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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.

OPT Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Employment During OPT

Once post-completion OPT begins, you are allowed up to 90 days of unemployment during the 12 month period. If you exceed 90-days of unemployment while on OPT, you are no longer considered to be maintaining your F-1 status and your F-1 record is subject to termination by SEVP.  If you exceed the allowed days of unemployment, you should depart the US immediately. There is no grace period if you exceed the unemployment time. During post-completion OPT you must work at least 20 hours per week in order to maintain your F-1 status. There is no maximum number of hours that you can work. In addition, you may have multiple OPT employers as long as each job is related to your degree program.  The following activities are considered allowable employment on standard post-completion OPT:

  • regular paid employment
  • multiple short-term employers
  • work for hire
  • self-employed business owner
  • employment through an agency
  • unpaid internships 

Reporting Requirements

The following employment information and changes must be reported to maintain your status.  You can report directly to the OIS using the process in iHopkins described below or through the SEVP Portal.  The SEVP Portal is an online system that allows students on OPT to report their employment and address updates directly to SEVP.  You do not need to report the same information to both OIS and the Portal. Use of the Portal is optional and it is up to you to choose the method of reporting.  If you report information to OIS using iHopkins, you will be given the opportunity to receive an I-20 with your employment information listed on page 2.  Reporting through the SEVP Portal does not allow you that option. 

If any of the following occur, you must report them 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.

  • New Employment - When reporting a new employer, you will be required to explain how the job relates to your degree.  You may review some examples of acceptable explanations here.       
  • Change in Employers Address and ANY change to employment status using our OPT Reporting Form
  • Change of U.S. address
  • 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.

Use of the SEVP Portal:

On the start date of your OPT, you will receive an email from SEVP ICE regarding the setup of your SEVP Portal account. If you do not use the link provided within 15-days of the email being sent, you must contact OIS to ask for a portal reset email. If you set up your account but no longer use your JHU issued email, you will need to fill out the Email Address for SEVP Portal eform in your iHopkins account to provide a new email address.

To report Employment and/or U.S. address changes directly to OIS using iHopkins:

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

  • Go to
  • Click "Login" under "Active JHED Login".
  • 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
  • Click "No JHED Login."
  • 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 

Travel During OPT 

For information on travel while the OPT application is pending or once it is approved, review our OPT travel information page.

Completing OPT

Once you reach the end date of your OPT, as indicated on your EAD, you have a 60-day grace period during which you may continue to remain in the U.S. 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 during the grace period. 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 fill out the OPT Reporting Form in iHopkins, indicating you have a change in your immigration status and have departed the US, 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 fill out the OPT Reporting Form in iHopkins, indicating you have changed your status 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 OPT in early April. If you do not receive your H-1B application result by October 1st you must stop working until the H-1B is approved.