Frequently Asked Questions
Can I travel out of the country while I am on post completion OPT?
your post-completion OPT has been approved (EAD card has been issued
by USCIS) and you have a job or a job offer, you may leave and re-enter
the U.S. in order to begin or resume employment.
After USCIS has
issued an EAD card for post-completion OPT, in order to have the best
chance of re-entering the U.S. without problems, you should be sure you
have the following documents:
- Passport (valid for six months after you plan to re-enter the U.S.)
- Valid F-1 visa stamp in your passport (this requirement does not apply to Canadian citizens)
- I-20 (with a valid travel signature no older than six months*)
- EAD card
- Evidence that you already have a job in the U.S. or that you have a job offer.
you need to apply for a new F-1 visa, you should also be sure to have
your EAD card and evidence that you already have a job in the U.S. or
that you have a job offer in addition to the usual documents required
for a visa application.
* Regulations state that during
post-completion OPT, the travel signature should be no older than six
months. It is recommended while on post-completion OPT that you get a
valid travel signature every six months. Source: 8CFR214.2(f)(13)(ii)
a student who has an EAD card but does not have a job or a job offer
leaves the US during the post-completion OPT period, OPT ends. Border
officials might not allow someone in this situation to re-enter
the U.S. Thus, students who do not have a U.S. job or a U.S. job offer
but who plan to leave and re-enter the U.S. after their EAD card has
been issued (their OPT has been approved by USCIS) are taking a risk.
For more information, see U.S. Department of Homeland Security FAQ for Travel
What if I want to work in the US longer than I am authorized to work with OPT?
Only students on a qualified STEM program may apply for a 24 month extension to OPT.
What is my status while on OPT?
you are still on the U of F I-20 as an F-1 student. Remember to report
your new address to our office within 10 days, when you move. If you
continue your studies after OPT, meet or contact the Assistant Director
of Immigration to find out about transferring your SEVIS record.
Can I study while on OPT?
cannot go to school full time while you are on OPT. If you switch
educational levels (i.e. Bachelor's to Masters or Master's to Doctorate)
you will lose any remaining OPT time. You can take “incidental"
What if my EAD card is lost?
will need to resubmit your entire application and the I-765 form (check
the box that states you are renewing a lost or stolen card.) You will
need to pay the $410.00 fee again.