Employment and Reporting on Pre- or Post-Completion OPT
Once your Pre- or Post-Completion OPT Application has been approved and you have received your EAD Card, it is important to maintain your F-1 Status throughout your OPT Period.
Updating your employment with ISSS or with SEVP
Students must update ISSS or SEVP within 10 days upon the following events:
Receiving initial employment on OPT
Changing jobs while on OPT
Reporting unemployment while on OPT
If you would like ISSS to update your SEVIS Records to reflect your updated employment information, you must submit the following to [email protected]:
EAD Card (front and back)
*If submitting these documents to ISSS, do not update your SEVP portal! This can result in duplicate employment entries on your SEVIS Records.
Students on OPT Work Authorization have the ability to update their employment directly to SEVP by entering their SEVP Portal.
When updating the SEVP Portal, it is important to keep in mind examples of Job Relation to Major Explanations.
If reporting a change in jobs, be careful to report an end date on your previous employer. Do not delete employers unless you can confirm that you never worked for said employer.
If updating the SEVP Portal, do not submit the OPT Employer Update to ISSS. This can result in duplicate employment entries.
If you are locked out of your SEVP Portal Account or would like to update the email address linked to your SEVP Portal Account, please contact [email protected] with your Name, SEVIS ID Number, SEVP Portal issues, and, if changing your email address, please ensure that your new email address is included in the message and spelled correctly.
Name, Phone, or Address Changes
If, while on OPT, you change your U.S. Address, Phone number, or legal name, it is important to update ISSS or SEVP within 10 days.
You may update your U.S. Address or Phone Number with ISSS by submitting the ISSS Change of Address Form.
You may update your U.S. Address or Phone Number with SEVP by entering your SEVP Portal directly.
If changing your legal name, please email [email protected] directly.
Reporting Unemployment while on OPT
Students on OPT are permitted 90 days of unemployment during the 12-month period of OPT.
After 90 days of unemployment, you are out of status. You should depart the U.S. on or before the 90th day of unemployment. Once you depart the U.S. you should contact ISSS so we can complete your SEVIS record.
F-1 OPT Job Duties – Sample Explanations
All employment while on post-completion OPT must be related to your degree program. While on the STEM OPT extension, employment must be directly related to the degree that qualifies you for the extension. You are responsible for explaining the direct relationship between the job and your degree.
** These are sample explanations to help guide you. Do not copy the samples for your own use. **
Sample Explanations from SEVP Policy Guidance issued on September 27, 2019.
Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering:
I work full-time as an Electrical Engineer at ABC Corp., a government contractor. In my job, I analyze client requirements for electrical systems and provide them with cost estimates of such systems. My work requires understanding of electrical circuit theory, which I studied in-depth at the University of ABC.
Bachelor’s degree in Business:
I work full-time as a Loan Officer at a mortgage company, Happy Homes, where I meet with clients and evaluate, authorize and recommend approval of loan applications. On a daily basis, I use the knowledge I gained in my credit analysis, sales and marketing classes that I took as part of my major program of study.
Master’s degree in Music:
I am working at a hospital playing the harp in patient rooms. I also conduct hands-on harp beginner workshops for long-term patients. On average, I work at the hospital 35 hours a week. My duties directly utilize the skills and knowledge I acquired from my coursework and degree in music therapy.
PhD in Computer Science:
I am employed as a Computer and Information Research Scientist at ABC Research Institute. I work as part of a team of scientists and engineers that designs experiments to test the operation of various software systems. My work builds on research in complex algorithms and machine learning, which I studied as part of my dissertation.
Master’s degree in Kinesiology:
I am working 25 hours a week in a health food store as a consultant for SelfMade Inc., designing and teaching exercise classes that are incorporated into a customer’s overall nutrition and exercise plan. My designs and customer instruction
PhD in Computer Science:
I am a postdoc.
Master’s degree in Finance:
My responsibilities include: 1.Extract and prepare data from macroeconomic and financial online databases; 2.Interpret and analyze data to support the research; 3.Perform literature reviews and academic writing; 4.Actively engage with the team in providing topics for further analysis; 5.Research ideas and new ways to present concepts.
Active OPT Employment Resources
Use the resources below to learn about maintain your F-1 Status while on OPT.
OPT Employer Update Form
If updating your employment information with ISSS, please submit this form and copies of the front and back of your EAD Card to [email protected] for processing
If updating information in the SEVP Portal, please review the information on this webpage.
OPT Work Authorization Frequently Asked Questions
Many of the questions you may have about updating employment while on OPT can be answered on our OPT Work Authorization FAQ page.
EAD Card Replacement
If you have received your EAD card and find that there is an error on the card, such as a name misspelling, birth date error, or the wrong OPT Category was issued, or if you have lost your EAD Card, please refer to the information on this webpage to request a new EAD Card from USCIS.