As graduation time approaches for international students, many start to think about gaining experience in the US through Optional Practical Training (OPT). Students can start applying for OPT 90 days prior to graduation and are encouraged to do so because it can take a while.
Besides the long wait it takes for the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to process and approve the request, time is spent gathering all the paperwork and filling out the forms required. It can feel like you are shipping your life to the USCIS office, because you almost are.
All the documents needed to apply for OPT are VERY important documents. Below are just a few of the documents international students need to send to the USCIS office.
- The G-1145 Form in order to receive a text notification when the USCIS accepts your form.
- Completed Form I-765 signed in blue ink. This is the main form that is necessary to get your Employment Authorization Document (EAD).
- Required $410 fee – which can be paid for using a personal check.
- Photocopies of all pages of all I-20s. This means photocopies of your OPT-endorsed I-20 and all other I-20s starting from the one marked “initial attendance”.
- Photocopy of your unexpired passport ID page, which must be valid 6 months into the future.
- Photocopy of your most recent F-1 entry visa
- Most recent I-94 arrival record
- Two U.S. passport style photos no more than 30 days old when the application is filed.
These some of the important documents that you will be sending and there may be more. This is your US identity. With all this private information, money and the limited time international students have to get OPT approval from the USCIS office it makes sense to invest a little more into securely shipping and expediting the shipment.
UEMS, eShipGlobal’s University Express Mail Service, is designed to help international students ship these important documents securely, quickly and at discounted rates. UEMS has been used and trusted by hundreds of thousands of international students in order to receive their important I-20 documents from the university.
It does not cost a thing to sign-up for UEMS or to get access to the discounted shipping rates and using UEMS is easy. The addresses for the USCIS offices and lockboxes are already preloaded into the system, so all students need to do is select the proper address.
Students can compare carrier rates from trusted carriers, like UPS, FedEx and USPS. They will also be able to compare the different service options offered by those carriers, like next day or overnight shipping.
The package, or envelope, that is being sent to the USCIS office contains the personal identification of the international student, their history in the US, and could even contain their bank information via the check. Wouldn’t you want to ship that information securely and quickly?
By Ashleigh Cue