Optional Practical Training

USCIS policy/guidance change on UNLAWFUL PRESENCE and effects

USCIS’ updated policy on ability to initiate deportation


VERY IMPORTANT: Please be careful when filling out your I-9 as stating incorrect information would be considered fraud and could result in the denial of benefits or change of status in the future. If you are unsure about how to answer a question, consult your employer’s human resources (HR) office for clarification.

SEVP PORTAL: https://sevp.ice.gov/opt/

Effective Friday, March 23, 2018: UMKC will require students to use the SEVP Portal. The SEVP Portal will give OPT and STEM OPT students the responsibility of reporting. Please be aware that any updates you make in the SEVP Portal will only update SEVIS and it will NOT update your Pathway/UMKC records. Therefore, you will be responsible for retaining ALL of your own employment records/information.

WHEN will I have access to the Portal?

When your OPT/STEM OPT has been approved by USCIS and the start date listed on your EAD card has passed. If you have been approved but your start date is still in the future, you will not have access since you are not authorized to begin work yet.

HOW do I get access to the Portal?
  1. You will receive an email from do-not-reply.sevp@ice.dhs.gov with the subject line “Optional Practical Training Approval – the next step. Create an SEVP Portal Account” to your UMKC email.
  2. The SEVP Portal is FREE. SEVP will never ask for money in an email.
  3. The email will contain instructions and a unique link that can’t be shared and expires in 14 days. You will need your SEVIS ID (located on your I-20, start with N). If you do not see the email, check your junk mail or spam folder. If it is not there, email your ISAO advisor.
  4. If you have entered your SEVIS ID incorrectly three times, your account will be locked and you must contact your ISAO advisor to unlock it.
  5. Please review the SEVP Portal Guide for additional information.
What happens when I update my information through the Portal?
  • It will automatically update your SEVIS record.
  • We will no longer automatically print I-20’s for changes in OPT/STEM employer information. THIS IS NO LONGER REQUIRED. If you would like your updated I-20, please fill out form #9 which can be found on the International Advising page.
  • Please note that any updates to your record done by an ISAO advisor will not be visible in the SEVP portal for at least 24-48 hours after an advisor is able to update it. Please note that it may take 3 to 5 business days for advisors to update.



While you are on OPT or STEM OPT, you are required to report the following information via the the SEVP Portal, Pathway, and through forms:

  • Report any change in mailing/residential address, phone number, email address.
  • Report any change in your legal name
  • Report any change to your visa type/immigration status
  • Report if there are any changes of deviations to an existing I-983 form (24-month STEM only)
  • Send a copy of your updated I-983 form when you complete your annual self-evaluations (24-month STEM only)
  • Confirm your information every 6 months: OPT/STEM Report Participation Form
  • EMPLOYED on 12-month OPT: Report any changes to your employment (address, supervisor, supervisor contact information, job title, etc.). This can be done through the SEVP Portal
  • EMPLOYED on 24-month STEM: Report any changes to your employment or I-983 form (address, supervisor, supervisor contact information, job title, etc.). You can edit your current STEM employer information through the SEVP Portal but if you need to delete or add a new employer, please see the above information. CONFUSED? LOOK AT THIS
  • You must report any updates within 10 days of the change


Are you getting close to having a cumulative total of 90 days of unemployment while on Post-Completion OPT? or 150 days of unemployment between both your Post-Completion OPT and STEM OPT? If so, here are a few things you should know:

  • AT THIS TIME, we are not terminating records when students reach their unemployment limit. HOWEVER, at some point in the (possibly near) future, SEVIS could turn on the auto-terminate function. Once it is on, any student who is at or over their unemployment limit will have a terminated SEVIS status and will have started accruing days of unlawful presence.
  • If you are at your unemployment limit, it may affect any future OPT, STEM, H1B or other visa applications.
  • Check your SEVP Portal to ensure that all of your employment is correctly reflected. Ensure you are keeping all records of employment (pay stubs, offer letters, tax forms, etc.).


What do I do about HEALTH INSURANCE?

You will no longer be automatically enrolled in UMKC’s medical insurance. Insurance will be your responsibility. Be sure to ask your employer about health insurance for you and your family.

If you employer does NOT offer health insurance, you may purchase your own insurance through Aetna or any other company you choose. If you would like to stay with Aetna while on OPT, click on “Enroll: OPT Students and Dependents” here: UMKC’s Aetna Website

ERROR on your EAD card? Submitting requests to USCIS

Missing a document or card? Find a typographical error on your EAD card? You can submit an e-Request to them here: https://egov.uscis.gov/e-request

USCIS Guidance for Correcting Errors on EAD card

If your Employment Authorization Document (EAD) card was approved by the Potomac Service Center and contains incorrect information due to USCIS error, please follow the instructions below:

Submit a letter that explains the error. Include the EAD card containing the incorrect information, documents showing that USCIS made an error (such as a copy of the application you sent to USCIS with your correct information, a copy of your birth certificate, with your correct name). Send your letter and supporting documents to the Potomac Service Center at

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
Potomac Service Center
2200 Potomac Center Drive, Stop 2425
Arlington, VA 20598-2425

If USCIS made an error, you do not need to submit a new Form I-765 or pay a new filing fee.


12-month Post-Completion OPT: APPLICATION & ALL INFO
APPROVED for 12-month Post-Completion OPT? You MUST use the Portal to:

The Portal should be used to do the following:

  • Update your mailing/local/physical address in the U.S. and phone number
  • Update your employer information: name, address, dates, supervisor, etc.
  • View, edit/update, or delete your current and past OPT employers



If you would like to change employers but your STEM application is still pending, you will need to submit the following documents to ISAO for us to forward on to the USCIS Service Center’s email:

First, complete the STEM Employer Form and I-983. After you have received the updated I-20, send us a copy of the signed I-20 along with your receipt notice and the E-verify number of your new employer. We will then send the information on to the USCIS Service Center.

APPROVED for 24-month STEM Extension OPT? You MUST use the Portal to:

The Portal should be used to do the following:

  • Update your mailing/local/physical address in the U.S. and phone number
  • Update your CURRENT employer information: name, address, dates, supervisor, etc. You will update this information in the Portal and then you must send a copy of the updated I-983 to isaoadvisor@umkc.edu with the subject line: STEM – Edited info in Portal
  • Monitor and view your current and past employers
  • You WILL NOT be able to add or delete a NEW employer. If you wish to add a NEW employer, you will need to use EMPLOYER FORM: STEM ONLY and submit it with the final self-evaluation from your previous employer and your completed I-983 from your new employer. We will then update it in SEVIS
  • You are still required to submit your 6-month reports and I-983 self-evaluations. This cannot be done in the Portal at this time.


Additional resources: