• The University of Wisconsin-Platteville has been certified by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) to accept non-immigrant (e.g., international) students. The Primary Designated School Official (PDSO) at UW-Platteville, who is authorized to deal with immigration related issues for F-1 students, and the Responsible Officer (RO), who is authorized to deal with immigration issues for J-1 students and scholars, is the Assistant Director, Swati Kukreja.

    Resources for Prospective and Current International Students

    This Study in the States website provides information on how to study in the United States and how to maintain your visa status.

    Maintaining Legal Status

    As an F or J visa holder, it is your responsibility to know and abide by these U.S. immigration regulations.

    Visa

    A visa is a document issued by a consular officer at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad, and placed in a passport (issued by the travelers country), that indicates the traveler is eligible to seek entry into the United States, for a specific purpose. The U.S. Department of State (DOS) operates U.S. embassies and consulates around the world and is responsible for issuing U.S. visas.

    SEVIS: Student and Exchange Visitor Information System

    • SEVIS is an internet-based system that allows schools and the Department of Homeland Security to record and exchange information about the immigration status of F-1 international students and J-1 exchange visitors.
    • Information is recorded, housed, and transmitted electronically throughout the students academic career and during an exchange visitors time in the US
    • U.S. Embassies, Consulates and other U.S. government agencies, as well as UW-Platteville, have access to this information.

    SEVIS 901 Fee

    Click here to pay the SEVIS I-901 Fee.

    For a video tutorial (instructions) on how to pay the SEVIS I-901 Fee, please click here.

    Form I-94

    When the visitors arrive in U.S., a Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) officer will scan traveler's passports and create an electronic record of arrival called a form I-94. If you need a physical copy of your I-94 to apply for a driver’s license, state ID or social security card then you can print a copy of your I-94 by accessing the CBP website at https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/I94. You will need to type in your name, date of birth, passport number, country of issuance, date of entry and class of admission to access your I-94 electronically.

    For more detailed instructions about printing out your form I-94 for the UW-Platteville ISSS office, please click here.

    U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS)

    The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is responsible for controlling entry of people into the US and for monitoring people while in the US as well as enforcing federal law. The United States Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) are all components of DHS. USCIS, ICE, and CBP were formerly known as the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). The title Immigration and Naturalization Service may still appear on some official documents and forms.

    Definitions

    Form I-20

    Certificate of Eligibility for Non-immigrant (F-1) Student Status for full-time academic study. This is a DHS form, issued by UW-Platteville after all requirements for admission have been successfully completed. This form is a required document for an F-visa interview.

    Form DS-2019

    Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor Status (J-1). This is a DOS form, issued by UW-Platteville after all requirements for admission have been successfully completed. This form is a required document for a J-visa interview.

    Form I-94

    Form I-94 is the Arrival & Departure Record of F and J student visa holders and is proof of legal entry into the United States.

  • F-1 students who are currently authorized for OPT employment based on completion of a Bachelor’s, Master’s or Ph.D. degree in a Science, Technology, Engineering or Math (STEM) field, as defined by DHS, may be eligible for a 24-month extension of OPT.

    Eligibility Requirements for the STEM OPT Extension

    • Student is currently authorized for post-completion OPT and is working for a U.S. employer in a job directly related to their field of study at the time of application.
    • The major degree that was the basis for the student's current period of OPT is a bachelor's, master's, or doctoral degree listed on the current STEM Designated Degree Program List.
    • Student has had fewer than 90 days of unemployment while on OPT.
    • Student is employed by or has a job offer from an employer registered with "E-Verify."

    There is a lifetime limit of two periods of STEM OPT; each occurring after a higher degree level has been obtained.  A STEM degree obtained at a U.S. university prior to the student's current degree may be the basis for a STEM extension under certain circumstances.

    Prior Degree

    To use a prior degree to qualify for the STEM OPT extension:

    • Student's most recent degree must be from an accredited SEVP certified school.
    • Student must have received the prior, qualifying STEM degree (at the bachelor’s level or higher) within 10 years preceding the date of application for the STEM OPT extension.
    • The qualifying STEM degree needs to be on DHS’s STEM List at the time the student submits their application for STEM OPT extension

    When to Apply

    A qualifying STEM degree holder may file the STEM OPT extension application up to 90 days before the current OPT end date. The STEM OPT extension application must be received by USCIS within 60 days of the date UW-Platteville issues the new I-20 recommending the extension.

    In general, a STEM OPT extension application will take three to five months to be approved. However, a student's work authorization is extended for up to 180 days while the extension application is pending.

    Note that employment must conform to STEM conditions while the application is pending, including the requirement that the student work only for an E-Verify employer for which the Form I-983 was submitted.

    How to Apply and Reporting Requirements

    Please see the STEM OPT Instructions listed in the Forms box.

    Employer's Responsibility

    1. Complete and sign the Form I-983. The STEM OPT program requires employers to complete and sign Form I-983 training plan for the STEM OPT student they hire.
    2. Review and sign the student's annual self-evaluation. The student must submit the first self-evaluation within 12 months of the STEM OPT start date, and a second, final self-evaluation by the STEM OPT end date. The student submits the 12-month and final evaluations no later than 10 days following the conclusion of the applicable reporting period. 
    3. Report material changes to an existing Form I-983. Change of Employer ID Number, reduction in student compensation not related to a reduction in hours worked, any significant decrease in hours that a student works, changes to the employer's responsibilities or student's learning objectives as documented on Form I-983, etc. 
    4. Report student loss of employment. The employer must agree to report within 48 hours the termination or departure of a STEM OPT employee to UW-Platteville International Student Services office by e-mail to isss@uwplatt.edu if the termination or departure is prior to the end of the authorized period of STEM OPT. An employer shall consider a worker to have departed when employment is terminated or if the student has not reported for work for a period of 5 consecutive business days without the consent of the employer, whichever occurs first. The employer should provide the student's name and the date the student's employment ended.
    5. Employment must be paid and would be subject to wage protection.

    For more details about reporting requirements for employers of STEM OPT students, please click here.

    Unemployment

    Under STEM OPT Extension, students are allowed an additional 60 days of unemployment, for a maximum of 150 days of unemployment (90 days during the initial period of post-completion OPT plus an additional 60 days during the STEM OPT extension period).

    Employer Site Visits

    Please click here for more information on site visits by the Department of Homeland Security to employer locations that train STEM OPT students.

    Why STEM OPT is Good for Small Business

    Please click here to read more about the potential impact that the STEM OPT extension regulation could have on small businesses.

    For more information

    STEM OPT Hub

    USCIS Website