90-Day Unemployment Rule
Once you receive your EAD card and your OPT starts, you are given a maximum of 90 days of unemployment, during which you are allowed to have no job, internship, or other training activity. It is up to you to keep track of your unemployment period. To stop the unemployment clock, report your OPT employment (see below). If you fail to report your OPT employment within 90 days, USCIS may automatically terminate your record, which will end your legal presence in the U.S. and forfeit your remaining OPT time.
OPT Update Form
You are required to report your first job/internship to ISSS within 90 days of your OPT start date. In addition, any change of job/internship or change of address must also be reported to ISSS within 10 days.
To report OPT employment, address and contact information and any changes, submit the OPT Update Form below through iConnect international student portal. After you log in with your DuckID, the OPT Update Form can be found under F-1 Student Services.
STEM OPT Update Form
If you are on STEM OPT, please submit the STEM OPT Update Form below to update your current contact information or other information related to your current STEM OPT employment. Do NOT submit the STEM OPT Update Form if you are adding or changing employers. Refer to the instructions below to add or change employment.
Add or Change STEM OPT Employer
To add or change your STEM OPT employer, complete the STEM OPT EMPLOYMENT UPDATE FORM and email it to email@example.com. You will be required to provide a new I-983 Training Plan for the new STEM employer, and a Final Evaluation for the current STEM employer, if changing employers.
International Travel While on OPT
In general, F-1 students on OPT and STEM OPT should travel with the following documents:
- Passport valid at least 6 months into the future
- Valid F-1 student visa (except for Canadian citizens)
- OPT I-20 showing your OPT has been “approved”
- Travel signature on OPT I-20 no older than 6 months
- EAD card (or I-797 Receipt Notice while waiting for OPT application to be processed)
- Proof of employment
Sprintax Can Help With Tax Filing Obligations While on OPT
If you are about to begin your OPT employment, your employer will likely need you to fill out pre-employment tax documents such as, for example, a W-4 and other tax related forms.
These tax forms can be difficult to understand and equally difficult to fill out but are important to make sure you are taxed correctly on your pay. Sprintax have released a service that can assist to generate your pre-employment tax documents and more ahead of your new job.
Overview of SprintaxTDS Personal
SprintaxTDS Personal is a software that can prepare your pre OPT/CPT tax documents for you. SprintaxTDS Personal can determine your residency for tax purposes, FICA exemption, tax treaty eligibility and generate the pre-employment tax forms that you need, such as the W-4, 8233, W8-BEN and more. Once your forms have been generated, all you need to do is sign your tax documents and provide them to your employer.
Who can use SprintaxTDS Personal?
Any nonresident who is starting OPT/CPT can use SprintaxTDS Personal to prepare their pre-employment tax forms which they can provide to their employer to help get taxed correctly on income received from the employer.
What are the steps to Get Started?
- Register an account by following this link: https://www.sprintaxtds.com/personal/uor/
- Complete the online questionnaire
- Complete the payment page
- Sprintax TDS Personal will prepare your tax documents to sign and provide to your employer
SprintaxTDS Personal user guide
If you need assistance on the SprintaxTDS Personal process, you can access the OPT/CPT User Guide which will provide you with information on the pre-employment tax forms for OPT/CPT as well as a walkthrough of the SprintaxTDS Personal process.
Is there a cost involved?
There is a charge to generate your tax forms of $19.95. There is a free tax residency determination and FICA exemption calculation before any charges which is also useful to know.
Need SprintaxTDS Personal support?
If you need help while using SprintaxTDS Personal, contact them:
Live Chat Help
Email at firstname.lastname@example.org