Hi RedBustoUS community,
I am trying to find a step-by-step guide on F-1 visa renewal under OPT. I have read posts out here and elsewhere in the worldwide web universe, that gives an idea of the process but could not find one that provides a step-by-step guide of the process, including what to answer in some questionnaires, do’s and don’ts, etc.
I just graduated and my F-1 visa got expired 6 months ago. Applied for OPT EAD, which got approved few days ago and should be here in the mail any day now. I am planning to go home (India) in the next few weeks and, therefore, have started the work to initiate the F1- visa under OPT renewal process. Below is what I think is the step-by-step process, and I am not completely certain. Hence, I am reaching out here to get thoughts and recommendations from the community.
- Fill out DS-160. What are some of the tricky questions and advise on dos and don’ts
- Login or create an account on cgifederal.secure.force.com and get an appointment for interview or find out dropbox eligibility (which means one can avoid in-person interview and just drop the required docs in one of the dropbox sites). However, what’s not clear is if one can do this before submitting their DS-160.
- Get the following list of docs with you for document drop-off to one of the dropbox sites. if I am missing anything then please feel free to add.
- DS-160 confirmation
- Dropbox eligibility confirmation
- valid EAD card
- valid passport
- Valid I-20 with OPT dates signed
- Offer letter from the current employer or * Future employer*- Any good format for an offer letter?
- Anything else?
Does this look good?
Also, I will be in India from mid-August to end of Sep but will be employed in the same university I graduated from and get paid while I am in India until the end of Sep (However, on paper the appointment is for 9 months). After arrival I will be going to a different university for a postdoc position. I have the offer letter and have already accepted the offer. Therefore, I am not sure which offer letter- from my current university or the one I am joining on arrival I should submit for my visa renewal.
If the questions raised above could be answered then I think I will be relieved to know that I am doing everything correctly and not going to screw up from my end. I am planning to share my step-by-step experience in this thread as I go and I hope it will help others. Please share your experiences and I look forward to have my doubts/questions answered from this community.