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International Students. WORKING IN THE UNITED STATES. Types of Employment. On Campus Employment – F-1 and J-1 Curricular Practical Training (CPT) – F-1 Optional Practical Training (OPT) – F-1 Academic Training – J-1 Paid vs. Unpaid. F-1 Working On Campus. No permission needed

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International students
International Students




Types of employment
Types of Employment

  • On Campus Employment – F-1 and J-1

  • Curricular Practical Training (CPT) – F-1

  • Optional Practical Training (OPT) – F-1

  • Academic Training – J-1

  • Paid vs. Unpaid

F 1 working on campus
F-1 Working On Campus

No permission needed

  • up to 20 hours per week during regular fall and spring semesters

  • more than 20 hours per week during regular school breaks (including summer semester)

J 1 working on campus
J-1 Working On Campus

Written permission needed from RO/ARO

  • up to 20 hours per week during regular fall and spring semesters

  • more than 20 hours per week during regular school breaks (including summer semester)

F 1 curricular practical training cpt cgu
F-1 Curricular Practical Training (CPT): CGU

  • Must be an integral part of the student’s curriculum: YOU MUST EARN UNITS (or be on doctoral studies/continuous registration)

  • If not required for degree, eligible only after one full academic year of study (9 months)

  • Department gives initial approval, final permission is granted by DSO/International Student Advisor/Coordinator

  • Job offer required before approval can be granted

  • Approved for a specific employer(s), for a specific time period

  • Can be given for up to one semester at a time (one year if on doctoral studies)

  • Can be Part Time (20 hours/week or less) or Full Time (more than 20 hours/week)

    • Full Time CPT cannot be granted while you are completing course work

      • Only available while on doctoral studies or during summer semester or school breaks

  • 12 months of full time CPT makes you ineligible for OPT

F 1 optional practical training opt
F-1 Optional Practical Training (OPT)

  • Generally done after completion of academic program, but may be done before completion

  • Employment must be related to field of study

  • Maximum of 12 months per academic level

  • Must be recommended by DSO/International Student Advisor/Coordinator

  • Requires an application and fee ($340.00) with USCIS

  • Final approval granted by USCIS (EAD), generally takes 90 days to be approved – APPLY EARLY

  • No job offer required for approval

  • Application must be received by USCIS prior to the end of your 60-Day Grace Period (though we recommend that you file no later than 1 month before you complete your degree requirements)

F 1 optional practical training opt cont
F-1 Optional Practical Training (OPT) cont.

Other important OPT notes:

  • You can use OPT anywhere in the US

  • You may switch employers

    • You must report any and all changes in Employment

  • You are eligible for OPT after each higher degree earned

  • You can use your OPT while waiting for a change of status to H-1B

F 1 opt 90 day unemployment provision
F-1 OPT: 90 Day Unemployment Provision

  • You may not be unemployed during your OPT for a total aggregate of 90 days (including breaks between employment longer than 10 days)

  • “Volunteer” work or unpaid internships count as employment for your initial OPT

  • Multiple jobs can be used to complete the full-time (20 hr) requirement

    • Make sure you report ALL employment to your international student coordinator

F 1 opt reporting employment
F-1 OPT: Reporting Employment

  • Employment Information to Report

    • Employer’s Name (Business name)

    • Address (if multiple, report the location where you will be working)

    • Start Date

    • End Date (if applicable)

    • Position Title

      • It is helpful if you include a quick statement as to how the job fulfills OPT requirements)

    • Hours per week

      • Remember you can have multiple jobs to make up the minimum 20 hours a week

        • Note Primary Employer

F 1 opt reporting other changes
F-1 OPT: Reporting Other Changes

  • Other Information to Report

    • Change in Address

    • Change in Email Address

    • Change in Telephone Number

    • Leaving the US

      • Remember to obtain travel signatures if temporary travel

    • Change of Status (i.e. to H1)

F 1 opt stem extension
F-1 OPT – STEM Extension

  • Some degrees in the field of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics qualify for the 17-month STEM Extension

    • Granted AFTER your initial OPT Year

    • New OPT Application

      • Another application fee plus processing time

        • Apply roughly 3 months prior to your current OPT expiring

F 1 opt stem extension1
F-1 OPT – STEM Extension

  • Qualifications for STEM Extension

    • STEM approvable degree (please see your International Student Coordinator)

    • Traditional full-time paid employment

      • No volunteer or unpaid internships

    • Employer must be registered with US Government’s E-Verify System

F 1 opt h1 b cap gap provision
F-1 OPT: H1-B Cap-Gap Provision

  • If you apply and are approved for an H1-B but your H1 status will not take affect until after your OPT expires, you are eligible for the automatic H1-B Cap-Gap Provision.

    • You must contact your International Student Advisor prior to the expiration of your current OPT to obtain the extension (provide proof of H1 approval)

    • STEM students: You do not need to file for a STEM Extension in this case

J 1 academic training cgu
J-1 Academic Training: CGU

  • Can be paid or unpaid

  • Can be done during or after studies

  • Needs approval from academic advisor and RO/ARO

  • Length of time depends on whether student is non-degree or degree-seeking (Master’s or Doctorate)

Next steps
Next Steps

  • Always check with your International Student Advisor/Coordinator before accepting any offer of employment if you are unsure if it is suitable

  • Remember to report all changes in employment, address, and email address/phone number

    • It is very important that we can contact you while on OPT

  • I-Place is also available for questions at any time ([email protected] or 909-621-8344)