International Student Services

Post-Completion Training Fee

What is Optional Practical Training (OPT) or Academic Training (AT)?

Optional Practical Training (OPT) for F-1 visa holders or Academic Training (AT) for J-1 visa holders is a hands-on opportunity for employment/training related to an academic field of study. OPT or AT can be done one time during each degree level. This is an optional benefit that is not a requirement of an academic program but is a USCIS approved authorization for those visa holders who wish to pursue work authorization in the US. Since OPT or AT allows F-1 and J-1 visa holders to work full-time in the U.S., most students apply for the benefit at the end of their degree program so they can remain in the U.S. after graduation up to 12 months to gain practical work experience.

What is the Post-Completion Training Fee and How Much is the Fee?

The Post-Completion Training Fee will be collected by International Student Services when graduating students apply for one of the following U.S. government training authorization programs:

Who Pays the Fee?

  • Graduating students or alumni in F-1 status who apply for the initial post-completion 12-month OPT work authorization
  • Individuals who apply for post-completion OPT authorization with thesis or dissertation remaining. Any student applying for OPT or AT under the I-765 code (C) (3) (B) is required to pay the fee. The U.S. government requires the same processing and reporting requirements from UW ISS whether or not the final thesis or dissertation has been submitted.
  • Alumni in F-1 status who apply for the additional 24-month STEM OPT extension authorization.
  • J-1 visa holders who apply for Academic Training authorization for training that continues or begins after academic program completion (either graduation or end of exchange studies).

Do currently enrolled students pay the fee?

No, if you are currently enrolled in your degree program and not graduating at the end of the quarter, you do not pay the fee. The post-completion training fee applies only to those graduating students or alumni who are requesting OPT or AT authorization in order to work or train in the U.S. after graduation. If you participate in Curricular Practical Training (CPT) or pre-completion OPT while enrolled in your degree program, you will not be charged a fee.

The fee will be applied to any F-1 or J-1 visa holders requesting an I-20 or DS-2019 for post-completion OPT or AT on or after August 18, 2018. You may request an I-20 for OPT up to 90 days before or 60 days after your completion date (graduation). The post-completion fee must be paid at the time you submit your OPT or AT application to ISS for processing.

Do non-degree seeking exchange students pay the fee?

Yes.  The U.S. government requires the same processing and reporting requirements from UW ISS whether an alumnus’ training position follows a degree or visiting exchange program. The processing and reporting requirements from the US government to UW ISS are the same for exchange students as for degree alumni.  In fact, for J-1 exchange students, UW ISS has additional processing requirements to extend the DS-2019 and report financial information. However, J-1 alumni apply for Academic Training to UW ISS directly and are not required by the government to pay the USCIS fee of $410 as required of the F-1 alumni.

How Will I Pay the Fee?

The fee will be paid online directly to ISS. The fee payment link will be live after August 17, 2018. The post-completion OPT and AT application instructions will be updated to incorporate the fee instructions after August 17, 2018. A copy of the payment receipt will be required with the OPT or AT application. OPT and AT applications will not be processed until the fee has been received.

Why isn’t this just added to my tuition and fees so I can pay for it on my student account like everything else?

This is not a student fee.  Because the fee is an alumni fee for services after completion of study, it can not be added to the student account.  Although F-1 alumni can begin to apply for post-completion training up to 90 days before completion of program, they can also apply up to 60 days after the course of study is completed.

When Will the Fee Begin?

Graduating students who apply for post-completion OPT or AT on or after August 18, 2018, will be required to pay the fee. For 24-month STEM OPT extensions, the fee will be charged for any alumni applicant whose 12-month OPT expires on or after August 18, 2018.

The link to pay the fee will be active after August 17, 2018.

OPT and AT applications submitted to ISS on or before August 17, 2018, do not require the fee.

Why is this Fee Charged? What are the Benefits?

SEVIS record maintenance by ISS is supported by currently enrolled students through their UW tuition and fees. Alumni are no longer enrolled during the OPT or AT employment period; therefore, they will be charged a fee to cover ISS  reporting requirements during the OPT/AT employment authorization.

Benefits of the Post-Completion Training Fee include:

  • International Student Alumni Services Coordinator (new staff position) who will oversee advising, document processing, and maintenance of SEVIS records for alumni on OPT and AT
  • Development of improved educational materials about training authorization, including webinars, information sessions, and self-learning tools
  • Improved communication and outreach to alumni during their post-completion employment authorization
  • Processing of travel signatures
  • Processing of Cap-Gap I-20 requests
  • Federally required address and employment reporting requirements
  • Improved support for graduating students and alumni seeking OPT or AT
  • Improved and more efficient processing of employment benefits documents
  • Improved web content related to training authorization

How was the fee amount determined?

Careful calculations were made to determine the cost of staff to perform the required services for OPT and AT alumni.  The fee was determined based on this cost.

Can the Fee be Refunded?

No, the Post-Completion Training Fee cannot be refunded. The only exception to the refund policy is if the graduating student submits their OPT or AT materials to ISS and it is determined that the individual is not eligible to apply for OPT or AT. The amount of the refund will be the fee payment minus $5.00 for processing fees. Refunds will not be granted for those individuals submitting OPT applications late to USCIS, delays by USCIS, denial of OPT by USCIS, withdrawal of an application, failure to graduate, or any other reasons. A new application submission for any reason will require a new Post-Completion Training Fee payment.

What if my post completion training position is unpaid?

Alumni whose training position is unpaid must still pay the fee.  The U.S. government requires the same processing and reporting requirements from UW ISS whether an alumnus’ training position is paid or unpaid.

How is this fee different from the previous quarterly International Student Fee?

The University previously charged a quarterly fee to all registered international students enrolled in a degree program. This fee helped support offices across campus that worked with international students to improve programming, support, and other activities. This fee was suspended by the Provost’s Office, but the impacted offices have continued to receive funding from the Provost to continue support services.

The Post-Completion Training Fee is not replacing the International Student Fee. This new fee is paid only by those graduating F-1 and J-1 visa holders who elect to apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT) or Academic Training (AT), which allow alumni to remain in the U.S. to work full-time up to 12 months after graduation. The UW and ISS are still federally required to maintain, update, and report on the SEVIS immigration records for these alums. Tuition and fees support the work of ISS staff and the SEVIS maintenance and reporting requirements for all currently enrolled students. Alumni remaining in the U.S. for employment do not have the same access to UW student services that they previously had while paying tuition and fees. The Post-Completion Training Fee charged to graduating students and alumni applying for OPT or AT will support the continued maintenance and reporting requirements during the initial 12-month OPT or AT and the additional requirements for those requesting an additional 24-month STEM extension.

Is this different from the USCIS OPT application fee?

Yes. The Post-Completion Training Fee is paid to ISS, which supports the continued reporting requirements during he initial OPT or AT work authorization or the 24-month STEM extension. The USCIS OPT application fee is paid to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Is UW the only university that charges a similar fee?

No, many other colleges and universities charge a Post-Completion Training Fee.

Institution

(current as of Feb 2018)

Title

 

Post-Completion OPT

(12 months)

Additional 24-month STEM Extension
New York University Maintenance of Status Fee $100 $100
Arizona State University Case Management Fee $100 $200
Columbia University Trainee Administrative Fee $140 $280
Northeastern University Post Graduation Administrative Fee $200
UCLA OPT Administrative Processing Fee $40 $380
University of Texas Practical Training Fee $100 $175
UC Berkeley Post-Completion Fee $100 $300
SUNY Buffalo Optional Practical Training Administrative Services Fee $55 $55
University of Florida STEM OPT Fee $125
University of Georgia International Student/Scholar Compliance Fee $128
University of Illinois OPT Management Fee $100 $100
University of Indiana STEM Fee $150
University of Oklahoma OPT Fee $100 $200
University of Pennsylvania ISSS Processing Fee $165
University of Southern California (USC) STEM OPT Extension Fee $200
Harvard College One-time, non-refundable fee $150 $300