In order to maintain valid F-1 status, a student must not work in the United States, unless the employment is specifically authorized under the regulations.
F-1 students are generally permitted to work part-time on the premises of the school that issued their currently valid I-20, while they are attending that school and maintaining their F-1 status. On-campus employment is “incident to status,” and does not require DSO authorization or updates to the SEVIS record.
- Eligibility Requirements: eligible immediately upon obtaining F-1 status; no waiting period
- Duration: throughout period student is pursuing a full course of study
- Hours Per Week: limited to 20 hours per week while school is in session; can be full-time during official school breaks
- Field of Work: can be in any on-campus position; does not have to be related to course of study.
To look for current on-campus job opportunities, we recommend checking out Employment Listings on Augsburg Human Resource website.
A F-1 student may be authorized to work off-campus. The off-campus employment must be recommended in SEVIS by the DSO, and be adjudicated and approved by USCIS. So before you participate in any kind of off-campus employment, please consult an international student advisor to find out application procedures and related regulations.
The most often authorized off-campus employment to most F-1 students studying at the college and university level is the practical training. The practice training allows F-1 students to engage in temporary employment to gain practical experience directly related to their field of study. There are two types of practical training: Curricular practical training (CPT) and Optional practical training (OPT).
Curriculum Practical Training (CPT)
By regulation, a curricular practical training (CPT) program is granted directly by the DSO through an update to a student’s SEVIS record. Upon approval, the DSO will reissue a new Form I-20 with the authorization of CPT on page 3.
- Eligibility Requirements
- The student is currently in valid F-1 status.
- The student has been enrolled on a full-time basis at a U.S. college or university level for one full academic year.
- The student will continue to be enrolled for a full course of study during the CPT.
- The training is “an integral part of an established curriculum”.
- The training is “directly related to the student’s major area of study”.
- Hours Per Week
- Part-time CPT: limited to totally 20 hours/week (including on-campus employment hours)
- Full-time CPT: a maximum of 40 hours/week (including on-campus employment hours)
- Application procedures
- Complete F-1 CPT Student Request and Academic Adviser Verification
- Set up an appointment with an international student advisor to request authorization for CPT.
- Sign and date on page 1 of the new I-20 form that reflects the CPT authorization.
Optional Practical Training (OPT)
Optional practical training is employment authorization granted by the U.S. Bureau of Immigration & Citizenship Services (USCIS) that enables a student to gain work experience in his or her field of study. It may be used during or after completion of a program.
- Eligibility Requirements
- All students must have completed nine months of full‑time studies and must be pursuing an academic program.
- The proposed employment must fall into one of the four categories described above.
- Standard OPT is available for a cumulative maximum of 12 months per educational level.
- A one-time extension of 17 months (for a total of 29 months) is available to certain STEM degree recipients.
- Hours Per Week
- 20 hours/week limit for pre-completion OPT done while school is in session and student still has coursework to complete.
- Full-time employment can be requested for pre-completion OPT done during official school breaks, and for students who have competed all requirements for their degree except for thesis or dissertation.
- For post-completion OPT, according to SEVP guidance a student must be adequately employed to avoid limits on unemployment.
- Application Checklist
□ Form I-765
□ I-765 filling fee in the form of a check or money order payable to “U.S. Department of Homeland Security”
□ 2 identical immigration-style photos
□ Form I-20 printed with the OPT endorsement, and student’s and DSO’s signatures
□ Photocopies of all prior Forms I-20
□ Photocopies of any previous employment authorization documents (EAD cards), if any
□ Copy of both sides of the student’s I-94
□ Photocopies of the passport ID pages and F-1 visa page
□ Mailing all of the above to the USCIS Lockbox Facility with jurisdiction over the student’s place of residence.
For more detailed information regarding OPT categories, application procedures, travel during OPT and school transfer, please read OPT instructions. <Add the link>
If this is your first-time to get a job in the United States, you will need to apply for a Social Security Number. As an F-1 student, you will need the following documents to apply for a Social Security Number:
- I-94 card (visit www.cbp.gov/I94 for a copy of your electronic I-94 record)
- An Augsburg On-campus Employment Letter signed and dated by your employer and an ISSS advisor at Augsburg College.
- A completed Social Security Application (SS-5 Form).
****Note: (1) There is no fee to apply. (2) Twin City residence must use the Social Security Card Center to apply. The center is located at 1811 Chicago Avenue, Suite 2, Minneapolis, MN. It’s open between 9 am and 3:30pm from Monday to Friday.