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OPT Approved

Even when you are on OPT, you will still be responsible for maintaining F-1 status.  Marymount University will still be maintaining your F-1 visa status.
You are therefore obligated by the Department of Homeland Security to:

1.  Provide ISSS a copy of your EAD

You must have your EAD card when you start working and you cannot start working before the start date printed in the card.

Submit a copy of your EAD to ISSS to receive an updated I-20:
  1. Log in to the ISSS Portal.
  2. Navigate to Tab 4.
  3. Click OPT Card (EAD) Upload.

Always double check the information printed on the EAD to ensure there are no mistakes.  If you see a mistake on your EAD, contact ISSS immediately.

2.  Report Any Employment or Personal Information Changes within 10 days of a change

Always report any new employment you undertake while on OPT.  Report your employer’s name, address, your employment start and end dates, and hours worked per week as well as subsequent changes.
Also report any updates to your address, phone number, email, or name.
There are two ways to report:
  • In the ISSS Portal
    1. Log in to the ISSS portal.
    2. Click on I am no longer an active MU student, enter your email and reset your password. Save that password for future reference.
    3. Once in the portal go to Tab 4:
      • To report Employment: Select the OPT - STEM OPT Employer Reporting request.
      • To report Personal Contact Information: Select the Contact Information Update request.
  • In the SEVP Portal
    1. Set up your SEVP Portal: On the day your employment starts, DHS's Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) will send a link inviting you to create an SEVP Portal Account. The mail will be sent to the address you have in SEVIS from Please always check your Spam, Junk, or Trash folders to see if this email gets redirected.
    2. Once you have set up your account, log in to your SEVP portal account and enter your employer and job information or any other personal information change.
If the ISSS portal or your SEVP account are blocked, please contact to request a password reset.

 3.  Engage in only appropriate types of work

Employment must be related to your field of study as listed on your I-20.  You are required to provide ISSS a brief written description of how employment relates to your major.
Types of Work that are valid as employment while on OPT:
  • Regular paid employment for at least 20 Hours per week. (You may work for multiple employers if it is directly related to your program of study.)
  • Short-term multiple employments such as in the music and art field.
  • Work for hire or provide services by contractual relationships.
  • Self-employed business owner. You must work full time and show evidence of business licenses.
  • Employment through an agency.
  • Volunteer or unpaid internship for at least 20 hours a week in a position related to your field of study. This can be counted as “employment”. Document your volunteer position, responsibilities and dates and report it to ISS to avoid accumulating days towards the 90-day unemployment limit.

4.  Report periods of unemployment

There are limits on unemployment. Students may have up to 90 days of accrued unemployment during post-completion OPT.  If this is exceeded the student is considered to have violated their immigration status.
Failure to report employment will put your status at risk. When a student reaches the 90-days unemployment limit, SEVP may automatically terminate the SEVIS record.

5.  Get approval for travel

ISSS cautions against travel while your OPT application is pending.  After you have received your EAD, you may resume travel plans.

Make sure your I-20 is signed for travel within 6 months. If you need a new travel signature, submit your request through the ISSS portal.  Make sure your passport is valid at least 6 months into the future.  Make sure that your visa stamp is valid. If your visa is not valid for re-entry, plan accordingly to renew your visa while overseas at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate

Carry the following documents with you to be inspected upon your re-entry to the US:
  • Valid Passport
  • Valid Visa
  • I-20 with valid travel signature
  • Valid EAD card
  • Proof of employment, such as an offer letter