During the period of OPT authorization, a student should be working or actively seeking employment. If you decide to quit your job, or if you do not find a job, keep the unemployment rules in mind:

  • Students on post-completion OPT may have up to 90 days of unemployment.

  • Students who are granted a 24-month extension are given an additional 60 days of unemployment for a total of 150 days over their entire post-completion OPT period.

  • After your Employment Authorization Document (EAD) expires, you are allowed a 60-day grace period to depart the U.S, change your status, or begin a new F-1 program (you are not allowed to work during this time).

(See also the reporting requirements related to your loss of employment.)

Early Completion and Leaving the U.S. or Change of Status

If you decided to leave the U.S. prior to the expiration of your Employment Authorization Document (EAD), you are required to report your date of departure from the U.S. to Berkeley International Office online through our Student SEVIS Update (SSU) form. Please complete this process after you have departed the U.S.

If your OPT ends before the EAD expiration date due to a change of status, you can also use Student SEVIS Update (SSU) to submit your I-797 Approval Notice From USCIS for your Change of Status. Your record in our database will need updating to match the immigration records.

New Program of Study

If you are completing your OPT early due to admission to a new program of study, see Beginning a New Program.