OPT Employment, Study, and Reporting Requirements

Maintain F-1 Status

While you are on Post-Completion OPT, it is your responsibility to maintain your F-1 status.

  • F-1 status is dependent on employment. You cannot be unemployed for more than 90 days total.
  • You must work at least 20 hours a week in a position directly related to your major area of study. You may:
    • Volunteer
    • Have multiple jobs
    • Be self-employed

What is Unemployment?

Each day, including weekends, during the period when OPT authorization begins and ends that you do not have qualifying employment counts as a day of unemployment.

Not Unemployment

  • If your employer offers paid national holidays as a benefit, those days are not counted as unemployment. The number of paid holidays varies by employer.
  • If you are employed during a period of leave authorized by an employer—for example, a paid vacation—it is not unemployment.
  • Time spent outside the United States as part of your job is not unemployment.

OPT Curriculum Rules

If you have OPT you can take recreational courses. But if you begin a new degree program, your OPT is automatically terminated. 

You Must Report

  • Changes to your residential address in MyMichiganTech within 10 days.
  • Within 10 days submit the OPT Employer Form that includes:
    • Name of new or changed employer (name of employer that directly hired you or the employment agency/recruiter)
    • Employer address
    • Company name and address if different than above
  • If you change to a new visa status, including H1-B, LPR, etc.
  • If you are unemployed. Submit the OPT Unemployment Form.