While on the 12-month post-completion OPT, you must report the start and end of your employment to SEVP (Student and Exchange Visitor Program) within 10 days of occurrence. You will be reporting and updating your employment information in the SEVP Portal.
What is SEVP?
The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) is the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) program that administers the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). The purpose of SEVIS is to ensure that government agencies have essential data related to nonimmigrant students and exchange visitors to preserve national security.
For more information about SEVP and SEVIS, please visit https://www.ice.gov/sevis.
What is SEVP Portal?
The SEVP Portal is a tool that lets OPT students meet their OPT reporting requirements. The Portal allows OPT students to report their address, telephone number and employer information. The portal shares information with SEVIS, but does not give students direct access to SEVIS.
Only OIS advisors have direct access to your SEVIS record, but you will be able to review and update your home/mailing address, telephone number, and employment information via the SEVP Portal. All data entered into the SEVP Portal will be automatically sent to SEVIS.
For more information about the SEVP Portal, please click here.
How can I register for an SEVP Portal account?
Once your Employment Authorization Document (EAD card) is issued and the start date on your EAD card arrives (or within 1-2 days after the start date), you will receive an email from SEVP with instructions on creating an SEVP Portal account.
Please review the process for creating an SEVP Portal account on this DHS webpage.
What should I do if I didn’t receive an email from SEVP with instructions to create a portal account?
- Remember, SEVP will send you this email only when your OPT is approved and active, meaning that you have been issued an Employment Authorization Document (EAD card) and the start date of you EAD card has arrived (or within 1-2 days after the start date). If you already have your EAD card, but the start date of your EAD card is still in the future, you will not have the SEVP email yet.
- The SEVP email will come from firstname.lastname@example.org to the email checked as your preferred email in MyPack. The email that is checked as your preferred email in MyPack is associated with your SEVIS record and will be used for the SEVP Portal. You can change your preferred email in MyPack, if you need to. If you change your preferred email in MyPack, it will take 2-3 days for the system to transmit the update into SEVIS and the SEVP Portal.
- Check your spam/junk mailbox to make sure you didn’t miss the SEVP email.
- If you have your EAD card and it has been 2 days or more since the start date of your EAD card arrived, but you still haven’t received an email from SEVP, please send an email to email@example.com with the subject line “SEVP Portal Email Not Received” attaching a copy of your EAD. Sometimes, SEVIS fails to update a student’s OPT status to Approved and as a result of that, the SEVP Portal is “unaware” that your OPT has been approved. Shortly after we receive your email, one of our advisors will check your SEVIS record, submit a correction request to SEVP/SEVIS Help Desk and reach out back to you.
How should I report my employment in the SEVP Portal?
- Remember to add your employer information within 10 days from the start of employment.
- If you have multiple employers at the same time, make sure to add each employer in your SEVP Portal account.
- If the end date of your employment has not been specified, you can leave this field blank.
- When your employment ends, make sure to update your employer information in the SEVP Portal by editing the end date. When you start to work with a new employer, remember to add a new employer record. If your position changed within the same employer, do not add a new employer record, just edit your job title in the record that already exists for this employer.
- In the “Employer Address” field, make sure to put your work site’s address, which can be different from your employer’s main office address. If you continue to work for the same employer, but move to another work site, you will need to edit the employer address field.
- The detailed instructions on updating employer information in the SEVP Portal are available on this DHS webpage.
What else do I need to remember for my OPT employment?
- You should collect and retain all documentation (offer letters, time sheets, paycheck stubs, etc.) related to your employment while on OPT. You may need it when applying for future benefits or changes of status.
- In addition to the employment information, you are responsible for updating your physical home address, mailing address, and telephone numbers in the SEVP Portal. Please also keep your home/mailing address up to date in your MyPack account.
- If you change your immigration status, please send a copy of proof of such change (e.g. USCIS Approval Notice) to OIS at firstname.lastname@example.org.