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, submit your update to our OPT Reporting Form.
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
As of March 23, 2018, 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. As of now, we encourage you to simply submit any updates directly to us in OGS. Once you submit your information to us, we will update your SEVIS record, and thus the US government on your changes.
If you choose to use the government's SEVP Portal and have any issues using it, including if you get locked out of it, if you forget or need to reset your password, or if you never received the email providing you with instructions with how to create and log into the portal, report your SEVP Portal Issue to us. When contacting us regarding the SEVP Portal, be sure to also have a copy of your EAD card (employment authorization document) showing your OPT approval information ready to provide.
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 email@example.com. Once you have that email and follow their instructions, you should be able to log into the SEVP Portal.
An immediate benefit to students regarding the SEVP Portal is that you can now review the updates we’ve made on your record while on OPT and STEM OPT, including what information we have on file for you regarding your OPT employer and your address. For further information on how to use the SEVP Portal, we recommend you have a look at the Study in the States information on the portal.
If you choose to update your information directly to the SEVP Portal, the only information you can update with them at this time are changes to your post-completion OPT employer and changes to your physical mailing address.
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.