Employment information

SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER

Income earned in the USA is taxable.  Students who obtain jobs, either on or off campus, must first  inform the DSO to obtain work authorization and request a letter to apply for a social security number.

ON CAMPUS

F-1 students may work on campus, with the permission of the DSO, for a maximum of 20 hours per week while school is in session, and may work full time while school is not in session during vacation periods.  Students may not continue to work on campus after the program completion date.

OFF CAMPUS

F-1 students may not work off campus until they have completed one full academic year of study in the USA.  If you are interested in an internship, practical training or other types of work off campus, you must apply for permission through the DSO.  Make an appointment to discuss options, obtain permission and ensure that the proper procedure is followed.

PRACTICAL TRAINING

There are two types of practical training:  Curricular Practical Training (CPT) and Optional Practical Training (OPT).

A.  Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

CPT is temporary authorization for practical training directly related to your major program of study.  CPT may be part time (20 hours per week) or full time (40 hours per week).  If you work twelve months of full time CPT, you will not be eligible to apply for OPT.  CPT must be authorized by the DSO.   Failure to obtain DSO permission prior to engaging in CPT is a status violation and will result in termination of your student status for “unauthorized employment”.

  • 1.  Curricular Practical training can include:
  • (a)  Internships (paid or unpaid) related to your major
  • (b) Training programs or Practicums related to your major
  • (c)  Employment related to your major
  • .
  • 2.  Eligibility for CPT:
  • (a)  Complete one full academic year prior to beginning CPT
  • (b)  CPT must be required or an integral part of your academic program. You must register for credit for an internship, independent study, special problems/topics, or another course approved by your academic advisor. 
  • (c)  Obtain a written job offer from an employer for work that is directly related to your major field of study, which provides a description of the training activities, the location of the training, and the beginning and ending dates.
  • (d)  Complete the internship package and obtain approval from your academic advisor, the Provost, the Registrar, the Business Office, and your DSO.
  • (e)  Obtain an updated I-20 from your DSO, which has the CPT authorization noted on page two.
  • (f)  Employment may not begin until you receive the updated I-20.

B.  Optional Practical Training (OPT)

OPT permits F-1 students to obtain work experience directly related to their program of study.  OPT may be either pre-degree completion or post-degree completion.  Pre-completion OPT is limited to 20 hours per week while school is in session.  Post-completion OPT may be either full time or part time.

  • 1.  Duration of OPT is 12 months
  • STEM Extension OPT is available for up to an additional 24 months.  STEM majors include:  Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.
  • 2.  Eligibility for OPT:
  • (a)  Complete one full academic year prior to beginning OPT
  • (b)  OPT must be directly related to your major field of study
  • (c)  Obtain an updated I-20 from your DSO, which has the request for OPT noted on page two.
  • (d)  Complete the I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, pay the filing fee of $410.00, and submit supporting documents.
  • (e)  A job offer is not required prior to applying for OPT; however, you may not accrue more than 90 days of unemployment after the Employment Authorization Document (EAD) has been issued, nor more than an aggregate total of 120 total days of unemployment with a STEM extension.
  • (f)  Employment may not begin until you receive the EAD.
ECONOMIC HARDSHIP

An F-1 student (other than a Mexican or Canadian border-commuter student) who experiences severe, economic hardship caused by unforeseen circumstances beyond the student's control, may apply for off-campus work authorization.  Employment is limited to a maximum of 20 hours per week while school is in session, and may be full time while school is not in session during vacation periods. 

  • 1.  Economic Hardship can include:
  • (a)  Substantial and unexpected expenses.
  • (b)  Medical bills
  • (d)  Unexpected changes in the financial condition of the student's source of support
  • (d)  Inordinate increases in tuition and/or living costs,
  • (e)  Substantial fluctuations in the value of currency or exchange rate
  • (f)  Loss of financial aid or on-campus employment without fault on the part of the student.
  • .
  • 2.  Eligibility for Economic Hardship Employment Authorization:
  • (a) Complete one full academic year in F-1 status 
  • (b)  Be in good academic standing and enrolled in a full course of study
  • (c)  Employment will not interfere with a full course of study
  • (d)  Employment is necessary to avoid severe economic hardship
  • (e)  On campus employment must be unavailable or insufficient to meet the needs resulting from unforeseen circumstances.
  • (f)  Obtain an updated I-20 from your DSO, which has the request for Economic Hardship Employment Authorization noted on page two.
  • (g)  Complete the I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, pay the filing fee of $410.00, and submit supporting documents.
  • .
  • 3.  Guidelines for Economic Hardship Employment Authorization:
  • (a)  Duration – 12 months at a time (renewable), or until program end date.
  • (b)  Authorization terminates if a student transfers to another school.
  • (c)  Employment can be in any job; does not have to be related to major field of study
  • (d)  A job offer is not required prior to application for employment authorization
  • (e)  Employment may not begin until you receive the EAD.
INTERNSHIPS WITH AN INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION

F-1 students may work in an internship with an international organization defined under the International Organization Immunities Act [22 USC 288].  SEVP international organization internship employment FAQs

  • 1.  Eligibility for an Internship with an International Organization
  • (a) Student is eligible as soon he or she is in F-1 status; no waiting period.
  • (b) Available only while student is in F-1 status, before the program completion date.
  • (c) Must be with a qualified organization: C.2.1 List of International Organizations
  • (d) Granted in increments of one year.
  • (e)  Limited to 20 hours per week during school sessions; may be full-time during breaks.
  • (f)  Does not have to be related to course of study.
  • .
  • 2.  Guidelines for an Internship with an International Organization
  • (a)  Must have a written offer of employment from qualified international organization.
  • (b)  Obtain an updated I-20 from your DSO, which has the request for Employment Authorization with an International Organization noted on page two.
  • (c)  Complete the I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, pay the filing fee of $410.00, and submit supporting documents.
  • (d)  Must receive EAD before employment begins.
  • (e)  Must remain enrolled in a full course of study during the period of employment.