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You applied for Post-OPT, now what?

Greetings from the International Students and Scholars Center. This is a reminder that it is your responsibility to maintain your F-1 status while participating in Post Completion Optional Practical Training, or Post-OPT. Here are some things you need to know in order to maintain your status.


What if I didn’t graduate or complete my degree as planned?

If you discover that you will not complete your degree on the program end date listed on your OPT I-20, you must contact the ISSC immediately for further guidance. Both your immigration status and OPT authorization will be impacted if you do not complete your program as intended. Therefore, it is important to discuss your options with an immigration advisor as soon as you are aware you will not be completing this semester.


When will I receive my EAD card?

You will receive an Employment Authorization Document card roughly two weeks after USCIS has approved your OPT application. Once you receive your EAD card, you must submit a copy to the ISSC . Please review the accuracy of your name and the dates on the EAD card and report any discrepancies to the ISSC immediately by emailing

Important employment reminders:
  • Do not work until you receive your EAD card and have reached the “valid from” date printed on the card, including volunteer work and unpaid internships.
  • Work at least 20 hours per week.
  • Only accept positions that are directly related to your field of study at ASU.


Timely reporting of information

As an F-1 student participating in OPT, you must comply with the 10-day reporting requirement. You will receive an email invitation to create an SEVP portal account on the start date (valid from date) printed on your EAD card. It can take up to 72 hours from your start date to receive the email. Please set up an account immediately, even if you have not secured employment. Use the SEVP Portal to report any changes to your physical or mailing address, any changes to your legal name, a new job or loss of job, or update your employer’s information, such as a new location or company name. Please be sure to make these updates within 10 days of the change. Additionally, we encourage you to review the official SEVP Portal Student User Guide for more information.


Unemployment days

While authorized for Post-OPT, you are allowed to be unemployed for a total of 90 days. Periods of unemployment can occur once you reach the “valid from” date on your EAD card. Any period of time you are not employed during your authorized Post-OPT period will be counted toward unemployment days. SEVIS records for students with approved Post-OPT authorizations who accrue more than 90 days of unemployment may be terminated. If you accrue 90 days of unemployment, you are considered out of status and will need to leave the U.S. as quickly as possible. Any time you spend in the U.S. after accruing 90 days of unemployment will be counted as unauthorized presence and may have a negative effect on any future U.S. immigration requests.



You must keep all original I-20s and all your prior immigration documents indefinitely for possible use in the future. The ISSC does not retain students’ original I-20s. You may be asked to provide proof of your employment, especially if you apply for future benefits such as H-1B or permanent residency. It is important for you to keep records such as offer letters, payroll records, employer names and addresses, start and end dates of employment, and number of hours worked per week.

The ISSC is here to assist you in maintaining your status. We will periodically send important updates to your ASU email address. Please be sure to monitor that email account after graduating.


Have questions? Contact the ISSC.

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Virtual drop-in immigration advising

Mondays 9–11 a.m.

Tuesdays 1–3 p.m.

Thursdays 9–11 a.m.

Fridays 1–3 p.m.

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In-person drop-in immigration advising

Mondays 1–3 p.m.

Tuesdays 9–11 a.m.

Thursdays 1–3 p.m.

Fridays 9-11 a.m.

(Arizona Time)