F-1/J-1 students are non-immigrants. Therefore, they are not eligible for Financial Aid. International students are permitted to work on campus. Employment is not guaranteed. Students are hired based on merit and experience. Students may work part-time (up to 20 hours) during the semester and full-time (20+ hours) during summer and winter vacations. F-1 students must have been in legal immigration status for a minimum of one academic year (two semesters) or 9 consecutive months prior to applying for any off-campus employment. Please refer to the employment categories listed in this guide for details, requirements, and limitations.
Always consult with ISS before starting any employment. It is extremely important to keep in mind that it is your responsibility to engage only in employment authorized as permissible for F-1/J-1 students.
You must provide written proof that you have been hired by an on-campus department to apply for a Social Security Number. New students (entering the U.S. on an "Initial" I-20) are strongly advised to wait for a minimum of ten (10) days after arrival in the United States before applying for a Social Security Number (SSN). This gives USCIS & DHS sufficient time to record your arrival and confirm your immigration status in their databases.
In order to apply for a Social Security Number, students must request ISS to verify on-campus employment by first obtaining a signature from the on-campus supervisor on the appropriate verification form.
Students must then apply for a SSN at the Social Security Administration (SSA). Visit www.ssa.gov for the application form, required documents, and address of the local SSA office.
Students are eligible to work on-campus on a part time basis, which is defined as 20 hours per week or less when school is in session. During vacation periods (summer and winter), you may work on campus full-time. You must provide written proof that you have been hired by an on-campus department to apply for a social security number (one time only). After you receive your social security card, you must report to the office of Student Employment in Boyden Hall, Room 101, to complete necessary paperwork before you start working.
An eligible F-1/J-1 student may request off-campus employment based on severe economic hardship caused by unforeseen circumstances beyond their control. F-1 students must have been in student status for one academic year and must be able to clearly document the circumstances causing the economic need. Approval is subject to USCIS adjudication. J-1 students may request employment authorization from the Responsible Official (RO).
Curricular Practical Training refers to any type of salaried employment, paid internship, or practicum which is related to an F-1 student's field of study. ISS processes student requests for CPT authorization if the internship is required for a degree program or is recommended by the academic department. CPT is authorized by Dr. Rawjee, the PDSO. In order to be eligible to apply for CPT, you must have been in legal F-1 status for a minimum of one academic year (2 semesters) or 9 consecutive months. Your F-1 status begins on your first date of entry into the United States.
Submit a completed application to ISS for review and the required approval. The deadline to obtain CPT approval is the Add/Drop deadline for each semester if you are required to enroll in the internship course. Contact ISS for information on unpaid internships or any questions.
J-1 students may be eligible to participate in academic training under certain circumstances. Consult with the Dr. Rawjee, the RO in the CIE for eligibility requirements.
Optional Practical Training for F-1 students is intended to provide hands-on practical work experience complementary to the academic program. An F-1 student is eligible for a maximum of 12 months of OPT. However, if a student begins a new academic program at a higher level (e.g. Master's after Bachelor's degree or Ph.D. after Master's), the student is eligible for another 12 months of OPT. NOTE: Certain science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) degree holders may be eligible for additional 17 months of OPT in addition to the regular 12-month OPT.
To be eligible for OPT the student must:
Have been lawfully enrolled on a full-time basis for one full academic year
Have maintained F-1 status
Work in a job directly related to the major field of study.
*NOTE: ISS requires all students to attend an OPT workshop at the beginning
of their final semester. Students will be advised on the application process as well as other
important information to maintain legal immigration status.
Last Modified: June 19, 2012