In addition to the information provided in the other sections of F-1 Travel/Reentry, students who have an Optional Practical Training (OPT) application pending with Department of Homeland Security or who have been authorized OPT should be aware of the information that follows.
An application for OPT specifies the date the student intends to complete his/her program of study. This date is included in the recommendation typed on page 4 of the I-20 or page 3 of the SEVIS I-20. DHS approval of an OPT application results in the issuance of an Employment Authorization Document (EAD).
- Student is still considered to be maintaining full-time progress on their program of study and is eligible to reenter the U.S. as a student - see F-1 Travel/Reentry and select the appropriate category.
- Student should carry EAD while traveling in the event U.S. Inspection requires it for reentry.
- Student has to carry a letter from his/her employer and a letter from the Office of International Student Affairs, stating current employment.
- Student is eligible to reenter the U.S. as a student before the date of completion specified on the OPT recommendation - see F-1 Travel/Reentry and select the appropriate category.
- Reentry after the date of completion specified on the OPT recommendation requires that the individual reenter as an F-1 optional practical trainee. The EAD and other documentation appropriate for admission to the U.S. must be presented to U.S. Inspection - see F-1 Travel/Reentry and select the appropriate category.
- Reentry signature on Page 4 of the I-20 or Page 3 of the SEVIS I-20 is valid for 6 months from the date of signature.
- Reentry from overseas requires a valid F-1 entry visa stamp.
- Dependents reentering with a Dependent I-20 form should carry a photocopy of the EAD and evidence of financial resources.