Learn what you must do to maintain your F-1 status while you are on Post-Completion OPT.
To maintain your F-1 status while on Post-Completion OPT, you must satisfy all of the following requirements:
YES. F-1 students may not exceed 90 days of unemployment during their 12 months of Post-Completion OPT, and must report their employer’s name and address to their school within that time frame. If you exceed 90 days of unemployment, the Department of Homeland Security plans to automatically terminate your SEVIS record in the future. If your SEVIS record is terminated, your F-1 status and employment authorization will no longer be valid and you will have to leave the U.S. immediately.
Therefore, to maintain your F-1 status, you must report employment to ISS as soon as you accept a job offer and before you exceed 90 days of unemployment. Possible consequences to remaining in the U.S. after the 90-day deadline without a job include denial of future immigration benefits, detention and deportation, etc.
There are various types of employment you may accept while on Post-Completion OPT. Any employment you choose must be directly related to your program of study and must be reported to ISS. When you report employment to ISS, you will be required to explain how your employment is directly related to your field of study.
Note: It is essential that you report all employment to ISS, and keep documentation (e.g. employment letters, contracts, timesheets, pay stubs, etc.) of all of your employment while on OPT. Such documentation should include the position held, proof of the duration of that position, contact information for your supervisor and a description of the work. If it is not clear from the job description that the work is related to your field of study, then you should obtain a letter from your supervisor stating how your degree relates to the position.
Each day of unemployment (including weekends) is counted towards the 90-day requirement for students on Post-Completion OPT. Time spent outside the U.S. counts as unemployment unless the travel was work-related or during an official leave from one’s job.
Your OPT I-20 must be signed by a Designated School Official (DSO) every 6 months. To request a new signature on your OPT I-20, please do the following:
1. Update your OPT E-forms. You must update your OPT E-forms even if the information you last submitted has not changed. Follow the directions below to update your employment and U.S. address.
2. Mail your original OPT I-20 to ISS, 210 Talbert Hall, Buffalo NY 14260.
Login to myISSS using your UBIT name and password. Once you have logged on, enter your current residential address on the “Update OPT Student Contact Information” E-Form. Then, update your employment information on the “Add or Update OPT Employment” E-Form. You will be required to upload a copy of your EAD card (front side only).
If you previously reported employment to ISS and are no longer working for that employer, you must report your end date of employment. To report your employment end date, first enter your previous employer’s information on the “Add or Update OPT Employment” E-Form. Then, on the same E-Form, enter your new employment details. You can report up to three employers on the same E-Form.
All students on OPT have a 60-day grace period after their EAD expires. You are permitted to remain inside the U.S. during those 60 days to prepare for your departure, apply to change your status (if eligible) or begin a new degree program. If you are not admitted to a new degree program or do not submit a change-of-status application before the end of the 60 days, you must leave the U.S. Note: During your 60-day grace period, you may not work.
Page Updated 5/18