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Posts posted by oqowa

  1. Hey guys, so as unbelievable it might sound, I was able to renew my F-1 visa while being on 1-year OPT and while being outside the US for almost 9 months. Now, as you know with all this COVID-19 lockdowns going on, I'm not sure what I'm gonna do with my renewed visa ☹️ 

    Basically, I would like to hear you recommendations/opinion on if there is any chance for me to return to the US using whatever I have now (OPT, F-1 visa and etc).

    My EAD expires in July. Is it technically possible to extend my OPT if I get a job offer before July?

    P.S. My major is in STEM field.

  2. 20 hours ago, ndd23123 said:

    I don't think you can renew your F-1 visa with this OPT because:

    1. You're only allowed a maximum of 90 days of unemployment, after that your OPT authorization ends. Given that you have been out of the US for 7-8 months, I think your OPT is no longer valid (source: https://internationalcenter.umich.edu/students/f1-students/on-opt, "OPT Employment Requirements and Reporting" section).

    2. If you leave the US while you are on OPT and do not have a job offer to return to, your OPT also ends (source: https://internationalcenter.umich.edu/students/f1-students/travel-post-opt, last paragraph on the page).

    Also, if your degree has been conferred, you can't say you have to come back and finish your research.

    I don't think you are right because this doesn't really apply to my case. Officially, I've been working as a volunteer for my adviser since I graduated, which counts as an employment. The only problem is I have been outside the U.S. for 8 months while "officially" working as a volunteer. I think the following point might be relevant for my case but I'm not sure:

    "If you travel abroad while employed either during a period of leave authorized by an employer or as part of your employment, the time spent outside the United States will not count as unemployment."

  3. Hey guys, so after 7-8 months since I left the US, I have decided to give it a try renewing my F-1 visa while my OPT is valid. So anyway, I filled the application and stuff, and deliberately put a tick on visa renewal thing, hoping that I will get away without the interview:) I know I'm silly:) Anyway, like 2-3 days later I've received an email requiring me to pick a date and come for an interview.

    So, anyway, now what do you guys recommend me? How do I prepare? What should I say during the interview? And what I should not say?

    To be honest, the only reason why I applied is because I wanted to have a valid visa ready in case I get a job offer (+I wanted to use my OPT and I-20 (signature) while they are valid). But of course, that's not what I said in the application. The way I've explained it is that I haven't completed the most important part of my research (even though I've completed my Master's) so I need few extra months and with the help of the available uni facilities and with the help of my research team I would complete it in few months. But at the beginning I've mentioned that depending on the volume of work, I might need to join PhD. So what do you guys think? Do I have any chances of getting the visa? P.S. I'm full-time employed here in my country but didn't mention that, and now I think that I probably should have mentioned that

  4. P.S. the other problem is what if this potential employer ask me to attend an in-person interview? I'd have to have F-1 visa approved by that time so I could travel for the interview. I guess it'd be stupid to tell the officer that I'm travelling for the job interview.

    P.P.S. btw, will ISS give a new I-20 after I report them that I'm volunteering for my adviser? In that case, I'd have to have the new I-20 mailed to me and would have to present on visa interview?

    And one more thing, guys: before any of you says that I should ask ISS or seek for the advise of the professional, I AM going to talk on the phone with school's ISS official. But I was just wondering maybe any of you had similar experience

  5. Hi everyone, so I have graduated recently with Master's and left the US with my OPT application pending. Now, I'm back to my country and it's been about 3 months since I've graduated (and since the program end date mentioned on I-20). So, my EAD card has arrived to my US address and my roommate is gonna mail it to me very soon. Now, here are 2 problems:

    • My F-1 visa has expired in the beginning of August
    • So far, I have accrued 41 days of unemployment (out of 90)

    But now I'm very close to getting a job offer from some company (but it's not guaranteed yet). And to be honest I don't have many good job opportunities here (at my hometown), so I really want to make things work if I get this job. 

    Now, here is the other thing that I want to know your opinion about. So, I want to talk to my adviser and agree about volunteering for him so I could fill the necessary forms online and report to the university's ISS that I'm volunteering for my adviser (all this, while I'm in my country) just so I can save my unemployment days and just so my OPT doesn't get cancelled. And then I could start my visa application. So basically I have 2 options on my mind: 1) I either sign up for this volunteering thing and fill the visa application accordingly and maybe even get some letter from my adviser about this which I could present on visa interview OR  2) I wait for this job offer that I've been talking about and then fill the visa application and answer the questions based on this.

    So which way I should go? How should I design this whole visa renewal process? What should I do and I should not do?

    I also have some specific questions about visa application:

    1. Should I fill DS-160 in the same way I did before? Should I change anything?
    2. Would it hurt if I put "No" for "Have you made specific travel plans?", and put only "Intended date of arrival"? (this is in DS-160 form)
    3. Should I check or uncheck the sentence "[Name Surname] renewing his or her visa either to: continue participation in the same program even if at a different institution; or attend the same institution even if in a different program." ? Note that if I check this it won't require me to schedule an interview. (this is on us usvisa-info.com)
  6. Ahhh I was about to open the same topic and then noticed yours, please keep me updated, I'm in the same boat. I have left the US, my visa has expired and I will be having OPT being mailed to me very soon. Btw, as far as I know, you can register for volunteership (for example, for your advisor) and you'd be fine. Some international students told me that you don't even have to physically be there to fill or sign smth, just do the paperwork online and just let your advisor know.

  7. Hey guys, briefly speaking, my defense date is after I-20 expiration date and the thing is my school offers early summer deadline when I don’t have to enroll for summer and I can graduate later after Spring graduation deadline (about 3 weeks after). Now, my question is that okay? I’ve already emailed my school’s ISS but I won’t hear from them till Monday.

  8. Hey guys, so there was a conference at my university few months ago and I was presenting. So one of the companies attending the conference got interested in my work. They even wanted to have a meeting with me and my advisor and the whole team to discuss what we can do for them. So long story short, I ended up using their sample in my work. Anyway, now, the thing is I'm trying to figure out how to approach the VP of that company about the job. Like how do I ask him if they can give me a job? And I'm graduating this semester. And honestly, he praised my work a lot of times saying "really good presentation, I enjoyed it" and stuff, but when I actually messaged him few days later if there are any internships at their company and he said no and that they are too small for that. So I don't know if that means also "no" to giving me a full-time job or I should give it a try.

  9. Now, I need your guys advice/perspective on the worst case scenario:

    I have been thinking if things get wrong somewhere on the way, what are the possible options? I've actually talked to the graduate program coordinator or advisor (not sure what the exact title is, but she basically helped me a lot in the past on deciding which classes to take and stuff, almost like advising). So she told me that in the worst case scenario, probably, graduate program director would have to call a meeting with someone outside (not from my master's commitee), there would be probably meetings between me, graduate director, someone not from my committee and probably advisor and we would try to settle this. Now this doesn't seem to answer the scariest question I have in my mind — for example, at the end of the whole story, can I somehow end up with nothing? no master's?

    Here are few more things to give you more context:

    1) I've been granted the award for the best TA of the department, my evaluations were really high. And I have 1 conference paper so far. None of the prev people that worked with my advisor had anything published (God, he had 2 postdocs but they left without publishing anything!)

    2) My advisor is young and new and so far, he had only 1 student graduating with him and guess what? they guy did his MS with him and was supposed to continue his PhD with him, but right after he got his Master's, 1-2 months after the new semester started, he decided to change his advisor. And it's not like they talked and agreed, but he actually went and complained about this guy and he didn't care about loosing the funding and fortunately, the department helped the guy to make some money through grading job, I guess his tuition was covered too and now he finally has an advisor.


    Possible solutions I have in my mind but I have no idea whether these would work or not:

    1) The third member of my commitee seems to be a nice person and he is the one who actually hired these other two(my adviser and supervisor). His nationality is the same as mine but all his life he lived in the same country as these two did. Not trying to judge or give myself hope, but this guy, so far, never really pressured me, he even once came telling me in a casual way "why don't you wanna stay for phd? see, you've done a lot of work for master's, you're almost there". So in the back of my mind, I'm thinking maybe, God forbid, if things go wrong, I should first talk to him so he could somehow settle the argument. These people are from middle east (technically, I'm from there too tbh) and I know their mentality is that if you go and complain about us without actually talking to us, then you're a traitor! So I guess maybe I should try talking to this man if things go wrong.

    2) If I somehow "secretly" write my thesis and have some text ready by the required time (but can't defend because my adviser wants me to do smth extra), is there any way for me to change my advisor and ask the department to let me form a different commitee so I could defend and graduate? The only problem is the code I've been using this semester belongs to my supervisor but I've added a lot of my own stuff into it, however, there is some other code that I've built myself from the scratch and used it till this semester.  Technically, I think I could find a way of not using "their stuff" in my research but it might be a bit time-consuming. But I don't know, maybe it would still be okay, because in my thesis I would be showing only results not "their" tools I used to generate them.


    P.S. I really apologize for really messed up grammar/spelling/syntax, I was just in a rush writing all this

  10. Thanks for the reply!

    The thing is every time I told them about writing the thesis, they would be like "aah for thesis just put your papers together, you know how I wrote my thesis? I just put my papers together, the main thing is is the paper, focus on the paper". On one hand, I guess it's good for me that they think that way coz it would give me basically "permission" to almost copy-paste my paper(s) into the thesis, on the other hand, it kinda makes me worried that they don't take my thesis serious. So I guess I should not expect them to push me to write it the way they've been pushing me to write a paper.

  11. Hi guys,

    I was not sure where to post this so here I am. So I've been originally admitted as PhD student and then I switched to Master's because of a number of reasons. And I was supposed to graduate last semester but I asked my advisor and supervisor to give me 1 more semester if that is possible so I could add few more things to my research and also look for jobs. They agreed and they defined some tasks for me so I finish those to graduate. Now, here I am, 1 month 10 days left till my defense date and they ask me to do some additional stuff which wasn't really planned. And I'm really concerned that I haven't really started writing my thesis and also I feel like it's a lot of work for Master's, why am I getting Master's then? they should grant me with PhD then consider the amount of work. And I know why they want me to do that extra stuff because the situation with funding in my department got really tough and they're all really afraid of not being able to continue this research and not being able to hire some student to take over this and besides, there is some local company that got interested that what I've been working on but I'm 100% sure that they're not gonna invest any single penny coz they're very small and they wanted their stuff to be done for free.

    So anyway, I'm trying to decide on how should approach this situation? how do I talk to my advisor and supervisor? Should I really be kinda like stubborn and stand for I think is right or should I try to be polite and agree on whatever they want me to do but also try to somehow find some compromise, or should I agree to do everything they want me to do completely?

    Just to give the context, we're all international: my advisor and supervisor are from the same middle eastern country, I'm from different country. My problem is I've already applied for OPT (work authorization), once my I-20 expires which the end of this semester, I cannot enroll for one more semester, so I must graduate, I feel like they don't understand that or smth

  12. Hi guys, I apologize in advance if this has been discussed before a lot of times, but I really wanted to get some perspectives on specifically my case. So, I'm working on a conference paper and the problem is I feel like my research is not really summarized/concluded yet but my adviser pushed this, he wanted me to submit an abstract and write a paper. And now after my abstract got accepted, I have to write this paper and I have like 3 weeks (I already wrote 20-30% of it though). For me the main problem is I feel like my research (I'm doing modelling work btw) is not summarized enough and can't really make any strong conclusions from the results I'm getting. I feel like my research doesn't really answer some specific question.

    So, anyway, here is my general question, what are the tips on writing a paper? Especially, considering my case. This is my first(!) time writing a paper! And my research is in such disorganized condition. Are there some specific rules that I should know? Any specific things I should keep in mind?

  13. Hey guys, so briefly, classes at my university start on Aug 20, I will leave the US for a month and will be coming back the US (JFK airport) on Sep 10th , should I be worried? I asked my university's ISS, they pretty much said they're not sure. As far as I understand, there is no official clear policy on late arrival. I just don't want to change my tickets because the soonest date is Aug 18, which shrinks my stay to 1 week, and it's super-expensive.

    Just for the record, I'm PhD student and my GPA is above 3.5, if that somehow matters. And I'm planning to take just 1 class (3 hrs) and 3 research hrs for Fall.

  14. Hi guys, so I'm in a really bad situation, the thing is there is a high chance that I might not be able to repay the international student loan that I took for a year, it's about 1500$. I mean, maybe I could pay it by the due date, but the problem is I'm leaving the US and I have a lot of other expenses and paying it would hurt my pocket really bad and I'd end up with few dollars in my pocket and I'm not sure if I will actually come back because of unclear situation with my funding. So, I'm wondering what options I have and what you would recommend me. I want to email them but at the same time I'm afraid thinking that will make them cautious about me and they might start pressuring or smth but Idk. Good thing it's summer, I guess I could work full time now, the problem is I'm already RA working for my adviser and I'm supposed to defend my Master's this summer and I'm not sure he'd let me to work part-time anywhere else on-campus. But I wonder if he'd find out if I apply for some additional job on-campus. I'm guessing that if I could make few hundred dollars additionally I'd be fine.

  15. Okay, so I'm sure this has been asked before, but I was not able to find the information I need so far, so I had to create a new topic. So the thing is I hopefully might get my MS in Summer 2018. Now since I was originally admitted to PhD program, as far as I understand, I can continue on PhD without any application or paperwork after I get my MS, but I was hoping to get a job after MS. For this purpose, I'd have to apply for OPT and quit PhD-that's how I understand this but I'm not sure.

    Ideal option for me would be to be able to get OPT after getting my Master's and continuing with PhD and then leaving when I get a job. But I don't know if something like that is possible.

    So my question: is that or something similar possible? If not, what kind options you guys would recommend?

  16. Hi everyone,

    Please don`t judge me or make fun of me...I`m extremely stressed right now...

    So, there was a girl I was dating. She is an American citizen. Just so you get an idea, we had very high level of intimacy. Although it`s been like 1 month. Skip the part in Italic if you dont have time to read.

    Anyway the whole story is very long. But keep in mind that I never ever sent her any message containing sexual content, or threat, or harmful, or abusive words, or swearing. I was always polite. Now things changed I ended up with her threatening me to get "restraining order" against me and then she said she will go to police(I`m not sure if for "restraining order" or to file charges against me) because I was sending her too many messages. Now, first of all I stopped texting immediately after she said "stop texting me". But then I sent a message on facebook, because we were still friends and she liked my picture after we stopped talking. And when I sent it I apologized for disturbing, I was asking just to tell me the reason why we broke up and then she started replying but in some of her messages (like twice I guess) she again threated me that she is going to police. And I said several times that no need to go to police just block me and that way I will know that you`re completely done. And then I didnt send any message, I just posted on facebook a status that was visible only to her, explaining some things that happened between us and also asking her not to go to police because I will be deported, but just to block me if that is what she wants. And then the next day she blocked me.

    Now I feel really stressful because I wonder if she went to police, did she ask for restraining order? or did she file a charge against me?

    So, I wonder what can happen to me as an international student? I`m really stressed and I don`t know whom to talk and whom to trust. I didn`t mean to harass her on anything, she kept replying me, so I assumed that we are talking. If she files a charge, is it called "online harassment" or what? And what can happen in worst case? Will I get deported? sent to a jail in the US? or community service?

    Please when you reply, try not to hurt me, because I was literally crying all day, I`m looking for relieving words, relieving piece of information

  17. 1 hour ago, DogsArePeopleToo said:

    Listening is tricky. I think many of us walk away with a funny feeling about it. I know I do because I space out in the middle of the audio sections and therefore miss questions. On my second TOEFL attempt someone started their speaking section and distracted me. BUT, I got a 28 despite my funny feeling. You might too!

    And both times I took the TOEFL, I got my scores before the 10-day period -- eight and nine days, respectively. You might too!

    I haven't contacted ETS about getting my scores earlier, but I am highly skeptical it is possible. I can't be sure, if there is such a thing, they might just charge you a fee for it.

    The bottom-line is that you might have done better than you think and that 10 days will pass before you even know it. You just need to fight the post-test jitters. Read a book, watch a movie or a comedy show. Your anxieties will go down :)

    Thank you so much for your post! It really gave me hope and warm feeling! :) 

    You accurately described how I feel during Listening section! :)  I also loose my focus during Listening section and moreover, I was distracted by someone`s speaking, too! I don`t understand why some people speak so loud during Speaking section. I mean, come on, you speak in a quiet room right to the mic, why would you need to yell? :D 

    It may sound silly and childish, but I`m willing to pay any fee just to get rid of the stress and anxiety I have now. I even consider to start preparing now for the second TOEFL exam.

  18. Hey guys,

    I recently took TOEFL IBT exam for the first time and I`m so worried about my score on Listening section, I feel like I messed it up :( And I actually was expecting to see my unofficial scores on Listening and Reading sections right after exam, I thought it will be the same thing as in GRE (in GRE you see Q & V sections results right after after the exam). First of all, I wonder why R & L sections scores are not immediately available after the exam.

    Secondly, do you guys think if I contact ETS, they could send me unofficial scores on Listening section? I know it sounds like absurd, but I mean, is there anything wrong with that? I still won`t be able to use that score anywhere, isn`t that what they're concerned about? My problem is if I could have an idea of my L score, I could plan things better, since if I don`t get the result I need I will have to retake TOEFL.  

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