Off-campus employment is limited to students in colleges and universities who are pursuing academic studies. Working off-campus requires special authorization and is only available in certain situations. Consult your international student adviser (ISA) for advice.
Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
Curricular practical training is a type of employment for an F-1 student, which is an integral part of the curriculum or program. This employment may be an internship or a practicum. For more information click here.
Standard Optional Practical Training (OPT)
Optional Practical training is the opportunity to apply knowledge gained in the classroom to a practical work experience off campus. Optional practical training is authorized by the USCIS. This authorization can take 120 days to obtain. The maximum amount of time granted to work in F-1 standard optional practical training is 12 months.
Students who have completed their degree program may be employed full-time in the field of study through Optional Practical Training. For more information, click here.
17-month OPT STEM Degree Extension
The 12 month limit on the initial Optional Practical Training (OPT) will be extended by 17 months, for a total of 29 months, for students with a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, & Mathematics) degree. For more information, click here.
Severe Economic Hardship Employment
F-1 student may request employment authorization based on severe economic hardship caused by unforeseen circumstances beyond the student's control. These circumstances may include a loss of financial aid or on-campus employment without fault on the part of the student, substantial fluctuations in the value of currency or exchange rate, inordinate increases in tuition and /or living costs, or unexpected changes in the financial condition of the student's source of support, medical bills, or other substantial and unexpected expenses. Source: [8 C.F.R. 214.2(f)(9)(ii)(C)-(D) and (F)].
For more information, click here.
Special Student Relief
Special Student Relief is available to F-1 students who began full-time study in F-1 status before June 10, 1998, and whose financial support comes from Indonesia, South Korea, Malaysia, Thailand, or the Philippines. These students must be able to prove that they are experiencing severe and unforeseen financial problems due to the economic crisis in Asia.
Temporary Relief Measures
As an academic student, you may need to work off-campus if a disaster has affected your ability to support yourself. The disaster may occur in the United States and prevent you from working on-campus or the disaster may occur overseas and affect your economic support. If you can demonstrate that you are from an affected country or region and you have been recommended for such employment by a ISA, you may be eligible to receive employment authorization when filing the I-765, Application for Employment Authorization. For more information, click here.
Exchange visitor students who are in good academic standing may obtain authorization for work off-campus as part of an academic training experience or when unforeseen economic circumstances arise after the student becomes an exchange visitor. Employment as a result of unforeseen economic circumstances is limited to 20 hours per week while classes are in session but can be full-time during vacation periods and breaks. See your international student advisor for advice.
Academic training is a type of employment directly related to a J-1 student's major area of study designed to apply knowledge and skills learned during the academic program.
J-1 students may pursue academic training opportunities during or after their studies. In general, you are limited to 18 months of academic training, unless one of the following applies:
- Your program of study is less than 18 months, in which case your academic training period cannot be longer than your course of study
- You are pursuing postdoctoral training, in which case, you may be eligible for up to 36 months of academic training
- You have used periods of academic training earlier in your studies. Academic training must be recommended by your dean or major adviser and authorized by the responsible officer of your exchange visitor program. (See your responsible officer for criteria and procedures for academic training.)
For more information click here.
Unforeseen Economic Circumstances
A student may be authorized for off-campus employment when necessary because of serious, urgent and unforeseen economic circumstances that have arisen since acquiring exchange visitor status. Authorization must be approved by an international student advisor before employment begins and off-campus employment is available up to 20 hours per week.
Special Student Relief
Students in J-1 status whose means of financial support come from Indonesia, South Korea, Malaysia, Thailand, or the Philippines, and whose financial support has been disrupted, reduced, or eliminated due to economic crises in that country may be authorized for full- or part-time employment on- or off-campus.
J-2 dependents are eligible for employment and are required to:
- Apply and be approved for full-time or part-time work authorization through USCIS.
- Not work for the purpose of supporting the J-1
- Reapply, in a timely manner, for renewal of the Employment Authorization Document (EAD) each year
- Cease working if the J-1 violates status, changes from J-1 to another non-immigrant class, or leaves the J program altogether
For more information click here.