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Practical Training Indicators and Dates

Last updated 31-Jan-2018

Active F-1 OPT/M-1 Practical Training Status Indicator

On the Actual OPT Start date, the student’s SEVIS record displays an indicator to show that the student is in an active period of authorized OPT or practical training.

pay attention to an important pointThe active OPT/practical training indicator applies to both F-1 OPT and M-1 practical training. For ease of discussion, in this section only the term OPT will be used, but should be understood to include F-1 OPT, as well as M-1 practical training.

Note: The indicator only displays for active OPT; not if the actual OPT date end is in the past.

Example: OPT Status Indicator in a List
Screenshot of Alert List for students with requested, pending, or approved OPT. Black dots in the “Active” column show student records in a period of active OPT

 

Note: When the OPT status indicator appears in a list, it is a dark dot in the first column [Active] of the table.
 

Example: OPT Status Indicator on the Student Information Page

 

Screenshot of Program Information section of the Student Information page with words “Active STEM OPT” highlighted in yellow to show that the student is in a period of Active OPT, in this case, STEM OPT.
 

Note: The OPT Status indicator on the Student Information page is highlighted text, which clearly states the types of Active OPT:

OPT Type Student Status
Active Pre-Completion OPT The student is in a period of approved OPT, while studying towards the degree.
Active Post-Completion OPT The student is in a period of approved OPT and the work permission starts after the Program End Date listed in SEVIS; or for a student in a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree program, after completion of all course requirements for degree (excluding thesis or the equivalent).
Active 17-month OPT 
  • The student is working following an approved 17-month extension of post-completion OPT.
  • This type of OPT is also known as STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics).
Active Cap-Gap OPT The student’s OPT was extended, because an employer filed a qualifying H-1B cap-subject petition with USCIS.
Understanding the Three Sets of OPT Dates

Understanding the Three Sets of OPT Dates

pay attention to an important pointThe OPT dates apply to both F-1 OPT and M-1 practical training. For ease of discussion, in this section only the term OPT will be used, but should be understood to include F-1 OPT, as well as M-1 practical training.
SEVIS displays three different sets of OPT-related dates:
  • DSO Recommended [dates]
  • USCIS-Approved [OPT dates]
  • Actual [OPT dates}

     

    Screenshot of OPT Employment table listing OPT recommendations with the three sets of OPT-related dates

Type of OPT Date Description Entering into SEVIS/Constraints
DSO-Recommended OPT Start Date The date the student wants OPT to begin.
  • DSO enters this date into SEVIS.
  • For Post-Completion OPT, this date cannot be earlier than the Program End Date.
DSO-Recommended OPT End Date The date the student wants OPT to end – or no more than 365 days from the DSO Recommended Start Date.
  • DSO enters this date into SEVIS. 
  • For Pre-Completion OPT, this date cannot be after the Program End Date.
USCIS-Approved OPT Start Date The date OPT is authorized to begin.
  • Reflected on the Employment Authorization Document (EAD).
  • Received from USCIS via interface and automatically noted in SEVIS.
USCIS-Approved OPT End Date The date OPT is authorized to end.
  • Reflected on the EAD.
  • Received from USCIS via interface and automatically noted in SEVIS.
Actual OPT Start Date The date OPT actually begins.
  • SEVIS populates this field. 
  • By default, it is the same date as the USCIS-Approved Start Date.
Actual OPT End Date The date OPT legally ends.
  • SEVIS populates this field. 
  • Initially, it is the same as the USCIS-Approved End Date.
  • It is modified to reflect:
    • Transfer Release Date — when the student transfers to another school.
    • Registration Date — when the student changes their educational level.
    • Program completion
    • Cap-Gap extension, if a qualifying H-1B cap-subject petition was filed with USCIS.

NOTE: SEVIS does not change the Actual OPT End Date, if a reinstatement, data fix, or correction request is approved. Call the SEVIS Help Desk (1-800-892-4829) for a data fix, if needed.

Icon Guide

See the SEVIS Help Icons on the SEVIS Help Hub for a quick-reference of the icons used in this user guide.