Work Authorization

Employment Options for International Students on F-1 Visas

Employment Option – Employment on campus

Description – Employment on campus with the school itself or with an independent company serving the school’s needs

Eligibility – F-1 status

Limitations – Max 20 hours per week during school year, full time during vacation periods.

Authorization – Not required


Employment Option – Employment based on economic need

Description – Employment after one year of study if there has been an unforeseen change in your financial position (such as your country’s currency, loss of a scholarship, large tuition increase, etc.)

Eligibility – F-1 status for at least one academic year, good academic standing, continued student status, unforeseen financial hardship, and/or inability to find campus employment

Limitations – Max 20 hours per week during school year, full time during vacation periods; permission granted for one year at a time.

Authorization – By USCIS


Employment Option – Curricular practical training (CPT)

Description – Employment as part of a student’s educational experience, offered by an employer through agreement with the school.

Eligibility – F-1 status for at least nine months; (which can be waived for graduate student under certain circumstances), and/or continued student status.

Limitations – Limited to internships, co-op education, alternate work/study programs, required practicums.

Authorization – By designated school official


Employment Option – Optional practical training (OPT)

Description – Employment for up to one year after graduation in a job related to your field of study; OPT may start before graduation under specific circumstances.

Eligibility – F-1 status for at least nine months; need not to have offer of employment.

Limitations – Not eligible if you have already worked for at least one year in CPT; OPT can only be for full time jobs.

Authorization – By USCIS and the designated school official


Employment Option – Employment through H-1B visa

Description – Temporary employment through H-1B visas for specialty workers; sponsoring employers must have documents on file with the U.S department of Labor certifying, among other things, that they will offer the employee on H-1B visa at least the prevailing wage paid in the same geographic area for the same type of job.

Eligibility – Must have the offer of a specialty job from a qualified employer; must have the correct background for the job, incl. At least a bachelor’s degree or equivalent work experience.

Limitations – Eligibility to work only for the H-1b sponsor; visa granted for up to three years at a time, subject to a maximum of six years.

Authorization – By USCIS


Please schedule an appointment with Anne Marie Verini to discuss employment options in detail.