Reporting OPT Employment

Freelance Work

Freelance work is work that is done by someone for different companies at different times rather than work that is done by someone who is permanently employed by one employer. You can do freelance work while you are on OPT, but please make sure to get an offer of work in writing, including the employer name, start and end dates of projects, etc. Save this information for your records.  All necessary information will need to be entered into the SEVP Portal. Freelance work does not require a license. We see students do freelance work on OPT very often. 

Self Employment
Self employment is doing work for oneself rather than for an employer. An example is when you are creating something and then decide to sell it later to anyone who wants to buy the work or service. If you are self employed on OPT, you need to get a business license. This process will take time. We have not seen many students do self-employment for OPT. 
Reporting Employment 
Below are a few examples of how you can report your employment information. Your description does not need to match any of the sample descriptions below, but it should mention the type of work you are doing and how it relates to your major at MICA. 

Reporting OPT Descriptions on the Portal

Remember that the work you do must be 21 or more hours a week to be considered full-time for OPT. When making a recommendation for OPT, you should only engage in practical training opportunities that are directly related to your major area of study.  

Sample Employment Descriptions:

Full time work example #1: I work full time as a graphic designer at [name of company], a brand management firm.  In my job, I [enter a few examples of your tasks at work]. My work requires an understanding of [enter an example or two of something you learned in your courses], which I studied in-depth at MICA.

Full time work example #2: I work full time as an artist assistant at [name of gallery or business], where I [enter a few examples of your tasks at work]. On a daily basis, I use the knowledge I gained in my [name a class or two] classes that I took as part of my major in [enter major].

Freelance work: I have been hired by [enter employer] to develop VR experiences. On average, I work 25 hours a week. My duties directly utilize the skills and knowledge I acquired from my coursework and degree in [enter major

Artist Residency: As an artist-in-residence at [include name of residency], I create works that [enter information about the type of art you create or the type of work that is created for this residency].  Through the residency, I advance my craft and career while creating [enter the type of artwork], utilizing the skills I learned throughout my major in [enter major].