Frequently Asked Questions

The SEVP Portal is a tool that allows students to directly report important information to SEVIS while on work authorization status of the F-1 visa. Students with a Post-OPT and/or STEM EAD will be granted access to the portal upon USCIS approval.

What is the SEVP Portal?

The SEVP Portal is a tool that allows students to directly report employment information to SEVIS while on work authorization status of the F-1 visa. Students with a Post-OPT and/or STEM EAD will be granted access to the portal upon USCIS approval. The SEVP Portal is not SEVIS but has a direct interface with SEVIS. Once you update your employment information on the Portal, information that is entered into the portal will directly reflect in the SEVIS Database. Please read through SEVP Portal Overview for further information.

Do I have access to the SEVP Portal?

Students will obtain access to the SEVP portal once their post-OPT becomes valid, receiving an email from SEVP to create an account to access the portal.

Please note that the F-1 Program Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) Portal now limits how long students can access the SEVP Portal to six months after their Post Completion Optional Practical Training (OPT) or STEM authorization ends.

In preparation for account closure, SEVP strongly encourages you to print or save a copy of your portal record for future reference, including your Event History.

Please note that students who are changing their immigration status will immediately lose access upon the effective date of their new status. So, for example, students changing their status to H-1B via a cap-subject change of status H-1B petition will lose access to the SEVP portal on October 1 of the year their H-1B petition was approved. Please plan accordingly, printing or saving a copy of your portal records prior to the loss of access.

For more information on this release and upcoming releases, visit the SEVP Portal Enhancements page on the SEVP Portal Help section on the Study in the States website. To view a copy of the emails you will receive, read the SEVP Portal Email Notices to Students.

How do I sign up for the portal?

All students will be sent an email from after approval of the EAD AND after the start date on the card has passed. Please read through this guide on how to Create an SEVP Portal Account.

How do I create a secure password through the SEVP Portal?

Password requirements are lengthy to ensure the integrity of the portal. Please read through the Make and Maintain User Password guide.

What if I did not receive an email from

Be sure to check your junk/spam mail. Be sure that you are eligible for the Portal (note that Pre-OPT students are not yet eligible for the SEVP Portal). After thoroughly checking your email account for an email from and you are still unable to locate, please fill out the SEVP Portal Reset e-form found on the Forms &Guides >Employment page of the ISSO website.Optional Practical Training (OPT) is a 12-month period of work authorization afforded to all F-1 visa holders that can be used either prior to or after they have completed their program of study. The employment must be in the student’s field of study as listed on their Form I-20 F-1 visa document; the employment cannot exceed 20 hours/week during academic semesters, but can be full-time during breaks and after the student’s program completion; and the employment can be paid or unpaid.

What do I have access to update on the SEVP Portal? Post-OPT:

Students have access to add and delete employers, and edit existing employers.

What about STEM OPT?

Students have limited access to the portal. STEM OPT students CAN update the existing employment record for their employer. STEM OPT students cannot add or delete employers. While you may be able to edit some of your employment information in the Portal, you may be legally required to submit a modified Form I-983. Most employment updates trigger a need for a modified Form I-983. The SEVP Portal does not support the upload of the I-983. All STEM students are recommended to report employment updates directly to ISSO via the respective e-form found on the Forms & Guides >Employment section of the ISSO website.

Should I update my employment information on the SEVP Portal?

Post-OPT: YES-Students should report ALL employment information directly to the SEVP Portal. It is strongly encouraged that you request an I-20 reprint from ISSO each time you report a Post OPT employment change in the SEVP Portal as you may be asked for this when applying for H-1B status. 

STEM OPT: NO-students should NOT update their employment information in the SEVP Portal and are advised to contact ISSO. You are legally required to provide a new Form I-983 to ISSO with each employment change. Failure to do so will jeopardize your status, and may impact future immigration benefit requests. All STEM OPT employment requires ISSO to reprint a new Form I-20 which will be needed during any H-1B petition.

Should I update my biographical information on the SEVP Portal?

ISSO strongly discourages updates of biographical information on the SEVP Portal. We currently have our Student Information System (SiS) serve as the primary biographical information owner, so the information in your SiS account will override the information you input into the portal. Information entered into the SiS system will automatically feed into the SEVIS database. If you have an update to make to your US address, email address, or name information – please report this directly to SiS. You should then see your biographical update reflect in the SEVP Portal within 5 business days. Please check the Update Address section of the ISSO website for more detailed information.

What will my email address be for the SEVP Portal?

To maintain consistency UMass Lowell requires all students to maintain their portal account with their UML student email. You will receive an email to your student email account on how to create your portal account. Your email address for the SEVP Portal is dictated by what your email address is listed as in SEVIS, which extracts your email from SiS. Please note that it is imperative for you to continuously check your student email account as that is the way our office gets in touch with you regarding maintaining your status. Please contact the UML IT help desk at should you need assistance gaining access to your UML student email address.

How do I use the SEVP Portal?

Please refer to the useful guides that SEVP has created. See How to Update your Employer Information to learn how to update your employer information. SEVP has also created a range of videos and step by step instructions to show you how to use the portal. 

It is your legal responsibility to comply with all OPT and STEM requirements. Feel free to check the Employment section of the ISSO website for more detailed information, and feel free to contact us with any additional questions.

Please understand that the ISSO provides information, not legal advice. Feel free to consult with an immigration attorney or see our Immigration Alerts page for more detailed information.