Post-Completion OPT Employment Types

Wondering what kind of job you can have while on post-completion OPT? How many jobs you can have? How many hours you can work?

The main thing to remember is that all OPT employment must be in a job that is related to your degree program. This employment may include any or all of the following (Please note, the information below does not apply to students on STEM OPT):

Paid employment

Students authorized for post-completion OPT may work part-time or full-time as long as the total employment averages at least 20 hours or more per week. 

Multiple employers

You may work for more than one employer, but all employment must be related to your degree program.

Short-term multiple employers (performing artists)

If you are a musician, other performing artist, or you are doing other creative projects, you may work for multiple short term employers (gigs). You should maintain a list of all gigs, the dates and duration. If requested by the government, you must be prepared to provide evidence showing a list of all gigs.

Work for hire

Work for hire means that an individual performs a service based on a contractual relationship rather than an employment relationship. If requested by the government, you must be prepared to provide evidence showing the duration of the contract periods and the name and address of the contracting company.

Self-employed business owner

Students on OPT may start a business and be self-employed. In this situation, you must work full time. You must be able to prove that you have the proper business licenses and are actively engaged in a business related to your degree program.

Employment through an agency

Students on post-completion OPT must be able to provide evidence showing they worked at least 20 hours per week while employed by the agency.

Unpaid employment

Students may work as volunteers or unpaid interns, where this does not violate any labor laws. The work must be at least 20 hours per week for students on post-completion OPT. These students must be able to provide evidence from the employer that you worked at least 20 hours per week during the period of employment.