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Report Your OPT Employment

While you are on post-graduate OPT employment and OPT STEM extension, you must report key details about your employment to the Office of Global Learning. Employment reporting is mandatory in order to maintain your legal status and continue working in the United States.

SEVP Portal

The Student Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) portal is a tool that F-1 students on post-completion Optional Practical Training (OPT) or Science, Technology, Engineering And Mathematics (STEM) OPT must report changes of their home address, telephone number, and employer information.

On or after your start date of OPT as listed on your EAD, you will receive an email from SEVP with instructions for creating an account. This email will come from do-not-reply.sevp@ice.dhs.gov. This is a free account; no money is charged by the government to open this account.

You must use the SEVP portal to update your address and employer information.

Check your spam or junk mail folders of your Cornell and personal email accounts. If you still do not see it or if there is a problem with accessing the SEVP portal, then you must contact the Office of Global Learning. 

SEVP has created an SEVP portal help section on Study in the States website with step-by-step instructions and instructional videos.

Post-Graduate OPT Reporting Requirements

If you are on 12-month OPT after graduation, you must report your OPT employment and any other changes of status within 10 days. Report the following:

  • Changes to your name, residence, or mailing address
  • Any employment changes (ending a job, changing jobs)
  • Names and addresses of all OPT employers
  • Start and end dates of all OPT employment
  • New immigration status (change to H-1B, for example)
  • You decide to leave the United States, so you will not start or continue OPT

Make sure all of your OPT employment is directly related to your field of study.

What if I don’t report a change in status within 10 days?

If you fail to submit the required updates within 10 days of the change, your F-1 record and your valid F-1 status may be terminated.

Do I need to be employed continuously while on OPT?

While on OPT, you may only be unemployed a total of 90 days. Begin to count days without employment from the start date on your EAD. You should include any days before you begin employment and any days between jobs.

How do I prove my OPT job is in my field of study?

For each job you hold, maintain evidence of your position and the amount of time you worked there. Include the job title, contact information for your supervisor or manager, and a description of the work you did. A signed letter from your hiring official, supervisor, or manager stating how your degree is related to the work you performed is especially helpful.

Requirements for STEM OPT Reporting

While you are on an OPT STEM extension, both you and your employer have certain STEM OPT reporting obligations.

  1. Report Status Change
  2. Check E-Verify
  3. Make 6-Month Reports
  4. Track Days Unemployed

1 Report changes of status within 10 days.

You must report your STEM OPT employment and any other changes of status within 10 days. Report the following:

  • Changes to your name, residence, or mailing address
  • Any employment changes (ending a job, changing jobs)
  • Names and addresses of all OPT employers
  • Start and end dates of all OPT employment
  • You decide to leave the United States, so you will not start or continue your OPT STEM extension

2 Make sure your employer is enrolled in E-Verify.

3 Submit a STEM OPT report every six months.

Your first report is due six months after the start date of your STEM EAD. You must submit the reports within 10 days of the due date. Learn more about your required STEM OPT reports below.

4 Track the number of days you are unemployed.

While on STEM OPT, you can have no more than 150 days without employment. The total of 150 days includes any days of unemployment that accrued during the time you were on regular OPT.

What if I don’t report a change in status within 10 days?

If you fail to submit the required updates within 10 days of the change, your F-1 record and your valid F-1 status may be terminated.

What if I submit one of my reports late?

If you fail to submit the required reports within 10 days of the due date, your F-1 record and your valid F1 status may be terminated.

Does my employment have to be related to my degree field?

Your employment while you are on STEM OPT must be directly related to your STEM degree.

Required STEM OPT Reports

There are several reports that you are required to submit while you are on STEM OPT status:

6-Month Report

Six months after the start of your STEM EAD, you must confirm your personal address and employer information. Even if there has been no change in your situation, you must complete the OPT Employment Report.

12-Month Evaluation

Twelve months after the start of your STEM EAD, do the following:

18-Month Report

Eighteen months after the start of your STEM EAD, you must confirm your personal address and employer information. Even if there has been no change in your situation, you must complete the OPT Employment Report.

24-Month Evaluation/STEM OPT Ending

At the end of 24 months or when your STEM OPT is ending, do the following:

STEM OPT: Special Circumstances to Report

While you are on STEM OPT status, there are several special circumstances that you must report ...

Leaving a Job

If you stop working for an employer—at the end of your 24 months of STEM OPT or at any point in your training—email a completed final evaluation to the Office of Global Learning. The evaluation form (Final Evaluation) is on page 5 in your I-983 STEM OPT training plan.

Changing Employers

If you change employers during your STEM OPT, do the following:
•    Complete the OPT Employment Report.
•    Email a new I-983 STEM OPT training plan to the Office of Global Learning.
•    If you changed your residential address, email, or phone number, complete a change of address form.

Material Changes to I-983

Report any material changes to or deviations from your I-983 training plan. Do the following:
•    Complete a revised I-983 STEM OPT training plan. Email it to the Office of Global Learning.
•    Complete the OPT Employment Report.
•    If you changed your residential address, email, or phone number, complete a change of address form.

Material changes include, but are not limited to …

  • Changes to the employer's commitments or your learning objectives in the I-983
  • New employer EIN (for example, due to a change in ownership or structure)
  • Reduction in compensation (pay cut) that is not due to fewer hours worked
  • Significant decrease in work hours per week

Reporting Requirements for Your STEM OPT Employers

When your employment ends— at the end of your 24 months of STEM OPT or at any point in your training—your employer must notify Cornell within five days.

Ask your employer to email the Office of Global Learning. The message must include your name, SEVIS ID number, and the start and end dates of your STEM OPT employment.

 

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