F-1 Student Status Responsibilities During Post-Completion of Studies (OPT)

International students who are in the U.S. on an F-1 visa continue in F-1 status during their period of authorized Post-completion of Studies Optional Practical Training (OPT), and therefore have certain legal responsibilities.
The following is a list of these responsibilities:

  1. Work is permitted only in the students' major field of study, and within the dates that they have been authorized on their Employment Authorization Document.
  2. Students must be working to maintain their F-1 status. Department of Homeland Security regulations state, "During post-completion OPT, F-1 status is dependent upon employment. Students may not accrue an aggregate of more than 90 days of unemployment..."[8 CFR 214.2 (f)(10)(i)].
  3. Students are strongly recommended to keep a record and supporting evidence of all their OPT-related activities. For example:
    • Details of job searches -- correspondence with prospective employers, interviews, etc.
    • Employment information -- dates, name/location of employer, position, part- or full-time
    • Volunteer work -- dates, name/location/type of work, part- or full-time. Please note that federal law requires that a volunteer may not assume a normally paid position or displace a U.S. worker.
  4. Students are required to report the following information to Gallaudet's International Student Services Office:
    • Change of name (proof of updated passport noting the change is required)
    • Change of address
    • Obtain endorsement from a Designated School Official every six months for travel.

In addition, students in the U.S. on an F-1 visa should be aware of the following:

  1. Beginning a new course of study or transferring U.S. schools automatically terminates OPT employment.
  2. Employment authorization is automatically suspended in the event of a strike or other labor dispute involving work stoppage at the place of employment [8 CFR 214.2(f)(14)].