Optional Practical Training Employer Information Form
Information for students approved for Optional Practical Training
Please read this information carefully. A student is responsible for maintaining F-1 status while they are on Optional
Practical Training (OPT).
Federal regulations require an F-1 student on OPT to report ‘any change of name or address, or interruption of such
employment to the DSO for the duration of the authorized training’ within 10 days of any changes. A student is also
required to maintain full-time employment and report the details of the employment, including any changes in
employment status. Employment must be related to the student’s completed degree. A student may be required to
show proof that employment is related to his/her degree.
SEVP's OPT Policy Guidance states that the following activities are considered allowable employment on both pre-
completion and standard post-completion OPT, provided that the job is directly related to his/her program of study.
The following activities constitute employment for post-completion OPT:
Regular paid employment in a position directly related to the student’s program of study. For post-completion
OPT, the work must be for at least 20 hours per week. A student may work for multiple employers, as long as it
is directly related to his/her program of study.
Payment by multiple short-term multiple employers. Per SEVP, a student may work for multiple short-term
employers (gigs) BUT must maintain a list of all gigs, the dates and duration.
Work for hire. Per SEVP, this is also commonly referred to as 1099 employment where an individual performs a
service based on a contractual relationship rather than an employment relationship. If requested by DHS, a
student should be prepared to provide evidence showing the duration of the contract periods and the name and
address of the contracting company.
Self-employed business owner. A student may start a business and be self-employed. The student must be able
to prove that he/she has the proper business licenses and are actively engaged in a business related to his/her
Employment through an agency. Per SEVP, if a student is on post-completion OPT, he/she must be able to
provide evidence showing he/she worked an average of at least 20 hours per week while employed by the
Volunteers or unpaid interns: Standard OPT. Per SEVP OPT Policy Guidance, a student may work as a volunteer
or unpaid intern, where this practice does not violate any labor laws. The work should be at least 20 hours per
week for students on post-completion OPT. A student should be able to provide evidence, acquired from the
employer, to verify that he/she worked at least 20 hours per week during the period of employment. Please
note that if a student is unable to find paid employment and/or elect to work in a volunteer or unpaid
internship capacity, he/she must consult with a DSO before accepting employment.
90 Day Unemployment Rule
Immigration regulations for OPT state that if a student is not employed 90 days after the start date listed on the EAD
card, he/she is considered out of status. Unemployment is described as time spent without a qualifying job during OPT.
Each day that the student is not employed is counted toward the limit on unemployment time.
Center for International Education and Programs at Elgin Community College | 1700 Spartan Drive, B105 | Elgin, IL 60123
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Phone: +1.847.214.7809 | Fax: +1.847.931.4897