Employment Opportunities for F-1 Students
Employment in F-1 status is opportunity for students to gain practical experience, and where necessary, supplement financial resources due to changed financial circumstances.
On-Campus EmploymentOn-campus employment refers to work performed on school premises or at an affiliated off-site location. On-campus employment may include working in the school library, cafeteria, student store, or work that is part of a student's scholarship, fellowship or assistantship.
F-1 Students may be employed on campus as long as they work no longer than 20 hours per week while school is in session. Students are also eligible to work full-time during vacation and school breaks as long as they intend to and are eligible to register for the next term.
Off-Campus Interships, or Externships or Cooperative Training Programs (CPT)Cooperative training programs or externships also known as Curricular Practical Training refer to work-study programs required as part of a student's work toward a degree. To be eligible for curricular practical training, a student must have completed nine months of study or be enrolled in graduate studies that require immediate participation in curricular practical training.
The maximum amount of curricular or post-completion optional practical (OPT) training is 12 months. STEM field graduates receive an additional 24 months. Thus, if the curricular training is 12 months in length (full-time basis), the student will not be eligible for post-completion practical training.
Off-Campus Pre-Completion Optional Practical TrainingPre-completion practical training in a field related to studies is permitted for F-1 students as long as they do not no more than 20 hours per week while school is in session, This category allows full-time employment during vacations and on school breaks as long as the student intends to register for the next term. Time spent in pre-completion practical training will count towards the 12 months full-time employment available for post completion practical training.
Severe Economic HardshipIn cases where an F-1 student is faced with severe and often unforeseen economic hardship, the student may obtain permission to work off-campus in any field for 20 hours per week and full-time while school is not in session. Employment based on financial hardship is not counted towards post-completion optional practical training (OPT), but the student must have completed at least one academic year in F-1 status, and be in good academic standing in order to be eligible for employment based on economic hardship.
Post-Competion Optional Ptractical TrainingPost completion OPT authorizes F-1 students who are completing a bachelor*s or gradate degree in the US. The purpose of post completion OPT is to provide an opportunity for employment experience in the student*s field of study. An F-1 student is entitled to one year of post-completion OPT. However, students who have received one year or more of full-time curricular practical training (CPT) are not ineligible for OPT. Part-time CPT authorization, or fewer than 12 months of full-time CPT authorization, does not affect OPT eligibility.
F-1 students may apply to participate in post-completion OPT after completing their studies. Students who are authorized for post-completion OPT, may work part time (20 hours or less per week) or full-time.
Students who have earned a degree in certain science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields, may apply for a 24-month extension of post-completion OPT employment authorization if they:
* Are an F-1 student who received a STEM degree included on the STEM Designated Degree Program List (PDF),
* Are employed by an employer who is enrolled in and is using E-Verify, and
* Received an initial grant of post-completion OPT employment authorization based on their STEM degree.