Travel on OPT

The Department of Homeland Security's Student and Exchange Visitor Program office (SEVP) has issued operating instructions for entry and exit which contains new interpretations of the regulations concerning travel during post completion OPT. You can find this information here:
http://www.ice.gov/sevis/travel/faq_f2.htm.

  • Travel and re-entry after completion of program, before EAD has been approved:
  • You may re-enter to continue seeking employment. Carry your I-765 receipt with you. Make sure your I-20 is endorsed for travel.
  • Travel and re-entry while on OPT:
    • If your OPT has been approved and you depart before you get a job, your OPT ends and you cannot re-enter.
    • If you have a job, you may travel and re-enter to resume work at the same job. Carry an employment letter with you. Carry your EAD card. Make sure your I-20 has been endorsed in the last 6 months.
  • If you need a new visa stamp, you may want to assess your priorities before traveling. While you are on OPT, you are still on an F-1 visa. For this visa category, you must satisfy the consular official that you have sufficient intent to return to your home country. This may be a challenge when you have completed your degree, and are employed.