What do I need to do after submitting my OPT application?
- Wait for your OPT approval notice and EAD card. This may take 30-45 days.
- After receiving your EAD card, email ISGSS@lewisu.edu:
- Fill out the OPT employer form
- Submit a copy of your EAD card
- Submit a copy of your form I-797 “Notice of Action” For Employment Authorization
- Submit a copy of your OPT offer letter.
- Our office will issue an updated i20 with approved OPT and employer information in 5 business days for receiving your approval email.
Please remember that you are still an F-1 student even though you are doing OPT. If you do not report to our office within 90 days after your approved OPT start date, your status will be terminated.
If you cannot find a job within 90 days of the start of your OPT, then you must make plans to depart the US immediately or change to some other status in the US.
What happens if I submit and paid my OPT but failed to graduate on time?
If you find that you will not graduate on time, please contact our office (ISGSS@lewisu.edu) immediately. Please also take careful note of the program end date on your I-20 with the OPT Request. Any requested changes to an I-20 (including program extensions) must be made before the program end date. SEVIS Correction Requests are only approved if a student can show proof (email, etc.) that they asked a DSO for a program extension before the program end date.
Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) Portal
This is an important tool that lets students on OPT and STEM OPT meet their legal reporting requirements. Students can use the SEVP portal to report these changes, or they can ask the school’s Designated School Official to report it for them. SEVP is not SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System). Students cannot access SEVIS. Only students with approved OPT or STEM OPT can create a SEVP portal. Once your OPT is approved, you will receive an email notice that includes a link to the SEVP portal registrations. If you have not received the portal link within 1-2 months after your approved OPT, please email ISGSS@lewisu.edu for a reset link.
What can I do after my 12-month OPT period?
If you are eligible for a STEM extension, email ISGSS@lewisu.edu. Your STEM extension application window opens 90 days before your OPT end date. To check whether you are eligible for the 24-month STEM extension, check your CIP code on your i20 if it matches on this website. Check the STEM OPT extension document on our ISGSS website for more details.
Traveling while on OPT
It is not recommended to travel while OPT is pending. You may travel outside of the US; however, there will be risks in re-entering the US without proper documentations. If your OPT is approved and you have a job offer, prepare the following before traveling and for re-entry:
- Email ISGSS@lewisu.edu 2 weeks before your travel date
- Bring your valid passport and visa
- Bring your updated i20
- Bring your EAD card and OPT job offer letter