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:

Log into iEagle > Click on Optional Practical Training (OPT) > OPT Reporting > Add Employment.

Post-Completion OPT

F-1 students have legal reporting requirements to maintain status during Post-completion OPT.

While on Post-completion OPT, F-1 students are required to report to both the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and ISSS. Failure to comply may lead to the termination of immigration status.

What to report to Department of Homeland Security (DHS)

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.

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

Note: On October 26, 2018, SEVIS started to 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.

What to report to ISSS

  1. Employment Authorization Document (EAD): As soon as you receive your EAD card, please review it for accuracy and upload a copy of front and back to iEagle > Click on Optional Practical Training (OPT) > OPT Reporting > Upload my EAD Card.
  2. Address and Contact Information: Before your OPT start date, please continue to report any changes in address, email, or phone number by logging into myAU's contact information screen. After your OPT start date please report any changes in address and contact information directly to the U.S. government through the SEVP portal.
  3. Employment: Please report employment and any changes in employer or position through iEagle > Click on Optional Practical Training (OPT) > OPT Reporting > Add Employment.
  4. Ending OPT Early: Please inform ISSS if you decide to end your OPT early (before your OPT end date). Log into iEagle > Click on Optional Practical Training (OPT) > OPT Reporting > End OPT Early. You will be asked the date you have left or will leave the United States.
  5. Change of Status: If you change your immigration status while on OPT, please email isssimmigration@american.edu proof of new status.

STEM OPT Extension

Please review reporting requirements here.


Please contact ISSS immediately, if you:

  1. Decide not to mail your OPT application
  2. Receive a Request for Evidence (RFE) from USCIS
  3. Receive a Denial Notice from USCIS
  4. Decide to end OPT early (before your OPT end date): Submit the “End OPT Early” e-form on iEagle.
  5. 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 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 3-5 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 or STEM OPT. 
  • Report changes to your address, telephone 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. 

When creating your account or logging in to your account, DO NOT use @student.american.edu. 

You must use @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