Reporting Employment while on OPT

Maintaining Immigration Status

While you are on post-completion OPT, your status is still F-1.  Your F-1 status is still your responsibility. To maintain your F-1 status:

  • You cannot begin working until you receive the EAD card and the start date on it arrives.
    • Due to current EAD card printing delays, students are eligible to begin working with their paper Approval Notice.
  • You will receive an email close to or on the start date of your EAD Card with instructions to log-in to the SEVP Portal. You should activate your account when you receive that email.
  • You have up to 90 days of unemployment time
  • The 90 days begins with the start date on the EAD card
  • If you reach 90 days, you are expected to leave the U.S. immediately.
  • You must work in a job that meets the job requirements listed here
  • Report your employment within 10 days of any change on the SEVP Portal.
  • Ensure that you have the documents you need to travel – see here for details
  • Update your address within 10 days of any change on the SEVP Portal.

OPT Reporting Requirements

You must report your employment/unemployment during OPT within 10 days of any changes on the SEVP Portal.

Information needed to report your employment in the SEVP Portal:

  • Employment dates & details
  • A statement on how your job is related to what you studied at Northwestern
  • Your residential address
  • You can request an I-20 after you report by submitting an “I-20 Reprint Request” under the “alumni” tab at