International Programs and Services

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. Failing to comply with Michigan Technological University and US government rules and regulations will jeopardize your F-1 status.

F-1 status is dependent on employment. You cannot be unemployed for more than 90 days total.

  • 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.
  • 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.

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

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

  • Any time you relocate you must update your future mailing address in Banweb within 10 days. You must also update your address in the SEVP Portal once your OPT is approved.
  • Every time you start, change, or end employers you MUST enter the employment information in your SEVP portal.  You MUST also fill out the OPT Employer Form within 10 days of your start date. If the employer form is not filled out, a new I-20 will not be generated and if IPS does not receive the employer verification form within 10 days of the start date we must update your SEVIS record with the date the form is actually received, which may cause unemployment days to be used unnecessarily.

  • If you change to a new visa status, including H1-B, LPR, etc. you must email a copy of the approval notice showing the change to

  • If you are unemployed and do not have another job lined up, submit the OPT Unemployment Form. 

More OPT Information