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Travel while on OPT

In this Section

An F-1 student engaged in post-completion OPT – who travels less than 5-months – can be readmitted to resume employment for the remainder of the period of authorized training on the EAD card, provided – (8 CFR 214.2(f)(13)(ii)

  • You present a properly signed Form I-20 within the last 6-months

  • You present an unexpired EAD card and/or Approval Notice

  • You are returning to resume employment

Generally – there are no issues with travelling when…

  • You have submitted an OPT application and your program has not ended – or –

  • You have a pending OPT application – or –

  • You have approved OPT AND a job offer – or –

  • You have approved H-1B AND on authorized cap-gap extension

CAUTION should be exercised when …

  • Your OPT application has been approved and you do not have a job

Documents required for travel –

  • Valid passport with at least 6 months validity

  • Valid F-1 visa – unless you are exempt from the visa requirement

  • Form I-20 signed for travel within the last six months

  • OPT Receipt and/or Approval Notice

  • EAD card – if approved

  • Letter from your employer indicating you are employed and returning to the U.S. to resume working