Updated 03/28/2024

Post-completion OPT is a type of work authorization for F-1 students who are completing a bachelor’s or graduate degree in the U.S. and have studied in their degree program for at least one academic year (i.e., a spring and fall semester) in valid F-1 status. Its purpose is to provide an opportunity for employment experience in a student’s field of study. USC students who want apply for post-completion OPT must complete the following:

Read the OPT Instructions Carefully

The OPT Instructions outline the seven (7) steps required to obtain OPT work authorization from USCIS. The instructions explain eligibility requirements, application instructions, submission deadlines, as well as reporting requirements.

✓ View OPT Modules – Info Sessions for Spring/Summer 2024 Graduates

These recorded sessions are being provided in addition to the OIS OPT Instructions.
OPT Module 1: OPT Basics & OPT I-20
OPT Module 2: Form I-765 and OPT Requirements

OPT Employment Reporting Requirements

Immigration regulations require F-1 students on post-completion OPT to report their employment, employment relation to major, status (e.g. forfeit OPT), US address, and telephone information on or after their approved OPT start date. All updates must be reported within 10 days of the change. To ensure you are in compliance with the reporting requirements while on OPT, you must submit the OPT Employment Update Form to OIS via Trojan International within 10 days of the change.

Failure to comply with OPT reporting requirements will result in the automatic termination of the student’s SEVIS record by SEVP and/or USCIS.

Additional resources:
SEVP Portal (optional)

On or after the student’s OPT EAD start date, SEVP will email the student an account activation link (see SEVP Portal activation video). By default, this link will be sent to the student’s USC email address. Students must create their SEVP Portal account within 14 days of receiving this link, regardless of employment status, if they wish to gain access to their SEVP Portal account. For additional guidance, see Study in the States: SEVP Portal Help, and SEVP Portal Videos.

Important: Students can utilize the SEVP Portal to view their employment information only. However, if students need to report any changes made to their OPT employment, they must utilize the OPT Employment Update via Trojan International. Do not update employment information using the SEVP Portal. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have more questions? OIS provides answers to frequently asked questions regarding OPT I-20s, travel, application process, and more.