Off-campus employment is limited to F-1 students in colleges and universities who are pursuing academic studies. Working off campus requires special authorization and is only available in certain situations. The F-1 student should consult their international student advisor (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.

  • 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. 

  • OPT STEM Degree ExtensionStudents with a qualifying STEM degree (Science, Technology, Engineering, & Mathematics) may apply for a 24 Month extension of OPT, making the total duration last up to 36 months.

  • Severe Economic Hardship EmploymentF-1 students 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)].

  • 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: Students may need to work off campus if a disaster has affected their ability to support themselves. The disaster may occur in the United States and prevent them from working on campus or the disaster may occur overseas and affect their economic support. If the student can demonstrate that they are from an affected country or region and they have been recommended for such employment by an ISA, they may be eligible to receive employment authorization when filing the I-765, Application for Employment Authorization. For more information, click here.