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Announcements and Featured Items
OPT Filing Fee Increase

Effective 12/23/2016, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will increase the filing fee for Optional Practical Training (OPT) applications from $380.00 to $410.00. Students submitting OPT applications to DCISS on or after 12/15/2016 must submit a check or money order for $410.00 made payable to “U.S. Department of Homeland Security” to ensure that their applications will be processed by USCIS.

OPT Hand-In Sessions- Schedule Change

DCISS will hold weekly OPT Hand-In Sessions on:

  • Wednesdays from 3:00 – 4:00PM
  • Thursdays from 3:00 – 4:00PM

*DCISS will no longer hold OPT Hand-In Sessions on Mondays

New 24-month STEM OPT Extension Rule

Effective May 10, 2016, eligible F-1 students who have completed a designated STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) degree will be eligible to apply for a 24-month STEM OPT Extension. The new rule increases the duration of the STEM OPT Extension period from 17 months to 24 months. For more information, refer to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website.

Insurance Plan Updates for Visiting Scholars and Non-Degree Students

UCLA’s Graduate Division, The Academic Personnel Office (APO), and the Dashew Center (DCISS) have agreed with Garnett-Powers Insurance Agency to offer a 3 plan insurance option for UCLA’s Visiting scholars and Non-degree students. All 3 options are compliant with J-1 visa regulations. Only Plan A is compliant with the Affordable Care Act. Details can now be found on the Garnett-Powers website: http://www.garnett-powers.com/academics/ucla. These insurance options are not applicable to Postdocs, UCLA Employees eligible for UCLA Medical Benefits, and Degree Students.

Recent Increase in Reported Fraud

There has been a recent increase in reports of fraud involving individuals posing as immigration and tax officials requesting personal and bank information from non-residents in the U.S. Please remember that the Dashew Center, Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and U.S. immigration officials will never request credit card, Social Security or banking information over the phone. Refer to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and Federal Trade Commission websites for tips on how to avoid scams or to report any instances of fraud. Please report any instances of tax phishing to the IRS.

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