On Friday, March 23rd the U.S. Department of Homeland Security implemented a new online tool for students on OPT to keep your information up to date in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS).
Remember, all F-1 visa students on OPT are required by law to report any changes in their address, employer or employment status within 10 days to ISSS. ISSS, in turn, updates these changes in SEVIS.
The new SEVP Portal allows students to view certain information from their SEVIS record, and update some information directly to the SEVIS record. However, even though the Portal enables you to update some information directly, you are not required to use it. You are still required to update your information changes using the ISSS OPT Information Form, and we will update the information for you in SEVIS.
SEVP Portal FAQ
Who can use the SEVP Portal?
Students who are on active post-completion OPT or STEM OPT extension may access the portal. This means your EAD has been approved and your OPT start date has been reached.
How will I access the SEVP Portal?
Once your OPT has been approved and your state date has been reached, you will
receive an email from do-not-reply.SEVP@ice.dhs.gov. If you have applied for OPT, but it has not yet been approved, you are not able to access the portal yet. Your portal account invitation will come when your OPT is approved, and the requested start date has been reached. The language in the email makes it sound like you are required to use the SEVP Portal to report your information, but this is not the case. As long as you report your OPT Information updates to ISSS you will still meet your federal visa reporting requirement.
Am I still required to report my information on the ISSS OPT Information Form?
Yes. All students on OPT are still required to report any changes in name, address, contact information and employer/employment information to ISSS directly through the OPT Information Form on the ISSS webpage. Link to ISSS OPT Information Form. You must do this even if you have also reported your information directly through the Portal.
Who can use the portal?
F-1 students with active, approved post-completion OPT and STEM OPT Extension may use the portal to view and update certain biographical and employment information from your SEVIS record. Your SEVIS record is your electronic immigration record which contains information about you, your program of study, and your OPT employment information. It is required to be kept accurate and up to date. The government has access to the information in your SEVIS record, and your University DSO (ISSS staff) can make changes to your SEVIS record. Now you, too, can update certain information directly in your SEVIS record using the SEVP Portal.
What can I see in the portal? What can I update in the portal?
You can view in the SEVP Portal your name and date of birth, address, telephone number, terms of your OPT authorization, and your employer information. Students on standard post-completion OPT may update your physical address, telephone number, and you can add/remove employer and employment information. Students on STEM OPT may not add employers, but you can edit current employers. This is because you need to submit an I-983 form to ISSS any time you leave/add employers while on STEM OPT Extension.
Am I required to use the portal?
No, using the portal is completely voluntary. In fact, at ISSS we recommend that you only use the portal to view your SEVIS information, since we already update your other required information based on your OPT Information Form.
How long after I report updates through the ISSS OPT Information Form can I see those updates in the portal?
Please allow at least 2 weeks after you submit your ISSS OPT Information to see those updates to your SEVIS record through the portal.
Where can I learn more about the SEVP Portal?
Learn more on the DHS Study in the States website.
Who do I contact if I have problems using the portal?
This depends on the nature of the problem. If you did not receive an email inviting you to create your account, or if you are locked out of your account, you may contact firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance. If you are having technical difficulties using the portal, you may contact the SEVIS Response Center at 703-603-3400.