvard offered a very unique opportunity allowing me (a theoretical physicist) to work very closely with experimentalists; this is a new and refreshing experience for me.