Optional Practical Training (OPT) Reporting Requirements

Federal regulation permits F-1 nonimmigrant students to apply for authorization to engage in Optional Practical Training (OPT) that is directly related to their major area of study. 8 CFR 214.2(f)(10)(ii)(A).

Please see Sample Explanations of a Direct Relationship (PDF).

Pre-completion OPT

F-1 students on Pre-completion OPT have a legal requirement to report employment to ISSS. 

  1. Log into iEagle > Click on Optional Practical Training (OPT) >EAD Card Upload
  2. Log into iEagle > Click on Optional Practical Training (OPT) > OPT Employment Information.

Post-Completion OPT

F-1 students on Post-completion OPT have legal requirements to report to both the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and ISSS to maintain status.

Failure to comply may lead to the termination of immigration status.

SEVP Portal: Within 3 days of your OPT start date you will receive an email from the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) to your AU email with a link and instructions on how to create your portal account. Please create your SEVP portal account as soon as you receive the email from SEVP as the link is only valid for a short period of time.

Note: Students must use their AU email to create their SEVP portal account.

  • Correct Format: “xx1234a@student.american.edu.”

Post-completion OPT students will use the SEVP portal to report any changes in address, contact information and employment directly to the U.S. government as soon as it occurs and within 10 days of the change.

SEVIS will automatically calculate students’ total days of unemployment. Please remember to report employment on your SEVP Portal account as soon as you know you have employment.

Your employment start date cannot be prior to your OPT start date.

Post-completion OPT students will use iEagle to report the following to ISSS as soon as it occurs.

  1. Employment Authorization Document (EAD): As soon as you receive your EAD card, please review it for accuracy and upload a copy of the front and back to iEagle > Click on Optional Practical Training (OPT) > EAD Card Upload.
  2. Address and Contact Information: After graduation, please continue to report any changes in address or phone number through iEagle> Click on Current Student > Address and Contact Information Update.
  3. Employment: Please report employment and any changes in employer or position through iEagle > Click on Optional Practical Training (OPT) > OPT Employment Information.
  4. Changing Immigration Status: Please inform ISSS via email at isssimmigration@american.edu if you have changed your immigration status before your OPT end date.
  5. Ending OPT Early: Please inform ISSS if you decide to leave the United States permanently before your OPT end date. Log into iEagle > Click on Optional Practical Training (OPT) > Ending OPT Early. 

    Do not submit this e-form if you are remaining in the US and changing education level at AU or transferring to another US institution.

STEM OPT Extension

Please review reporting requirements here.


Please contact ISSS immediately, if you:

  1. Decide not to file your OPT application
  2. Receive a Request for Evidence (RFE) from USCIS
  3. Receive a Rejection Notice from USCIS
  4. Receive a Denial Notice from USCIS
  5. Decide to end OPT early (before your OPT end date): Submit the “Ending OPT Early” e-form on iEagle.
  6. Decide to transfer your immigration status to another U.S. institution: Submit the "SEVIS Transfer-out Request" e-form in iEagle.
  7. Change immigration status: Email isssimmigration@american.edu proof of new status.

You may contact the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) at 1-800-375-5283 or via the online "Emma" bot for an update on your pending case if:

  1. You do not receive a receipt notice within 6 weeks of mailing your OPT application.
  2. 80 days have passed since the day USCIS received your application and you have not received your EAD card. Please note that the current EAD processing time is 2-4 months.
  3. You do not receive your EAD card or the card was issued with errors.

You will receive an email with instructions on creating a portal account. This email will come from do-not-reply.sevp@ice.dhs.gov. If you do not see the email, check your spam or junk mail folder. If you still do not see it, contact ISSS to have the email sent again.

The SEVP Portal allows you to:

  • View details about your Post-completion OPT.
  • Report changes to your address, telephone number and employer information. 
  • View and update data on all your employers in one place.

You may reset your own account by clicking on the "password reset" option on the SEVP Portal log-in page. If this does not work, please contact ISSS to help reset your account.

The SEVP Portal works best in Firefox and Chrome. 

SEVIS only recognizes your American University email address. 

You must use @student.american.edu as the ending of your email account when you log in. 

No, you will not be given access to create a SEVP Portal account until your OPT has been approved and your start date has passed.

Please make sure you are entering the address in the correct format indicated in the SEVP Portal. The city, state, and zip code must be listed in the separate section for each and not on the street address lines.

If you are sure you entered the address properly and you still cannot make the change, please contact ISSS