Maintaining Legal Status during Post-completion OPT and STEM OPT Extension

In This Section

Students continue to be considered in F1 status during Post-completion OPT and STEM OPT extension. 

  • During standard post-completion OPT, a student may not be unemployed for an aggregate of more than 90 days. If a student receives a 24-month STEM OPT extension, the limit on unemployment is raised to an aggregate of no more than 150 days, applied to the entire 36-month period of post-completion OPT.
  • A student MUST work for a minimum of 20 hours per week in the major area of study with the employment commensurate with the degree level. Paid job(s) for one or multiple employers, contractual work, employment through agency, volunteering, unpaid internship or self-employment all satisfies this requirement.

General Reporting Requirements during both Standard OPT and STEM OPT 

F-1 regulations require that an F-1 student authorized by USCIS to engage in OPT employment must report employer name, address and employment dates, any change of employer name or address, or interruption of such employment to OISS for the duration of OPT within 10 days of change; the student is also required to report personal change of legal name, residential and mailing addresses. OISS is responsible for updating the student's record to reflect these reported changes in SEVIS.   


Students on STEM OPT must make a validation report to OISS every six months starting from the date the extension begins to confirm employer name, employer address, and that active employment is continuing. This report is due to OISS within 10 business days of each reporting date. The validation is a confirmation that the student's information in SEVIS is current and accurate. This report must be made by the student, and SEVIS updated by OISS, even if the student's employment has not changed.

Click here to find out how to report OPT employment 

Key Contacts

Honors Living Learning Community (HLLC)226 & 227
48 New StreetNewarkNJ07102

OISS In-Person Walk-In Hours:

* No appointment necessary. *
Monday - Thursday: 10:00am – 3:00pm

Friday, Saturday, Sunday: CLOSED

Virtual one-on-one appointments available at  Rutgers Newark - OISS (