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After you Apply for Optional Practical Training, OPT

Two - three weeks after submitting your OPT application, you will receive a Notification of Receipt from USCIS. In the upper left-hand corner, you will see a code beginning with EAC or something similar then followed by a set of numbers. This will be your case number. You can track the status of your case online at https://egov.uscis.gov/cris/Dashboard.do using this number.

It can take between 45 and 90 days for your application to be processed. When your application is approved, USCIS will send you an Approval Notice then the Employment Authorization Document (EAD)— a card with your picture on it and the dates you are authorized to work under OPT. NOTE: You cannot begin working until the OPT is approved and the start date listed on the card has occurred.

While you are waiting for your EAD Card (OPT application is “pending”)

  • Changed your address? Update your address online at https://egov.uscis.gov/crisgwi/go?action=coa or call the National Service Center at 1-800-375-5283. Do this immediately to avoid a delay in the receipt of your EAD card.
  • Travelling abroad? Read the OPT and Travel section of this packet and consult with the International Student Coordinator before making plans.

Cancelling OPT

If your plans change after you apply, contact OIE as soon as possible. It may be possible to cancel your OPT request depending upon the status of your application. Then you could re-apply in the future if you are eligible. However, after the OPT start date has occurred and you have received your EAD card, it is not possible to cancel OPT. Note: the OPT application fee is non-refundable.

After OPT is approved: things to remember

  • Your I-20 must be signed for travel every six months
  • You cannot accumulate more than 90 days of unemployment during the 12 months or 120 days through the STEM extension period.
  • Make a copy of your EAD in case it is lost or stolen
  • Continue to check your UVM email while you are on OPT. You are still considered an F-1 student during this period.

Reporting Requirements Student must report to OIE (send an email to the International Coordinator) within 10 days any change of:

  • Legal name
  • Residential or mailing address
  • Employer name and address
  • Termination or loss of employment if within your OPT period
  • Change of status (i.e. to H-1B)
  • Transfer to another F-1 program or change of educational level

Last modified January 26 2011 07:48 AM

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