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Optional Practical Training (OPT)

International Student Services

» Optional Practical Training (OPT)

Optional Practical Training or OPT allows you to work for one year, following graduation, in a job related to your major or field of study. Each semester, International Student Services announces an OPT session for graduating seniors and grads which you are encouraged to attend for more detailed information. You can also make an appointment to speak with International Student Services about OPT directly. Students must have been in good status as an F-1 visa student for at least one academic year at the time they are applying. You can now submit your OPT application via mail or online.

OPT Paper Filing

OPT Online Filing

How to Report Employment to SEVIS

The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) has launched the SEVP Portal for F-1 students participating in post-completion optional practical training (OPT). The portal will allow these (OPT approved) F-1 students to report personal and employer information directly to SEVP. Through the portal, these students will be able to:

  • Add or edit their phone number.
  • Add or edit their mailing and physical address.
  • Add or edit their employer information.

OPT Reporting Requirements

F-1 students who are currently participating in OPT is required to report any changes to employment or personal information in SEVIS within ten days. Any work during OPT must be directly related to your major area of study. You must be working at least 20 hours per week total.


  1. Complete the OPT Reporting Form and email to ISS.
  2. Scan your EAD card (front and back) and email to ISS if not previously submitted.
  3. Login to SEVP Portal and update your information.

The student will receive an email from do-not-reply.SEVP@ice.dhs.gov. The subject line of the email will be: "Optional Practical Training Approval - the next step." Create an SEVP Portal account. The only way to get to the portal registration page is to use the link in this email. If a student does not receive a notification email they should:

  • Check their spam or junk mail folders.
  • Contact their DSO to:
  • Confirm that the correct email address is in their SEVIS record.
  • Request that the portal resend the account creation email.

 Visit Travel on OPT for information if you plan to travel outside the U.S. and then re-enter.


Inernational Student Services provides general guidance. Any advice provided to you by the ISS should not be construed as legal advice.

Additionally, due to the fluid nature of governmental interpretation, government agencies such as USCIS/ICE/CBP may change their interpretation of immigration laws/regulations and eligibility requirements for benefits at any time. We will do our best to provide the most current guidance.

Each case is fact-specific and it is advised that you contact an experienced immigration attorney if you have questions regarding your situation.

Frequently Asked Questions for OPT

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