Travel While on OPT

 

Status Travel Recommended? Travel Risk Level What You Need
Applied for OPT. Application is pending and you are still a student (end date on page one of I-20 has not yet been reached) Yes None, as long as you reenter the country at least a couple weeks before the end date on your I-20. Signature on your I-20 Valid passport & visa
Applied for OPT. Application is pending and you are no longer a student (end date on page one of I-20 has been reached) No Moderate to high—if OPT application is approved while you are away, you may be denied reentry into the country. Signature on your I-20 Valid passport & visa
Application for OPT is approved and you have your EAD card, but you do not have a job offer No High—if you decide to travel, you should take proof that you are actively looking for a position (i.e. proof that you submitted resumes, upcoming interviews, etc). Even if you have this proof you may be denied reentry into the country. Signature on your I-20 Valid passport & visa EAD cardProof that you are actively looking for a job
Application for OPT is approved, you have your EAD card and a job offer, but the position has not started Somewhat Moderate to Low—if you decide to travel, make sure that you take a job offer letter on official letterhead which should include your expected start date. Signature on your I-20 Valid passport & visa EAD card

Job offer letter

Application for OPT is approved, you have your EAD card, and you have begun work Yes Very Low—if you decide to travel, request a letter from your employer indicating that they approve your travel and listing the date they expect you back Signature on your I-20 Valid passport & visa EAD card

Letter from employer