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Leo7777

Re-entering USA in OPT status

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Ukraine
Timeline

Conventional wisdom on several websites tell that: 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 in your possession :

1) Passport valid for six months after you plan to re-enter the U.S.

2) Valid F-1 visa stamp in your passport.

3) I-20 with a valid travel signature no older than six months.

4) EAD card.

5) Evidence that you already have a job in the U.S. or that you have a job offer.

Personal circumstances required that my friend leave the USA after she had received a new I-20 endorsed for OPT and had sent in all the forms to apply for OPT but before she received approval and EAD card. Also her existing F-1 visa had expired. There were dire warnings from all corners that she would have trouble re-entering USA.

Her EAD card was received at her USA address and sent to her FedEx in her home country.

An employment letter was obtained from an appropriate USA employer and sent to her in PDF form that she could print off in her home country.

With these documents, she applied for and received a new F-1 visa valid for 3 years. No idea why they gave the 3 year visa instead of only a 1 year visa for the 12 months of OPT.

Upon arrival at USA airport . . . they looked at her 1) passport, 2) new F-1 visa, 3) new I-20.

She had the (4) EAD card and (5) employment letter . . . but she was not asked anything about them.

Note: This is not to imply that items (4) and (5) will not be asked for with respect to another individual. But just reporting a recent experience.



- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Time Line - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

10 YEAR GREEN CARD PROCESS

July 22, 2017  ROC packet sent to Vermont.

July 24, 2017  ROC packet signed for in Vermont.

August 8, 2017  NOA received at house.  15 days since ROC signed for in VSC.

August 12, 2017 ASC appointment received. 19 days since ROC in VSC.

August 25, 2017 BIO completed. 32 days since ROC received in VSC.

August 11, 2018  18 month 'Courtesy Copy' extension letter received.  Critical number  297

October 20, 2018 18 month 'Official' extension letter received.  Critical number 297

December 4, 2018  USCIS Account shows: We approved your Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence, 

December 4, 2018, ordered your new card for Receipt # EAC17297003XX, and will mail to the address you gave.

491 days from NOA issued by VSC until Petition approved.

December 7, 2018 USCIS sent notice:  Card mailed.

December 12, 2018 Ten year Green Card received from Lees Summit, MO

499 days from NOA issued by VSC until Green Card received.

- - - - - - - - - - 

CITIZENSHIP PROCESS

December 6, 2018 submitted N-400 application on-line.  Estimated Completion Time: 8 months or August 2019.

December 8, 2018 received notice on USCIS that Biometrics scheduled . . . but the actual date was not yet shown.

December 11, 2018 saw in 'Documents' section of USCIS that Bio scheduled for 24 December 2018.

December 21, 2018 saw on USCIS website that they will be closed 24 December 2018 as extra holiday.

January 9, 2019 went for re-scheduled BIO appointment.  33 days after N-400 submitted on-line.

February 19, 2019 received letter in US mail that Citizenship interview scheduled for 26 March 2019. 74 days after submission on-line.

March 26, 2019 Citizenship interview scheduled for.  109 days after N-400 submitted on-line.

March 26, 2019 Passed Citizenship interview.

April 12, 2019  Received notice that Oath Ceremony had been scheduled for 24 April 2019.  17 days after interview.

April 24, 2019  Oath Ceremony completed.  29 days after interview.     139 days after N-400 submitted on-line.

April 25, 2019  USA Passport Application submitted.

May 3, 2019     USA Passport received.    149 days after N-400 submitted on-line.

May 9, 2019     Certificate of Naturalization and Citizenship returned in mail.

 

 

 

 

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Ukraine
Timeline

I forgot to note one additional item.

It is also commonly stated that the person is taking a risk by returning to home country with an expired F-1 visa . . . and trying to get a new F-1 visa for OPT.

In this case, she did get the new F-1 visa specifically for OPT, and it was for 3 years which is beyond the 12 months of OPT and even the initial 12 months plus 17 months (total of 29 months) of OPT available for STEM graduates which she is.

Again, this doesn't set the rule . . . only indicates she was lucky.



- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Time Line - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

10 YEAR GREEN CARD PROCESS

July 22, 2017  ROC packet sent to Vermont.

July 24, 2017  ROC packet signed for in Vermont.

August 8, 2017  NOA received at house.  15 days since ROC signed for in VSC.

August 12, 2017 ASC appointment received. 19 days since ROC in VSC.

August 25, 2017 BIO completed. 32 days since ROC received in VSC.

August 11, 2018  18 month 'Courtesy Copy' extension letter received.  Critical number  297

October 20, 2018 18 month 'Official' extension letter received.  Critical number 297

December 4, 2018  USCIS Account shows: We approved your Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence, 

December 4, 2018, ordered your new card for Receipt # EAC17297003XX, and will mail to the address you gave.

491 days from NOA issued by VSC until Petition approved.

December 7, 2018 USCIS sent notice:  Card mailed.

December 12, 2018 Ten year Green Card received from Lees Summit, MO

499 days from NOA issued by VSC until Green Card received.

- - - - - - - - - - 

CITIZENSHIP PROCESS

December 6, 2018 submitted N-400 application on-line.  Estimated Completion Time: 8 months or August 2019.

December 8, 2018 received notice on USCIS that Biometrics scheduled . . . but the actual date was not yet shown.

December 11, 2018 saw in 'Documents' section of USCIS that Bio scheduled for 24 December 2018.

December 21, 2018 saw on USCIS website that they will be closed 24 December 2018 as extra holiday.

January 9, 2019 went for re-scheduled BIO appointment.  33 days after N-400 submitted on-line.

February 19, 2019 received letter in US mail that Citizenship interview scheduled for 26 March 2019. 74 days after submission on-line.

March 26, 2019 Citizenship interview scheduled for.  109 days after N-400 submitted on-line.

March 26, 2019 Passed Citizenship interview.

April 12, 2019  Received notice that Oath Ceremony had been scheduled for 24 April 2019.  17 days after interview.

April 24, 2019  Oath Ceremony completed.  29 days after interview.     139 days after N-400 submitted on-line.

April 25, 2019  USA Passport Application submitted.

May 3, 2019     USA Passport received.    149 days after N-400 submitted on-line.

May 9, 2019     Certificate of Naturalization and Citizenship returned in mail.

 

 

 

 

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Thanks for sharing the experience. I would definitely say she can consider herself lucky, as OPT is not a requirement for completing the program she came here for. So everyone in the same situation reading this experience should note that it is not a given (like you say it does not set the rule). Glad that it worked out for her so well! Everytime I traveled, they also never asked for additional documents, only the usual passport with visa, and I-20.


Naturalization:

12/13/18: File online application

12/15/18: Receive notification for biometrics appointment (no date)

12/31/18: Biometrics

02/25/19: Receive interview letter (April 8 )

04/08/19: Interview, approved!

04/12/19: Oath scheduled for April 26 

04/26/19: Oath Ceremony! 🇺🇸

 

ROC:

04/26/17:  Sent ROC package

04/27/17:  Package received

05/20/17:  Biometrics letter received

06/02/17:  Biometrics

08/22/18:  Card being produced

 

AOS from F1 visa:

08/16/14: Sent AOS package: I-130, I-485, I-765, I-131

08/19/14: Package received at Chicago Lockbox

08/22/14: Acceptance confirmation text messages/emails

08/22/14: Checks cashed

08/26/14: Hard copies of NOA's received in mail

08/27/14: Biometrics appointment notice received. Scheduled for 9/8/14.

09/08/14: Biometrics

11/14/14: File service request (Day 88)

11/24/14: EAD/AP approved (Day 98)

12/01/14: EAD mailed

12/03/14: EAD received

03/12/15: Status changed to Testing & Interview

04/16/15: Interview, no decision

07/17/15: "Your card is in production" email!

08/07/15: Card mailed

08/10/15: Card received!

~11 months, 3 weeks & 4 days from filing to green card in hand, no RFE's~

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Filed: Timeline

thanks for sharing. i was in the same boat, wasn't asked for additional evidence. Anyhow, rules state that proof of employment should be in hand, but not a prerequisite for reentering the US. visa validity is different from visa status, as long as OPT is filed correctly she is on status and everything should be fine in their system.

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