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  • Emily McIntosh

On F-1 OPT? Make sure to update your SEVIS records

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some of the foreign nationals on Post-Completion Optional Practical Training (OPT) might be changing employers or looking for new jobs. If there is a change in employment status while a foreign national is on OPT, he/she should work with their Designated School Official (DSO) to update the information in their SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System) record. This includes change of employer and loss of employment.

When should I notify about the change?

Federal regulations require Foreign nationals on F-1 to notify their DSO within 10 days of any changes to their personal or employment information. DSOs must update the SEVIS record with the foreign national student’s information within 21 days.

Can I update my record online?

Yes, Foreign nationals on OPT can use Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) Portal to report information timely and directly. If you are unsure how to update the information in SEVP then contact your DSO for instructions.

Why is updating SEVIS important?

Maintaining SEVIS and SEVP is the responsibility of the Foreign National student on F-1 and their DSO. Failing to update the employer information may result in

  • The student exceeding unemployment limits and therefore failing to maintain F-1 nonimmigrant status

  • SEVP changing the student’s SEVIS record to “terminated” if they have exceeded unemployment limits

  • USCIS initiating revocation proceedings for the student’s Employment Authorization Document (EAD) if they have exceeded unemployment limits

  • The exceeded unemployment limits negatively affecting the student’s future benefit requests filed with USCIS

Where can I find more information?

The step-by-step instructions can be found on the SEVP Portal Help section on the Department of Homeland Security Study in the States website.

How can I calculate my period of unemployment?

The Unemployment Counter page can be used to calculate the period of unemployment during OPT.


Content in this publication is not intended as legal advice, nor should it be relied on as such. For additional information on the issues discussed, consult a WayLit-affiliated attorney or another qualified professional.



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