ASK AN ADVISOR: I heard OPT is Changing. How will this affect my OPT?

Question: There has been talk about new changes to OPT. How will these new changes affect me?

Answer: This past September, the Student Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP), issued new guidance on Optional Practical Training (OPT). The guidance reinforced the importance of working in jobs that are directly related to your major field of study. This means, all jobs during OPT must have a direct relationship to your major degree (not a minor degree).

While on OPT, you will complete all your mandatory reporting using the SEVP Portal. In the Portal you must report your employment and describe your job-related duties and explain how those duties relate to your major area of study.

Additionally, SEVP announced that students’ access to the Portal is now time-limited. This means that students won’t have permanent access to vital information regarding their immigration record. In preparation for account closure, SEVP strongly encourages students to print or save a copy of their portal record for future reference, including their Event History.

This is also why we stress to always request a new I-20 after you report a change of employment in the Portal while on OPT. We have a simple form on our website to request an updated I-20.

Written By: Lara Jennings, International Student Advisor