International Student On Campus Employment Authorization (F-1)
Definition of Employment
Employment is any type of work performed or services provided in exchange for money, tuition, fees, books, supplies, room, food or any other benefit. If you receive no pay or other benefit for the work performed and the position is normally an unpaid position, this activity is considered to be volunteer work. No volunteer work is allowed at UTB.
Different requirements exist for each type of F-1 employment, but there are basic requirements which must be met for any F-1 employment:
- You must currently be in valid F-1 status and in good academic standing at the University of Texas at Brownsville while engaged in a full course of study, except during summer and school holidays.
- A student who is out of status is not eligible for F-1 benefits, including employment.
- Once employment is authorized, you must maintain your eligibility or you will lose your right to continue employment.
- Student may work on the premises of the school he or she is authorized to attend. This includes on-location firms providing services for students or employment at an educationally affiliated institution necessary to complete the degree.
- A student is allowed to work for no more than 20 hours per week while school is in session and may work full-time during vacation periods. When a student is admitted to another institution and will transfer there, he or she may work during the summer or annual vacation period at either school.
How to Apply for On Campus Employment
If you meet all the requirements and you have been offered a job on campus, please work with your supervisor in completing the “International Student on Campus Employment Authorization Form”. The employer will have to complete the top part of the form and process a Recommendation to Hire electronic form at: http://www.utb.edu/ba/processes/Pages/PAF.aspx. You will have to attach to the form the most current copies of all your non-immigrant documents (ex: Passport identity page, I-94 front and back, I-20 and the copy of your visa)
Submit the form to the International Student and Scholar Services – OGE for approval. Our International Student Advisor will review the form and all the documents attached and if the request is approved, it will be sent to the Human Resources Office.
Optional Practical Training
F-1 students are eligible for a total of twelve months of Optional Practical Training (OPT ) per educational level. OPT provides an opportunity to apply theoretical knowledge obtained in an academic program to a practical work experience in the US. This employment opportunity must be directly related to your major field of study. Eligible students may apply for "pre-completion OPT " (before completion of program) and/or "post-completion OPT " (after completion of program). Students do not need a job offer in order to apply for OPT. OPT requires the student to have authorization from USCIS before you can begin employment. This authorization can take up to 3 months to obtain. Students recommended for OPT will receive a new SEVIS I-20 with an OPT recommendation notation. For additional information, please contact your International Student Advisor at the International Student & Scholar Services – OGE.
General Rules to Participate in Optional Practical Training (OPT)
- Student can apply while school is in session, during vacation periods, after completion of required coursework and after completion of a course of study.
- May be full-time or part-time and is limited to 12 months maximum.
- OPT after completion of a course of study may not be part-time.
- Student may enroll in school part time during OPT after completion of studies.
- Part-time OPT may be counted against the 12-month limit at the rate of 50 percent.
- OPT must be recommended by the international student specialist; USCIS approval and EAD are required.
- Application may be submitted to USCIS up to 120 days before the proposed beginning date of employment.
- Student must have been in good academic standing and be full-time student status for one academic year (see exception for graduate students under Curricular Practical Training, below).
- Annual vacation may be counted toward the nine-month-in-status requirement.
- Students who travel and make a new entry to clear status, or who change to a different non-immigrant status and then back to F-1, must be “in status” for an additional academic year prior to becoming eligible.
- Consecutive full-time status in any legal non-immigrant status that allows study (not B-2) can be counted toward meeting nine-month-in-status requirement.
Optional Practical Training (OPT)
Curricular Practical Training
F-1 students may be eligible for CPT authorization for work experience that is a required or an integral component of the program of study. These experiences may include internships, student teaching, cooperative education programs and practical experiences which are a required part of the student's academic program, or for which academic credit is granted. Students authorized for CPT will receive a new SEVIS I-20 with the CPT notation. For more information on eligibility for CPT and application procedures, please contact your International Student Advisor at the International Student & Scholar Services – OGE.
General Rules to Participate in Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
- Employment must be an “integral part of an established curriculum.”
- Sponsored employment is structured, monitored by the school and obtained through the support of the educational institution.
- Graduate students may engage in CPT without nine months in student status.
- CPT must not be more than one year and prior to the last semester of study.
- CPT must not be more than 20 hours per week.
- Students using one year or more of CPT are ineligible for OPT (see below).
- Employer, location and dates must be specified.
For more information, please contact your International Student Advisor, Aragelia Salazar at (956) 882-7983 or firstname.lastname@example.org .