Request to abandon OPT
If you decide that you no longer wish to pursue OPT and would like to return home, please click on the button below and complete the request form:
[Submit Request to Abandon OPT]
Please note that this action will end your F-1 status. You are expected to return home as soon as possible after you submit this request. This action is different than requesting an I-20 transfer, which will also end your OPT authorization. If you would like to transfer your I-20 to another school to begin a new degree, please visit the transfer out request page for more information.
Student on STEM OPT: If you decide to end your STEM OPT before your authorized end date, you are required to submit the request above AND complete the final evaluation on student progress located on page 5 of your I-983. See the "Report STEM extension participation" section above for instructions on how to submit this.
Request a travel signature
If you plan to travel while on OPT, you must bring the following with you to show upon re-entry. Failure to bring all of these documents could result in denial of entry.
- A valid I-20 with a travel signature dated within the last six months. You can request a new I-20 with a new travel signature below.
- A valid F-1 visa (if applicable based on your country of origin). If your F-1 visa is expired or if you do not otherwise have an F-1 visa and require one for entry, you will need to obtain one at a U.S. consulate or embassy outside of the United States prior to re-entry.
- A valid, unexpired passport.
- Your EAD card.
- A letter from your employer stating that you are expected to return to a position upon re-entry.
We also encourage you to read about the risks of traveling while on OPT through this travel tips page published by the Fragomen law office.
[Request an I-20 Travel Signature Now]
Request cap-gap extension I-20
Cap-gap is an extension of OPT employment authorization granted to students with qualifying H-1B petitions for cap-subject employers. Students are eligible for the cap-gap extension if all of the following criteria are true:
- As of April 1, the student was on approved OPT/STEM OPT or in the 60-day grace period following the end of their authorized period of OPT/STEM OPT.
- The student has a pending or approved H-1B petition with an October 1 start for a cap-subject employer.
- The H-1B petition was filed before the expiration of the student's authorized period of OPT or STEM OPT.
This extension is automatically granted to qualifying students and does not require a special request to USCIS. However, OGE encourages eligible students to request a cap-gap I-20 for their records. This I-20 must be requested before October 1 of the current year. On or after October 1, we cannot guarantee the possibility of printing a cap-gap I-20 from the government's system.
To request a cap-gap I-20, you will need:
- Your most recent EAD card.
- Your I-797 notice of action showing your H-1B petition receipt number.
[Request Cap-Gap I-20]