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OPT Reporting

While on OPT, you are required to keep your information updated with Immigration, including:

  • Employment
    • Dates worked
    • Company and position information
    • How your employment relates to your degree
  • Your current address

These updates should be made within 10 days of any change (moving, getting/leaving a job, etc).

Reporting Methods
  • SEVP Portal 
    • You can access this only after your OPT is approved.
    • You may receive login information by email from SEVP.
    • For students who have not been emailed your login information, you may be able to create an account by resetting your password within the Portal.
    • Any information you enter into the Portal will be submitted to the US government, and become a part of your immigration record.
    • If your Portal account becomes locked, contact a staff member from the International Office to help reset your password. 
    • For more information, see this resource from SEVP.
    • The Portal sometimes has technical issues. If you are not able to update your information through the Portal, please see below for an alternative.
  • Istart
    • If you are not able to access the Portal, you can also report information to the Reves Center through iStart. The Reves Center will then enter the information in the SEVIS immigration database.
    • This form should be used only if you are not able to access the Portal. Please do not enter information in the form that you have already updated in the Portal. 
    • Login to iStart using your W&M ID and Password.
    • Click on F-1 Practical Training in the menu on the left-hand side. Then, click on Optional Practical Training Employment Update and complete the form.

  • STEM OPT
    • If you are in a 2 year STEM OPT extension, any employment updates must be reflected on your I-983. Submit an updated I-983 to the Reves Center:
      • Login to iStart using your W&M ID and Password.
      • Click on F-1 Practical Training in the menu on the left-hand side. Then, click on Optional Practical Training STEM Updates and Evaluations and complete the form.
    • While on STEM OPT, you must confirm your residential address and current employer periodically. This is due every 6 months (counting from your OPT start date), so we can validate your record with Immigration. Do this using the iStart form above. 
      • A self evaluation (the last page of the I-983) is due every 12 months (and whenever you change jobs). Submit this in iStart, using the form above.
    • Address updates can be submitted through the SEVP Portal instead if desired, but employment changes (and a new or updated I-983), and evaluations must be submitted through iStart.
Ending OPT Early

If you have left the US and do not plan to return to continue your OPT, we recommend reporting this to the Reves Center so we can "Complete" your F-1 Record.

  • This is a permanent action; once you do this, you will not be able to use the remainder of your OPT, nor your I-20, nor F-1 visa
  • If you have left, and wish to complete your record, please report this here:
    • Login to iStart using your W&M ID and Password.
    • Click on F-1 Practical Training in the menu on the left-hand side. Then, click on Optional Practical Training Employment Update and complete the form.

      OPT Employment Update (iStart)

    • You will receive an email once your record has been completed.

Employment and Major/Degree

 When reporting your employment, you will need to show how it relates to your major (undergraduates) or degree (graduates).

SEVP provided sample text in September 2019 Policy Guidance:

  • Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering: I work full time as an Electrical Engineer at ABC Corp., a government contractor. In my job, I analyze client requirements for electrical systems and provide them with cost estimates of such systems. My work requires understanding of electrical circuit theory, which I studied in-depth at the University of ABC.
  • Bachelor's degree in Business: I work full time as a Loan Officer at a mortgage company, Happy Homes, where I meet with clients and evaluate, authorize and recommend approval of loan applications. On a daily basis, I use the knowledge I gained in my credit analysis, sales and marketing classes that I took as part of my major program of study.
  • Master's degree in Music: I am working at a hospital playing the harp in patient rooms. I also conduct hands-on harp beginner workshops for long-term patients. On average, I work at the hospital 35 hours a week. My duties directly utilize the skills and knowledge I acquired from my coursework and degree in music therapy.
  • PhD in Computer Science: I am employed as a Computer and Information Research Scientist at ABC Research Institute. I work as part of a team of scientists and engineers that designs experiments to test the operation of various software systems. My work builds on research in complex algorithms and machine learning, which I studied as part of my dissertation.
  • Master's degree in Kinesiology: I am working 25 hours a week in a health food store as a consultant for Self-Made Inc., designing and teaching exercise classes that are incorporated into a customer's overall nutrition and exercise plan. My designs and customer instruction draw upon my studies and classwork in exercise therapy and physical reconditioning.
Additional Resources

If you need help assessing whether or not a job relates to your degree, we recommend these strategies:

  • Contact your department and/or professors
  • Think about classes that you've taken in your program and skills that you've learned
  • Summarize your job duties and how they relate to your degree