Optional Practical Training (OPT)

Eligible Visas:
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Travel After Graduation

After completion of studies, speak with an OISS adviser if you need to leave the U.S. before you receive your EAD.

Once you have graduated, you are required to show your EAD along with your other immigration documents in order to be permitted to reenter the United States in F-1 status. Printed on the EAD card will be the statement not valid for reentry. This statement means that you must have ALL documentation listed below in order to travel and return to the United States after graduation. In many cases students will also need to apply for a new F-1 visa stamp before they may return to the U.S.


If you have an employer who has filed for H-1B on your behalf, check with your employer about any travel plans. Travel while an H-1B application is pending may jeopardize that application.

List of required documents to reenter the U.S. using OPT after graduation


valid* Form I 20, signed on page 3 by an OISS adviser (the signature should not be more than 6 months old)


valid passport, with expiration date not less than 6 months into the future


valid F 1 visa stamp (except for Canadians) in the passport. If your F 1 visa is expired, you must apply for a new one at a US Embassy prior to your return.


valid EAD card


evidence of a job offer or evidence of resumption of employment. Your reentry can be questioned without evidence of a job offer.

* The I-20 form should list your current employer on page three. If it does not, you need to report updated OPT information and get a new I-20 form.

Optional Practical Training (OPT)

Related Links


Report updated OPT information to SEVIS

F-1 Students



Employment Authorization