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F-1 Add, Edit, Delete Optional Practical Training (OPT) Employer

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F-1 Add, Edit, Delete Optional Practical Training (OPT) Employer

Last updated: July 22, 2021

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While on any type of optional practical training (OPT), a student is required to report the following to their designated school official (DSO):

  • Change in student’s legal name.
  • Change in student’s physical, mailing, or employer address while on OPT.
  • Change in employment or interruption of employment.
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OPT students can change their student address, change in employment, and interruption of employment in the SEVP Portal. The SEVP Portal Help section of Study in the States details what a student can do in the portal.

DSOs have 21 days from the date of a change to update SEVIS to reflect the changes.

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All employer Start Dates and End Dates must be within the Actual OPT-approved period of work authorization. Employer work dates that are outside this date range:

  • Affects the calculation of student’s days of unemployment.
  • Adds the student to the Students who have Approved OPT without Current Employer Information Alert list.

The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) has policy guidance on how to determine whether the OPT employment is directly related to the student’s major area of study and how to explain this relationship in SEVIS. It is the student’s responsibility to relate the training opportunity to the program of study. If the relationship is not clear, it is the student who must identify the connection.

Before you add an employer in SEVIS, the student should give you a written description which includes:

  • Job title
  • Employer name
  • Major area of study
  • Whether full time or the average number of hours worked per week
  • Description of regular job duties and how they directly relate to the degree that qualified the student for OPT. For example:
    • Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering: I work full-time as an Electrical Engineer at ABC Corporation, a government contractor. In my job, I analyze client requirements for electrical systems and provide them with cost estimates of such systems. My work requires understanding of electrical circuit theory, which I studied in-depth at the University of ABC.
    • Master's degree in Music: I am working at a hospital playing the harp in patient rooms. I also conduct hands-on, harp beginner workshops for long-term patients. On average, I work at the hospital 35 hours a week. My duties directly use the skills and knowledge I acquired from my coursework and degree in music therapy.

A student may have a special employment situation that requires the DSO to edit the student’s employment record; for example:

Circumstance How to Report
Change employers
  • Edit existing employer to reflect end date of employment.
  • Add new employer.
Self-employed, Independent Contractor

Enter the primary location where the student performs the work. 

Note: Depending on the nature of the employment, this may be a residence, office, or formal business.

One employer, but multiple sites

List in SEVIS the employment location that is best able to meet reporting responsibilities to the school and, through DSO communication, to DHS.

Note: For administrative practicality, the school may want to ensure that administrators at the primary employment location, in addition to knowing their reporting responsibilities to the school, have shared those responsibilities with any associated employment locations and received a commitment from them for their support.

Multiple short-term gigs [employment] in one period
  • Indicate the student is self-employed.
  • Enter in the Employment Remarks section what the student is doing; for example, playing music or acting with multiple gigs.
Volunteer
  • Enter the name and address of the company where the student volunteers.
  • Indicate in the Employment Remarks section that the student is a volunteer.
Unemployed
  • If the student did not have an employer, enter nothing.
  • If the student had an employer in the past, but is currently unemployed, edit the End Date for the previous employer.

Note: The End Date must be before the actual OPT approved period of work end date.

To report or update OPT participation for a student on any type of OPT:

1. Go to the Student Information page. 

Student Information page with OPT Request call out.png

2. Click OPT Request. The OPT Employment page opens.

OPT Employment page with Add Employer button highlighted

3. Click Add Employer or Edit in the Actions column next to the employer name:

  • Add Employer: The Add OPT Employer page opens.
  • Edit: The Edit OPT Employer page opens to update information about that employer.

Note: The fields on both pages are identical.

Screenshot of Add OPT Employer page with Add OPT Employer button highlighted

4. Enter or change the relevant information about the student’s job: (An asterisk (*) indicates a required field.)

Field  Descriptions
Explain How the Employment is Related to Student’s Course of Study*

Describe how the employment relates to the student’s major area of study.

Refer to the Relationship between Employment and the Student’s Major Area of Study section at the top of this article for more details and for sample entries for this field.

Note: Actively seeking employment (ASE) is not an acceptable entry in this field.

Self Employed checkbox
  • Check this box, if the student is self-employed.
  • If checked, SEVIS populates the Employer Name with the student’s name.

Note: Students on the STEM extension cannot be self-employed. 

Employer Name*

Enter the business name of the employer.

Note: Only special characters allowed are: - , . : &

Employer EIN

Enter the employer’s Employer Identification Number (EIN).

Note: This is a required field for students on the STEM extension.

Job Title

Enter the student’s job title.

* Start Date

Enter the date the student began the job: (Format: MM/DD/YYYY) 

  • This date cannot be before the Actual OPT Start Date.
  • DSOs can enter a date that is in the past.

Note: All employer Start Dates and End Dates must be within the Actual OPT start and end dates. Employer work dates outside this date range:

  • Affects the calculation of student’s days of unemployment.
  • Adds the student to the Students who have Approved OPT without Current Employer Information Alert list.
End Date
  • Enter the date the student stopped working for the employer. (Format: MM/DD/YYYY)
  • Leave this field blank, if the end date is not known.

Note: See above regarding employer start and end dates.

Full Time/Part Time*

Click either the Full Time or Part Time radio button.

Employer Address

Click Add Employer Address to enter the employer’s address.

  • This opens an Add Address modal like the one used to enter a student’s address.
  • Follow the guidance on entering U.S. addresses.

Note: SEVIS validates the employer address when Address Doctor is working.

[Supervisor] Last Name    
  • Enter the last name of the student’s supervisor. 
  • This is a required field for students on the STEM extension.
[Supervisor] First Name
  • Enter the first name of the student’s supervisor. 
  • This is a required field for students on the STEM extension.
Telephone Number
  • Enter the telephone number for the student’s supervisor. 
  • This is a required field for students on the STEM extension.
Email Address
  • Enter the email address for the student’s supervisor. 
  • This is a required field for students on the STEM extension.

5. Review the information and click either:

  • Add OPT Employer/Update OPT Employer: Adds the employer to the OPT authorization or updates the employment information. If successful:
    • Add/Update Successful page opens.
    • Employer should now be listed in the Employer Information section of the OPT Employer page, or the employment information was updated.
  • Cancel: Cancels the action and returns the user to the OPT Employment page.
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Repeat this process to add a second or a third employer, or to edit existing employer information.

A DSO may need to delete an employer for a variety of reasons. For example:

  • Employer withdrew the job offer before the student began work.
  • Student never worked for the employer.
  • DSO entered an employer in error.

The DSO can delete an employer before, during, or after the employer's expected period of employment. 

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If employment occurred for the student:

  • Do not delete previous employers.
  • Do not edit or overwrite the previous employer information to add a new employer.
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For students on post-completion or STEM OPT:

  • Deleting an employer may affect the status of a student’s record. These days count as unemployment, if there is not another concurrent employer.
  • SEVIS will terminate student records, if the student:
    • Exceeds 90 days of unemployment during post-completion OPT.
    • Exceeds 150 days of unemployment during post-completion and STEM periods.

Note: This functionality is currently turned off.

To delete an employer for a student on any type of OPT:

1. Go to the OPT Employment page. 

Screenshot of OPT Employment page with Delete Employer button highlighted

2. Click Delete next to the employer you want to delete. The Delete Employer Confirmation modal opens.

Screenshot of Delete Reason text box

3. Enter the *Delete Reason.

4. Click either:

  • Submit: Deletes the employer’s information. Delete Successful page opens.
  • Cancel: Cancels the action and returns the user to the OPT Employment page.
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The deleted employer still displays on the OPT Employment page, but indicates the date the employer was deleted.

Screenshot of OPT Employment page with deleted employer

If the student’s employer information in SEVIS is not accurate, DSOs have two ways to correct data in a student record. DSOs can:
1.    Add, edit, or delete OPT employer information for up to 60 days following the OPT Actual End Date. 
2.    Submit a Help Ticket (data fix) for any changes that cannot be requested through SEVIS. Contact the SEVP Response Center to request the data fix at:

  • 703-603-3400 or 1-800-892-4829
  • sevp@ice.dhs.gov

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