As an international student you are eligible for on-campus employment.
Employment is limited to a maximum of twenty hours per week while classes are in session. Students may work full-time when school is not in session as long as they have maintained their status. Before beginning on-campus employment you must receive approval from the Office of International Student Services. Once you have been offered a position bring your offer letter to the office for the issuance of your employment authorization.
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Curricular Practical Training
Curricular Practical Training refers to employment based on an integral part of an established curriculum. Employment is considered an integral part of an established curriculum if it is required of you to graduate or if it is a training program that is essential for your program of study. CPT must be related to the major. With the approval of your program you may engage in alternative work/study, internship, or cooperative education opportunities offered and/or arranged through or by your academic program. CPT may take place during the academic semester and/or summer months. It is limited to 20 hours a week while school is in session. Students may work full-time when school is not in session as long as they have maintained their status. CPT must be authorized and approved by the Office of International Student Services before the beginning of the semester.
You must have been enrolled for at least one full year to be eligible for CPT.
*Note: Use of 12 months or more of full-time CPT eliminates you from OPT eligibility.
Optional Practical Training
If you have been enrolled on a full-time basis for at least one year, you may be eligible for Optional Practical Training, which refers to employment directly related to your field of study for the purposes of gaining practical experience. You may engage in OPT during the following times:
- During your annual vacation as long as you intend to register for the upcoming semester.
- You may work while school is in session as long as the practical training does not exceed 20 hours per week.
- After the completion of your studies you may be authorized for 12 months of practical training. An additional 12 months of practical training is allowed upon the completion of a higher education level.
F-1 students may apply for OPT up to 90 days before the completion date or semester end date or up to 60 days after your completion date. Students in the “STEM” (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) areas (http://nafsa.org/_/Document/_/dhs_stem_designated_degree_2.pdf) are eligible for a 17 month extension http://nafsa.org/_/Document/_/dhs_stem_designated_degree_2.pdf
If you are a J-1 student applying for post-completion OPT, you must apply for authorization within 30 days of program completion.
-Instructional Sheet for Optional Practical Training
-OPT Validation Requirement
Economic hardship refers to financial difficulties that are the result of unforeseen circumstances beyond your control. Some of the reasons may include the death of a financial sponsor, a sudden increase in tuition and/or living expenses. If an F-1 or J-1 student has maintained his/her status for one full academic year and is in good academic standing, he/she may apply to USCIS for off-campus employment based on unforeseen circumstances.
Approval of employment through the economic hardship option does not preclude you from the 20 hour a week requirement while school is in session. You may only work full-time during annual breaks.
You will need the following documents to apply:
- Completion of the I-765 Form http://www.uscis.gov/I-765
- A check or money order for $340.00 made payable to ‘Department of Homeland Security’.
- A photocopy of the I-20 showing the DSO’s recommendation.
- A photocopy of your I-94 front and back.
- A photocopy of the identification pages of your passport (these pages include your name, passport expiration date, etc). A photocopy of your most recent F-1 visa.
- A photocopy of any employment authorization card(s) you may have previously been issued.
- Two passport size photos. These photos must have a white background taken no earlier than 30 days before you make your application for practical training. They should be un-mounted, printed on thin paper, glossy and un-retouched. They must show you in a face forward position. Ask for a passport photo. Your head should be bear unless you are wearing a headdress as required by a religious order you belong to. The photo should not be larger than 1.5 x 1.5 inches with the distance from the top of the head to just below your chin about 1.25 inches. Lightly print in pencil your name and SEVIS ID# on the back of each photo. If you like you can have these pictures taken for free in Room N622 (Legal Studies Department).
- Supporting materials documenting the unforeseen circumstances
- Supporting materials documenting the unavailability/insufficiency of on-campus employment.