Post-completion OPT Requirements and FAQ

It is the student’s responsibility to know, understand, and follow the rules and regulations about OPT work authorization, as provided by USCIS. Additional information about the rules is provided by Study in the States.

Reporting Employment & Contact information

  • You must report your employment to the OPT Portal run by SEVP.
    • See our SEVP Portal page for detailed information about the portal.
    • SEVP will email you an invite to the portal on your OPT start date (as printed to your EAD).
    • If you do not receive an invite, or otherwise cannot access the portal, please complete the SEVP Portal Reset request at the international student portal.
  • You can only report new employment within 10 days of the employment start date.
    • If you fail to report within 10 days or cannot access the SEVP OPT Portal, you can use the OPT Employer update request at the international student portal. ISS will then manually update your SEVIS record with the employment information.
  • You must also report all contact information changes within 10 days.

Unemployment days

  • Unemployment days are calculated from the start date of your OPT. Please be mindful to count the start date as day 1.
  • You have 90 unemployment days on Post-completion OPT.
  • If you will use all 90 days, you are advised to have left the US by day 90 or transferred out to a new degree program.
  • The 90 days are used as a total sum during your entire 12 months of OPT. For example, if you use 10 days at the start of your OPT, start working, and then stop working a month later, you will 80 unemployment days remaining.
  • Reporting Employment is the trigger to stop/start your unemployment days from counting. If you report starting employment, the unemployment days stop counting. if you report an employment end date, your unemployment days will start counting again from that date.

Relation to program of study

  • Your employment must be related to your major/degree.
  • It is your responsibility to report employment and tell SEVP how it is related to your program of study.
  • Write 2 – 3 sentences and be clear about why this employment is suitable for Post-completion OPT. Remember that the employment is considered further training for your program of study.
  • ISS reviews this throughout the year, and will email you if we do not see a direct connection.

Hours worked

  • When reporting employment, you will be asked if you have a full-time job or part-time.
  • Your employment on OPT must be at least 20 hours/week.
  • This minimum can be calculated from one job or multiple jobs.
  • When reporting a single job, keep in mind that SEVP considers full-time employment to be anything 20 hours/week or more. Do not report employment as part-time if you are above this minimum.

Types of employment

  • Regular paid employment.
  • Internships.
  • Volunteer or unpaid opportunities: You need to be able to provide evidence about how it is related to your major and have evidence of the number of hours you volunteered.
  • Payment by multiple short-term employers: Keep a list of all short-term employment, dates, and durations.
  • Work for hire: Employment where an individual performs a service based on a contractual relationship rather than an employment relationship. Have evidence showing the duration of the contract periods and the name and address of the contracting company.
  • Self-employed business owner: You can start a business and be self-employed. You must be able to prove that you have the proper business licenses and are actively engaged in a business related to your major.
  • Employment through an agency: You must be able to provide evidence showing how many hours you worked through the agency.


  • To return to the US, you will need:
    • Passport
    • F-1 visa
    • Most recent I-20 with a travel endorsement signed within the past 6 months
    • EAD
    • Optional: A letter from your current employer or employment offer letter

Finding work

Ending OPT Prior to your OPT end date

Transferring out and pursuing a new program of study

Whether you’ve been admitted to a new program of study at UWB or another school, you must let us know. You’ll find requests in the international student portal for both of these events.

For transfer out requests, please note that your OPT will immediately terminate on your requested transfer out date.

Leaving the US and abandonment of OPT

If you are leaving the US and no longer plan to use OPT, please complete the Leaving US request on the international student portal after you have departed. We will complete your immigration record.

Note that your I-20 will no longer be valid for entry after completing this request.