Requirements During OPT

Once you receive your EAD, you are required to:

  1. Submit a copy of your EAD card to ISSS
  2. Report address and employment information within 10 days of any change in your SEVP (Student and Exchange Visitor Program) Portal account. Be aware that the SEVP Portal will not allow you to enter an employment start date that is more than 10 days in the past, so it is essential that you report your employment on time.
  3. Work at least 20 hours per week in one or more jobs that are related to your major
  4. Not exceed 90 days of unemployment

Review the following for additional details about these requirements.

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Submit Your EAD Card to ISSS

When you receive your EAD card, the first thing you should do is read the information carefully. If you find any errors contact ISSS immediately. An ISSS advisor can help you get a corrected card.

If the information on your EAD card is correct, then scan or take a picture of it. Submit the copy to ISSS using the Upload a Copy of EAD Form in MyISSS.

Update SEVP Portal

You should create a SEVP Portal account when you receive the email from [email protected] even if you do not have updates at that time. The link to create your account will expire in 31 days.

As an F-1 student on post-completion Optional Practical Training (OPT), you are required to use the SEVP Portal to report changes to your home address, telephone number, and employer information updates.

What is the SEVP Portal?

The SEVP Portal (or portal) is a system that allows you to have limited access to update your SEVIS record during OPT. You can access the portal from both mobile devices and computers.

What is a SEVIS record?

SEVIS stands for Student and Exchange Visitor Information System. It is a nationwide, Internet-based system that the U.S. government uses to maintain accurate and current information about non-immigrant students and their dependents (F and J). ISSS has access to SEVIS records for UMN students in order to create and update I-20s, report address and enrollment information, etc.

How will I be able to access the SEVP Portal?

You will create your own portal account. On the start date of your EAD card, or soon after, you will receive an email message with instructions on how to create your portal account. The email will come to your email address. It will be from [email protected] and the subject line will be "OPT Approval - the next step. Create an SEVP Portal account."

What if I don't receive the email? What if I have problems using the SEVP Portal?

First check your UMN spam folder (directions here). 

If you still do not see it, or if you have problems, inform ISSS by filling out the SEVP Portal Assistance Request form in MyISSS.

What must a student on OPT do in the SEVP Portal?

After creating an account and logging in to the portal, you must:

  • Report changes to your physical address (where you live), mailing address, and telephone number
  • Report updates about your employment information

You are required to report these changes and updates within 10 days of the change.

You may also:

  • Review details about all employers in one place
  • Review details about your post-completion OPT

Any updates you make in the portal will be sent directly to SEVIS.

How will I know the information I enter in the SEVP Portal is in SEVIS?

What you see in the SEVP Portal is the same information as in SEVIS. It is a real-time update.

Do I have to use the SEVP Portal?

Yes. You are required to report address, telephone number, and employment updates directly in the SEVP Portal.

You must also continue to update your residential address and telephone number in MyU while you are on OPT so the University of Minnesota can contact you.

Will ISSS make the updates?

No. ISSS will not make these changes for you.

What if I do not report my employment information or changes to my address or telephone?

F-1 students have always been required to report this information within 10 days of the change or update. This requirement has not changed; the SEVP Portal is just a different, and more direct, way for you to report.

Failure to report employment information or changes to your address or telephone within 10 days of the update or change may result in the loss of your OPT status or other immigration benefits. The SEVP Portal will not allow you to report employment that started more than 10 days in the past, so it is essential that you report your employment on time. For now, ISSS can make the change if you complete the SEVP Portal Assistance Request form in MyISSS

Help! My OPT has expired. I still have an update to make and I can't get in to the portal.

If it is after the end date of your EAD card, you will no longer be able to use the SEVP Portal to report any changes or end of employment. Inform ISSS by completing the SEVP Portal Assistance Request form in MyISSS

Where can I find more information?

SEVP has created a SEVP Portal Help section with:

If you have any questions about the portal or need assistance, call the SEVP Response Center at 703-603-3400.

Follow OPT Employment Rules

Employment must be at least 20 hours per week, and it must be related to the UMN major you just completed.

Employment on OPT can be:

  • Paid employment
  • 1 or more jobs
  • Contract employment
  • Self-employment
  • Employment through an agency or consulting firm
  • Unpaid internship
  • Volunteer work

You should keep written documentation of all your employment during OPT.

Accumulate Less Than 90 Days of Unemployment

You are allowed 90 days of unemployment during the 12-month period of your post-completion OPT. 

If you cannot find employment that begins within 90 days, you must depart the U.S. no later than the 90th day after your post-completion OPT began.

If you have accumulated more than 90 days of unemployment, you will no longer be in F-1 status. Once your F-1 status expires, you are required to leave the U.S. immediately. 

Last updated: July 1, 2022