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【法条研究】OPT期间工作时长的要求,提醒大家:只要大于20小时就算Full-time哦

fredcat
6543
14
前不久LZ所在公司转型做国防了,内部发生大变动,把没有美国身份的我lay off了,于是就不得不面对OPT期间维持身份的问题。

好在马上找到一个NGO 的volunteer岗位,可以停止失业期倒计时,维持住身份。

在SEVP portal上申报这份工作时,发现有一项要求我们选择Full-time / Part-time。我当时有点纠结选哪个,因为我的这份工作是20小时/周,按社会上普遍定义是part-time,但我又隐约记得USCIS对此另有一套定义。由此我还想到另一个问题:维持OPT身份到底是必须Full-time,还是Part-time也可以?

然后我就在网上仔细查了一下,信息混杂,让人非常confused。

USCIS网站上说:

If you are authorized for post-completion OPT, you may work part time (20 hours or less per week) or full time.


DHS网站却说:

Post-Completion OPT: Any portion of OPT used after the student’s Program End Date. It must be full-time.


SEVP于2010年4月发布的这篇OPT Policy Guidance上这样说(7.2.1中列举的多种employment也都写明at least 20 hours per week):

7.1.5. How many hours does a student need to work per week during post- completion OPT (including the 17-month extension) to be considered employed?

A student must work at least 20 hours per week in a qualifying position to be considered employed. If a student has a variable schedule, within a month, it should average out to at least 20 hours per week.


一些学校的OPT Guideline的说法同USCIS——may work part time or full time。另外一些学校,包括LZ母校的说法则是说必须full-time(也有一些是说at least 20 hours per week)。

关于Full-time和Part-time工作时数的定义,倒是查到一个比较明确的依据,来源于USCIS于2015年12月发布的一份OPT Changes Webinar FAQ:

Q: The Add OPT Employer page indicates that full-time employment is more than 20 hours per week, and part-time employment is 20 hours per week or less. Historically, full-time employment has been 20 hours or more. Has this changed?

A: The text on the Add OPT Employer page remains consistent with the F-1 employment guidelines. Part-time employment is 20 hours per week or less. Full-time employment is more than 20 hours per week.


这与DHS网站上关于Full-time/Part-time CPT的说明保持一致。总之,20小时及以下是Part-time,大于20小时是Full-time。

对于这一系列混乱的看似矛盾的说法,我的猜测是:

Post-completion OPT的要求是at least 20 hours per week。而Full-time的定义是more than 20 hours per week。所以如果像LZ一样,每周工作exactly 20小时,是符合OPT要求的,但是归类为Part-time。这样就可以解释那些may work part time or full time的说法了(这擦边球打得。。。)

但是鉴于DHS的网站上说必须full time,LZ母校的guideline上还明确地要求at least 21 hours per week,我最终还是选择不冒险了,毕竟我也不是法律专家,上面只是我的猜测,而且最近美国对留学生审查这么严格,以后申OPT extension和H1B的时候可不要因此出什么纰漏。我马上就向NGO主管申请每周工作时数加到21小时,SEVP Portal上也选了Full-time。

看到本版最近好多关于OPT挂靠爆雷的贴子,顺便说一下,其实找个正经volunteer job不难,除了学校RA以外,很多NGO或者小startup都需要搭建/升级自己的网站。因为是unpaid job,要求也不高,负担不会很大,很多甚至可以remote做。如果是很缺工作经验的同学还可以借此丰富一下自己的简历。给NGO做volunteer维持身份可算是非常名正言顺、零风险了。
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