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Monday, January 26, 2015: 11:00 a.m.
Due to severe weather conditions, The New School will close early today, Monday, January 26, 2015 at 6pm. All classes and activities beginning after 6pm are canceled, any classes that begin before 6 but are scheduled to continue beyond 6 are also canceled. The New School will be closed tomorrow, Tuesday, January 27, 2015. learn more

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  • Traveling While on Optional Practical Training

    This policy concerns eligibility to reenter the United States. It does not mean that not having a job offer at the time the Employment Authorization Document (EAD) is approved is a status violation. It is assumed, though, that a student with approved Optional Practical Training (OPT) who does not depart the U.S. must be engaged in a diligent search for employment.

    Reentry policies during post-completion OPT when an EAD card has already been issued:

    • Regulations allow for reentry to the U.S. "to resume employment after a temporary absence." ISS cautions students attempting to reenter the U.S. while on post-completion Optional Practical Training who have not yet secured jobs.
    • Students may be questioned at the port of entry on whether or not they are returning to the U.S. to continue or start a job.
    • The longer a student has had an EAD card but has not been working, the greater the likelihood he or she might encounter difficulties at reentry.
    • In all cases, students who are not employed should be prepared to explain the substantial steps they have been taking to secure employment.
    • SEVP has further clarified that a student need not have already commenced actual employment before leaving the U.S. as long as the student has a job offer to return to.
    • In general, it is best for students to have both an EAD card for post-completion OPT and a job or job offer in order to avoid experiencing difficulty reentering the U.S. If either of these two conditions is missing, then the student is assuming risk.
    • If you are on OPT and plan on traveling, be sure to request a travel signature from ISS. During OPT, travel signatures must be less than six months old at the time of reentry.

    For travel during OPT, follow the checklist below:

    • Complete an online ISS Service Request Form and check "Travel Signature" request on the form.
    • Provide ISS with a legible copy of your EAD card.
    • Submit your original I-20 to ISS for a travel signature. Note that travel signatures will be available after 3 p.m. on the next business day after submission.
    • Obtain a visa if your visa has expired or will expire before your return to the U.S., or if you changed your status within the U.S.
    • See the U.S. State Department's student visa page. If you will need a new visa, it is strongly recommended that you visit International Student Services before traveling, as it may be difficult to obtain a new visa while outside the U.S. on OPT.

    We strongly advise you to carry with you your original employment offer letter or proof of job interviews when you travel.

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