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Immigration

F-1 Post-Completion OPT: Reporting Requirements

Students in F-1 status authorized for employment under OPT are responsible for maintaining their nonimmigrant status. According to Federal Regulations, F-1 students are required to report information directly to the ISO regarding their employment as well as changes to personal information and immigration status. Failure to comply with these reporting requirements may result in denial of future benefits (i.e. extension of employment under the H-1B OPT Cap-Gap rule and STEM OPT program) and termination of status and OPT authorization. You are required to report the following information via iMIT.mit.edu.  See section below for how to report.

You are required to report the following information:

  1. Issuance of EAD card (must submit a copy it via iMIT as soon as the card arrives)
  2. Change of legal name or citizenship
  3. Change of current residential address. If mailing address is different than residential address, then the student must report both addresses. Report this within 10 days of the change.
  4. Change of US telephone number
  5. Change of primary and alternate email addresses
  6. Beginning and end date of all employment
  7. Name of the employer(s) and mailing address
  8. Type of employment - whether the job is self-employment as business owner, contractual/work for hire, multiple gigs, or volunteer in your field of study
  9. Number of hours you work, full time (at least 20+ hours per week) or part time (20 hours or less per week)
  10. Unemployment longer than 10 days (report date of last job)
  11. Decision to end employment/OPT and leave the U.S.A.
  12. Transfer and/or beginning of new program of study
  13. Change of visa status (provide documentation of change of status)

Note: The same reporting is required during the H-1B Cap-Gap extension of OPT and penalties for failure to comply also apply.

How to Report

For Students or Alumni with active Kerberos IDs

  1. 1. Go to iMIT.mit.edu
  2. 2. Log in to Full Client Services for Students
  3. 3. Open “F-1 Practical Training”
  4. 4. Click on “Reporting Requirements for OPT”
  5. 5. Submit the following forms as necessary
    1. Submit OPT EAD Card
    2. Contact Information on OPT
      (Available to Alumni on Post-Completion OPT students only.  Current Students should update their contact information via iMIT->Biographical Information->Your Contact Information.)
    3. Report US Address on OPT
      (Available to Alumni on Post-Completion OPT students only.  Current Students should update their U.S. Address via WEBSIS (student.mit.edu).  From WEBSIS, click on "for Students", then "Biographic and Emergency Records", then "Addresses and Phone Numbers", scroll down and update your "SEVIS U.S." AND "SEVIS International" address.)
    4. Add New Employer Information on OPT
    5. Edit Employer Information on OPT
    6. Report No Longer on OPT or Currently Unemployed

For Alumni without active Kerberos IDs

  1. 1. Go to iMIT.mit.edu
  2. 2. Log in to Limited Client Services for Alumni
  3. 3. Open “F-1 Practical Training”
  4. 4. Click on “Reporting Requirements for OPT”
  5. 5. Submit the following forms as necessary
    1. Submit OPT EAD Card
    2. Contact Information on OPT
      (Available to Alumni on Post-Completion OPT students only.)
    3. Report US Address on OPT
      (Available to Alumni on Post-Completion OPT students only.)
    4. Add New Employer Information on OPT
    5. Edit Employer Information on OPT
    6. Report No Longer on OPT or Currently Unemployed

Travel While on Post-completion OPT

Travel while on OPT is not restricted. However, in order to reenter the US after you complete your degree and during the entire OPT period, you should be in possession of your EAD card, OPT I-20 with travel signature, a valid F-1 visa, a valid passport, and a letter from your employer verifying employment.  If you are missing any one of these documents you risk being denied entry and losing your OPT. While on OPT the travel signature on the I-20 form is valid for only 6 months.

Alumni/ae who need an updated travel signature during post-completion OPT should request a new I-20 from your ISO advisor directly by email with subject line: ‘OPT Travel I-20, MIT ID#xxxxxxxxx’.  Please make sure that your reporting requirements to the ISO are up-to-date prior to your email request and include a mailing address in your email.

Periods of Unemployment While on OPT

After completion of degree, your F-1 status while on post-completion OPT depends on your employment. You are not permitted to accumulate more than a total of 90 days of unemployment for the entire period of 12 months of OPT. All students on post-completion OPT begin accumulating unemployment time if they are not employed in a job related to their major field of study (qualified employment).

What constitutes qualified employment?

  • paid employment, part-time or full-time that is for multiple employers, short-term multiple employers (performing artists), contracting work, self-employed (starting a business), employment through an agency (must be at least 20 hours/week).
  • unpaid employment as volunteer, intern, that does not violate labor laws and is at least 20 hrs/week.

Important: Accumulating more than 90 days of unemployment is a violation of your immigration status that could trigger termination of practical training. You may be required to apply for a reinstatement and lose the eligibility for STEM OPT Extension. (For more information, see the ISO webpage on STEM OPT Extension or Cap-Gap rule.)

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