Travel on OPT?

This is one of the most frequently asked question simplyOPT.com Team gets from Students.  We thought it is a good idea to summarize all options for OPT Students to travel outside of USA.

OPT Application is still pending

 If your application is still pending, not approved, EAD card still not yet issued by USCIS, and you do not have a job or a job offer, you may leave and then re-enter the U.S. to continue to look for employment.

 You should have be sure you have the following documents:

  • Passport (valid for six months after you plan to re-enter the U.S)
  • Valid F-1 visa stamp in your passport
  • I-20 (with a travel signature no older than six months)
  • I-765 receipt notice (Form I-797)

 The visa stamp requirement does not apply to Canadian citizens.

OPT Application is Approved

If EAD card has been issued by USCIS and you have a job or a job offer, you may leave and re-enter the U.S. in order to begin or resume employment. If your post-completion OPT has been approved and you leave the U.S. before getting a job or a job offer, your OPT ends. You may not be able to re-enter the U.S. as an F-1 student.

After USCIS has issued an EAD card for post-completion OPT, in order to have the best chance of re-entering the U.S. without problems, you should be sure you have the following documents:

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

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