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Travel While on Optional Practical Training (OPT)

Under certain conditions, it is permissible to travel while on OPT.

If you have applied for OPT and your application is still pending, you may leave and re-enter the U.S. with a valid passport, visa, I-797 receipt notice, and I-20.

Once your OPT is approved, you must have a job in order to re-enter the United States. In addition to a valid passport, visa, I-20 (signed for travel within six months of the date of re-entry), and EAD (Employment Authorization Document), please have a letter from your employer verifying that you will resume employment upon your return, as well as your dates of employment and salary.

If you have been approved for OPT but are not employed, it is not advisable that you travel. News releases from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) indicate that if an F-1 student on OPT leaves the U.S. and is not employed, the OPT automatically ends and the student may not re-enter. Please see the link below for more information.