General Information, Social Security, Driver's License

General Information

  • Once you have been approved please email a scanned copy of your EAD card to our service account
  • Your F-1 status continues through the OPT period
  • You will have a 60 days grace period at the end of your OPT period
  • You may begin working once you have obtained the EAD card (you may not begin employment if your OPT has been approved but you have not yet received the EAD in the mail) and the begin date on the card has been reached
  • The EAD is not employer specific, so you may change employers at will. However, employment must be directly related to your field of study. Any employment outside your field of study is unauthorized and is a substantive violation of your status
  • You cannot work at the University from the end of your degree program (End date on I-20) until your EAD has been approved and the card is in your hand. Please work with your department and the business center of your department to determine payment if you are on an assistantship or fellowship

Maintaining Medical Health Insurance

You must maintain medical health insurance during the entire period of OPT. You can extend the University health insurance, purchase your own, or be covered by an employer. The insurance can be a basic plan, but you must maintain coverage. Keep records of insurance coverage in case you need these for an immigration purpose.

FAILURE to Graduate/Complete Program

If you have not yet graduated and need further course work then the completion date on front of the I-20 must not have expired and you should not apply for OPT or if you have already applied then you will need to cancel the application (notify the ISSS office if this is the case).  For graduate students, if you have completed all coursework, but have not graduated, you must register for masters or doctoral candidacy each spring, summer and fall semesters you take courses, but you are still eligible to apply and be approved for OPT.

Authorization May Not Be Rescinded or Deferred

Once authorization to engage in Optional Practical Training is granted and the EAD is issued, it may not be rescinded, canceled, or deferred if the start date on the EAD has arrived. This means that after OPT is authorized by the USCIS; unexpected delays in completing degree requirements, inability to find an appropriate job, or loss of a job may reduce the time you have available for work.

Additional Information

Within 2-4 weeks of submitting the OPT application you should receive a receipt notice from the USCIS Service Center. The receipt notice will provide a tracking number (receipt number) listed in the top left side of the form. This number is your file number and is used to track your application. You may check on the status of your Optional Practical Training application via the website once you have received your tracking number. Once you have received your EAD. If the card is lost or stolen, you will be required to resubmit the entire OPT request packet including the Form I-765 processing fee ($410).

Social Security Number

If you do not yet have a Social Security Number (SSN), you will be required to have one for tax reporting purposes. You may apply for a SSN after you have received the EAD card and the begin date on the card has been reached. Please talk with an advisor for the appropriate documentation. It normally takes 10-14 days to receive your Social Security Card.

Kentucky Driver's License

If your Kentucky driver’s license expires after you have graduated and during your OPT period, you must obtain a letter from the International Center by submitting a letter request form.

All of the documentation needed to receive the "blue letter"  can be found by clicking here.