Report Updates while on OPT
On post-completion OPT? Remember that the US government requires you to report any updates on your situation while on OPT. Please note, students on pre-completion OPT are not required to report any employment details. This page is only intended for students on post-completion OPT. Students on STEM OPT should instead review employment and reporting requirements for STEM OPT.
You Need to Report
Remember, within ten days of any of the following, you will need to report if you:
- change your legal name,
- change your mailing, residential, or email address,
- change your employer,
- change your status within the US (for example, you change to H1B or some other nonimmigrant or immigrant status),
- depart the US and forfeit any remaining OPT time you may have.
How to Report Updates on OPT
For changes in employer, all address updates, and name changes, you must submit your update to our OPT Reporting Form. When reporting your employment, please remember that any false information you report could result in loss of your legal status and permanent ineligibility for any further US visa. You must be honest and accurate to avoid any problems in the future.
For changes in your immigration status, including if you depart the US to forfeit any remaining OPT time you may have, submit your information to our End My F-1 Status Form.
After you submit the OPT Reporting form with your updates, you can choose to request an updated I-20 if you would like, however it is not necessary to get a new I-20 each time employment changes. Your most recent I-20 is still valid. However, if you prefer to have a new I-20 with your updated information, you must complete this online request form to replace your I-20.
US Government SEVP Portal for OPT Reporting
The US government created an online portal for students on post-completion and STEM OPT to submit some (but not all of the above listed) updates directly to them. Once you have received an OGS email that your OGS OPT reporting form has been approved, please check accuracy of the employment update in SEVP portal. Please allow 2-3 business days for the updates that you submitted using the OPT reporting form to be reflected in the SEVP portal. If you have issues with access the SEVP portal, review the resources in the SEVP Portal Help. If your SEVP portal is locked, then, submit an SEVP Portal Issues e-form and OGS will assist you.
Use of this portal is optional and you MUST update OGS with any changes in employer, address, or status. Regardless, you should regularly monitor the information in your SEVP portal account for accuracy. It is your responsibility to ensure your information is accurate and current.
Learn more about how to access the US government's SEVP Portal
In order to access the US government online portal, called the SEVP Portal | Student and Exchange Visitor Program Portal, you will first need your login credentials. The US government emails all students who have been approved for post-completion or STEM OPT with information on how to create and log into their portal once your OPT application is approved and the start date of your approved OPT time has passed. Be on the lookout for an email from firstname.lastname@example.org. Once you have that email and follow their instructions, you should be able to log into the SEVP Portal.
OPT and Beginning a New Academic Program
US government regulations state that optional practical training employment is automatically terminated when a student transfers to another school or begins study at another educational level. Only recreational or avocational classes are permissible while on OPT. If you will begin to study at another educational level, please submit one of the following requests:
Unemployment during OPT
You must not be unemployed for more than 90 days in total during post-completion OPT.
In order to be considered “employed” while on post-completion OPT you need to work an average of 20 hours per week. Unpaid positions count as employment only for post-completion OPT as long as the position is in your major field of study. Remember that your employment starts as of your first day on the job (that is, your start date), and not when you received your job offer letter (unless you received your job offer on the same day you start!).
Keep Documentation of Your
Keep a written record of any and all OPT activity, including the position held, dates of the position, supervisor name, organization name and location, number of hours you work per week, and description of activity for your own records.