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During your period of Post-Completion OPT, you are still considered to be in F-1 student status and you are required to maintain your non-immigrant intent.

Report Changes to the OIS

The following changes must be reported to the OIS to maintain your status. If any of the following occur, please notify the OIS within 10 business days. Students who fail to report this information as required will be in violation of their F-1 status and may jeopardize their legal status in the U.S.

  • Change of U.S. address
  • Change in Employers Address and ANY change to employment status using our OPT Reporting Form
  • Change of phone number and/or e-mail address
  • Change of status (i.e. H1B, F-2, J-2, Permanent Resident, etc.) A copy of the approval notice must be submitted to the OIS.

To report Employment and/or U.S. address changes:

If you continue to have access to JHU systems using your JHED login:

  • Go to http://iHopkins.jhu.edu
  • Click on blue Login button under Full Client Sevices for Students & Scholars.
  • Login with your JHED ID and password.
  • Once logged in, click on "F-1 Student Services" in the menu on the left, then click on "OPT Reporting Form."

If you no longer have access to JHU systems using your JHED login:

  • Go to http://iHopkins.jhu.edu
  • Click Limited Services.
  • Click "Email me my limited access pin." 
  • Enter your Hopkins/University ID.
  • A pin will be emailed to your email address that is on file with the OIS.
  • Once you receive the pin, log in using your Hopkins ID, date of birth and pin.
  • Once logged in, click on "F-1 Student Services" in the menu on the left, then click on "OPT Reporting Form."

If you experience difficulties accessing iHopkins, please contact Sonia Sanchez (667-208-7007) iHopkins Database Coordinator.

Employment During OPT

Students can apply for OPT without having an offer of employment. Once OPT begins, a student is allowed up to 90 days of unemployment during the 12 month period. During post-completion OPT, a student must work at least 20 hours per week in order to maintain his/her status. There is no maximum number of hours that a student can work. In addition, a student may have multiple OPT employers as long as each job is related to the student's degree program.

Travel While an OPT Application is Pending

International travel while an OPT application is pending can be risky and is not generally recommended. If you have an OPT application pending and believe you must travel, please consult with an OIS advisor.

Travel After OPT is Approved

If your post-completion OPT has been approved (your EAD card has been issued by USCIS) and you have a job or a job offer, you may leave and re-enter the U.S. in order to begin or resume employment.

After USCIS has issued an EAD card for post-completion OPT, in order to have the best chance of re-entering the U.S. without problems, you should be sure you have the following documents:

  • Passport (valid for six months after you plan to re-enter the U.S.)
  • Valid F-1 visa stamp in your passport*
  • I-20 (with a valid travel signature no older than six months)
  • EAD card
  • Evidence that you already have a job in the U.S. or that you have a job offer.

*The visa stamp requirement does not apply to Canadian citizens.

If you need to apply for a new F-1 visa, you should also be sure to have your EAD card and evidence that you already have a job in the U.S. or that you have a job offer in addition to the usual documents required for a visa application.

Completing OPT

You have a 60 day grace period after the expiration date on your EAD. You may leave the US, change your status, or transfer to a new degree program during that time, but you may not continue to work under OPT. If, at any time during your OPT period, you decide to depart the U.S. and do not plan to use your remaining OPT, please contact the OIS so that we can end your F-1 record.

If you choose to begin a new degree program full-time, whether at JHU or at another institution, during your authorized period of OPT, you will lose any OPT time remaining on your EAD. You will be required to cease employment upon release of your SEVIS record from JHU to the new institution or upon issuance of a new Form I-20 for a different program.

Change of Status

If you change your status prior to the end of your OPT, please contact the OIS and provide a copy of your I-797 or I-94 card so that we may end your F-1 record.

H-1B Cap-Gap Extension of Status and Employment

If an employer is filing an H-1B petition for you and that employer is subject to the annual H-1B cap, your OPT period may be automatically extended to cover the gap between the end of your original OPT period and the start of the H-1B petition. Information on the “Cap Gap” process is sent to all students on active STEM OPT in early April.