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Travel during OPT

Note: The questions outlined below are the general requirements for travelling for F-1 students. However, because individual circumstances vary, consult the International Advisor, embassy, or legal advisor before traveling.  

  1. Can I travel while on OPT?

    If your OPT has been approved (i.e. you have received your EAD or OPT card) and you depart before you get a job, your OPT ends and you cannot reenter unless you have a written job offer.

    If you have a job, you may travel and reenter to resume work at the same job or if you have a written offer for another job.

    In order to re-enter the U.S. without any problems, you should have the following documents:

    a. Passport (valid for six months after you plan to re-enter the U.S.)
    b. Valid F-1 visa stamp in your passport
    c. I-20 (with a valid travel signature no older than six months)
    d. EAD card or OPT card 
    e. Evidence that you already have a job in the U.S. or that you have a job offer.

  2. Can I travel if my request for OPT is pending?

    If you must travel while your OPT is pending, please make an appointment to meet with the International Advisor, who will advise you what is best in your case.

  3. Can I travel during the 60-day grace period after finishing my program or after finishing my OPT?

    No.  You cannot reenter during the 60-day grace period after finishing your program or after finishing your OPT.

  4. Can I travel outside of the United States if the employment authorization document expires and the OPT extension request is pending?

    No. You must wait to receive the new employment authorization document.