June 16, 2006. Post OPT for a recent college graduate

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Name: 
KL
Country: 
United States

On the 90th day, I make an appointment. The earliest day on infopass is 5 days later on Friday, so I make that appointment, and print out the sheet confirmation with the barcode.
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On Friday
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I went to the line at 10:00am for my 10:30 appointment. The guy at the door says you can't come in yet, come back 15 minutes later. That means even if you come really early before your appointment it is pointless. It is best to come 15 min before.

On the 90th day, I make an appointment. The earliest day on infopass is 5 days later on Friday, so I make that appointment, and print out the sheet confirmation with the barcode.
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On Friday
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I went to the line at 10:00am for my 10:30 appointment. The guy at the door says you can't come in yet, come back 15 minutes later. That means even if you come really early before your appointment it is pointless. It is best to come 15 min before.

So I line up at 10:15... this line is outside, and a short one with 10 people in front. We are let in slowly. They only look to see the info pass sheet.

After I am past the guard, there is another line for security at the entrance of the building. It is just like an airline check, all wallets, keys, belts and anything magnetic must be taken off except shoes. One guy tries to be smart at the officer yelling taking off your belt... He says "you don't need to tell me, I already know" in a mean voice, and almost doesn't get into the building because he pissed the guard off. Don't do that.

Once past security, now about 10:25 am, I head up to the third floor, where there is another standing line of 20 people or so. They are all here for different reasons. Once you get to the counter, you show your passport, and infopass, and original letter for the EAD that shows it is past 90 days. That is all they need at that moment. Then they give you a sheet with instructions to go to another floor, another I-765 attached, and a ticket.

In my case I go to the 9th floor. There I show my ticket and infopass to the guard sitting outside the room. Then I go in, and wait for my ticket number to be called. I am called immediately after I sit down (1-2 min), and I go to the counter (only one operational at the time). She asks to see my Letter stating the 90 days, and the infopass, to make sure it is the right day. She scans both sheets, and makes sure no action has been taken on the EAD Card. Then she asks me to sit down, and wait for my number again.

A gentlemen calls my name about 10 minutes later, and asks for all my paperwork. He actually only needs a few things- Copies of passport (as well as the real thing to look at), the new I-765 which you should have filled out already, and the I-20 with the OPT recommendation (Bring ALL the originals and copies, but he was fine with me giving him the copies, without showing the originals.) He goes to make copies of my passport but I tell him I already have them. He's like "oh great that makes life easy for me." He tells me to sit down and wait.

The waiting is much longer. Maybe about an hour or two. After that, someone calls me to the counter using the ticket number I still have. He makes me sign a sheet, and tells me to put my right index finger onto a pad, and put it on the sheet. He then gives me a notice about the EAD card and a towlette to wipe off the ink from the fingerprint, and tells me to go near the photo station and wait there.

10 minutes later an annoying photo man comes out, and calls our names. One by one, you go, he tells you to sit up straight and look into the camera, and then sit back outside. (there is no outside, as its still in the same room, I guess just out of the photo station). Those people who were slow to get up were yelled out. After awhile, all the cards are made, and he calls your name, puts the card on the table, and says you are free to go.

The interim EAD card looks like a crappy fake id. Its orange, and looks nothing like the normal EAD card. But it should suffice. It lasts 8 months from the day that you were at the office, assuming you had at least 8 months left. I left the office at 11:50 am.

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