Work Authorization

  • On-campus employment does not require prior permission. It is limited to 20 hours per week or less while enrolled for full-time courses.
  • Curricular Practical Training or “CPT” enables students to gain off-campus work authorization for internships or other work that is either REQUIRED by the degree program (as defined in the course catalog) or is an integral part of an established curriculum. It does not require an application to the U.S. government, and so can be approved quite quickly – usually within a matter of days.
  • Optional Practical Training or “OPT” allows students to work in their degree-related field pre or post completion of their degree. The maximum amount of time granted to work on F-1 OPT status is 12 months per degree level (17 month STEM extension is available, rules apply). It must be approved by the U.S. government and can take at least 3 months to process.

On-campus Employment
Students may apply for available opportunities through Ms. Jerrie Smith in the Human Resources office.

Curricular Practical Training

  1. Required for the degree program: Internship is mandatory to receive the degree (Criminal Justice & Education majors).
  2. An integral part of an established curriculum: If the internship is not required, then it must be taken for credit; the student must sign up for an internship course. The student must provide documentation that the internship is directly related to their degree program. Part-time CPT does not count towards the 1-year threshold at which a student loses eligibility for Optional Practical Training. The student will receive a new I-20 from ISS authorizing employment. No Employment Authorization Document (EAD) is required.

Optional Practical Training

  1. Pre-completion OPT: Employment in a related field before completing the program listed on I-20. Students must apply no sooner than 90 days prior to beginning employment.
  2. Post-completion OPT: Employment in a related field of study after completion of the program listed on I-20. Must be applied no sooner than 90 days prior to the completion of the program or no later than 60 days after the completion of the program. The processing time may cut into the student’s 12 months of OPT if applied close to the 60-day mark.
  3. STEM OPT Extension (available only to students who completed a degree in the Science, Technology, Engineering, or Math fields): must be applied before the expiration date on the EAD card. The employer must also be an E-Verified Employer.

Documents required for OPT:

  • Student Request for OPT
  • I-765 – Click here to download.
  • Check or money order for $380 made payable to: Department of Homeland Security
  • Two recent passport-style photos. The photos must be 2×2 inches; the images must be 1 inch from the hair to the chin and 1 1/4 inch from eye height to the bottom of the photo. Your name and I-94 number must be printed in pencil on the back of the photos. More information can be found here.
  • Copy of both sides of your I-94 card
  • Copy of passport or visa
  • I-20 reflecting OPT Employment Requested

Instructions from USCIS
Click here for instructions.

Employer Reporting Requirement
All students on Post-Completion OPT must report their employer information and provide a copy of their EAD card (front and back) to ISS. Failure to report your employer’s information can result in a loss of legal status.

Social Security Number
Students may obtain a Social Security Letter from ISS. To learn more about this process visit the Social Security Administration website.