International Student Employment
- International students may not work off campus unless they are engaged in curricular practical training (CPT) or optional practical training (OPT). In rare instances a student facing severe and unusual economic hardship may apply for off-campus employment. Such employment requires authorization from the USCIS.
- International students may work on campus only after they have received official permission from the Office of International Education. Please remember that on-campus jobs are limited.
- Before undertaking any type of employment (on-campus, CPT, OPT), you are required to meet with the Director of International Education for guidance and to secure the appropriate permission form.
- International students are required to complete permission forms for any type of employment. This form will be placed in the student's file.
- All types of employment must be reported to the International Education Office.
- Please allow at least three business days for your permission form to be approved. You should then consult with the Director of International Education to determine your next step.
- Once employment has been approved, students may not work more than 20 hours per week (total) while classes are in session.
- If you are combining practical training with on-campus employment, the total combined hours you may work must not exceed 20 hours per week. Exceeding 20 hours is a violation of status.
- A week is defined as Sunday at 12:01 a.m. to Saturday at 11:59 p.m.
Curricular Practical Training
- Students who need CPT authorization are required to have the CPT course professor or program director fill out a CPT Authorization Request form. The form must be signed by the program director in order for I-20 authorization to occur.
- Because CPT is an integral part of a curriculum, students should not "look for a job" to use as CPT. Your professor or program director will guide you toward the training opportunity appropriate for the curriculum.
- Students must supply a copy of the course syllabus when submitting the CPT Authorization Request form.
- Students must supply a job offer letter when submitting the CPT authorization request form.
- CPT should not be regarded as sustainable employment. It is a training experience within your curriculum.
- NEVER begin CPT before it is authorized on your I-20.
Optional Practical Training
- Students planning to engage in OPT should fill out the OPT Request form available in the international education office. After the form has been approved, students should then fill out the OPT application available on the USCIS website. The USCIS application must be fully completed before the international education office will submit a request for OPT.
- Your OPT application should be submitted within a 90-day window prior to your program end date. Send your application by express courier within one day of acquiring the request for OPT on your I-20. If your application is not received by USCIS within 30 days of the request date on your I-20, your OPT application will be denied. Students who apply for OPT later in the 90-day pre-completion window or after their completion date may lose OPT time. The OPT application may require up to three months for processing.
- OPT must be completed within 14 months of your program end date.
- NEVER accept an OPT employment offer before having the EAD (Employment Authorization Document) supplied by the USCIS in hand.
- NEVER engage in employment of any kind without appropriate approval. Doing so is a violation of status and will result in termination.