Employment Regulations

F-1 Student On-Campus Employment

Non-immigrant students are admitted into the United States to study. For these students to work in the United States, specific authorization must be obtained.
F-1 students are generally permitted to work part-time on the premises of Holy Family University because the University issued the current valid I-20, the students are attending the University as full time students, and the students are maintaining their F-1 status. F-1 students are not eligible for a work study position and should not apply.

On-campus work may generally be divided into three types:

  • Work on the university's premises
  • Work on the university's premises but employed by an on-campus commercial firm, such as the bookstore or dining services
  • Work done at off-campus locations, but treated as on-campus.

Time Limits

You are allowed to work:

  • Part-time (20 hours per week or less) during the Fall and Spring semesters
  • Full time (more than 20 hours per week) between semesters
  • Full time (more than 20 hours per week) during the annual vacation break.

On-Campus employment eligibility ends:

  • When you graduate. It expires on the last day of your final semester
  • If you transfer to another university, your work authorization expires on the day of your SEVIS record release day
  • If you violate your F-1 Status

Not following guidelines for employment authorization is a violation of status and could jeopardize a student's ability to remain in the United States or return for future visits.

F-1 Student: Off-Campus Employment

Off-campus employment is allowed only in cases of severe economic hardship or in emergent circumstances as defined by the Department of Homeland Security. Off-campus employment is granted, on a case-by-case basis, only to an F-1 student who can prove that new, unexpected circumstances have created severe economic hardship. These circumstances may include the following:

  • Loss of financial aid due to no fault of the student
  • Loss of on-campus employment if it is not the student's fault and no other on-campus job is available
  • Large increases in tuition or living costs
  • Substantial decreases in the relative value of the currency that the student depends upon to pay expenses
  • Unexpected changes in the financial condition of the student's sources of financial support
  • Unexpected large medical bills
  • Other substantial unexpected expenses

In addition to economic hardship, the following rules apply to off-campus employment:

  • An F-1 student must be enrolled for at least one academic year before he/she is eligible to apply for off-campus work authorization.
  • The student must be unable to obtain on-campus employment or pay available from on-campus employment or the pay is insufficient to meet the student's financial needs.
  • The DSO must recommend approval of the request and provide the F-1 student with a signed Form I-20.
  • Any F-1 student may not begin working without an Employment Authorization Department (EAD). The application process for the EAD varies between two to four months

EAD Application Procedures

USCIS requires the following documentation when applying for the Employment Authorization Document of Homeland Security.

  • www.uscis.gov/i-765
  • Form I-765 (write (C) (3) (B) in item 16)
  • $410 fee (check or money order payable to US Department of Homeland Security)
  • Copy of Form I-20 with the IAO Designated School Office's recommendation for economic hardship employment or Optional Practical Training
  • Photocopy of the passport identification page
  • Photocopy of visa page
  • Photocopies of any previously issues EAD card send all documentation to:
    USCIS
    P.O. Box 660867
    Dallas, TX 75266

F-1 Dependents: F-2 Status

A dependent of an F-1 visa holder is not permitted to work in the United States under any circumstances.

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) for F-1 Students

CPT is defined as alternative work/study, internship, experiential learning, or any other type of required internship or practicum that is offered by sponsoring employers through cooperative agreements with the university.

CPT is only available to F-1 students when it is an integral part of an established curriculum, which means that an opportunity must be required by the curriculum or, if not required, the student must receive academic credit for the training.

F-1 students must be enrolled for one full academic year to be eligible for CPT.

A student must maintain full-time status while completing CPT. Part-time CPT is limited to the maximum of 20 hours per week during the fall and spring semesters.

How to Apply for CPT

  1. Visit the International Affairs Office and request the following forms:
    • CPT Application Form (IAO Forms)
    • Departmental Recommendation for CPT
  2. 2. Complete the forms and return them to the DSO in the IAO on the first day of the semester in which you are registered for the internship, clerkship, or practicum.
  3. Bring an offer letter from the prospective employer on the employer's letterhead. The offer letter should state the location of the CPT, the length of time of CPT which includes the start date and a description of duties.
  4. Bring a current I-20 (Not a copy)

Eligibility Requirements for CPT

  1. You must have been enrolled in classes for at least one academic year (fall and spring semesters).
  2. CPT employment must be an integral part of an established curriculum.
  3. Training is required of all students or optional for your degree.
  4. Register for the appropriate course before applying for CPT: If you cannot receive college credit for the work experience, you cannot be authorized for CPT.
  5. An F-1 student will be authorized by the IAO for CPT. Your IAO DSO will process your application for CPT. With SEVIS approval, you will be issued a new I-20 that shows the CPT employment authorization on the third page for the specific employer, location, and length of time.
  6. Students who use 12 months or more of full time CPT become ineligible for Optional Practical Training (OPT). This 12 month limit will include any full time CPT that is required by your program. Check all program requirements carefully.

Optional Practical Traning for F-1 Students

Optional practical training (OPT) is another type of practical training available to non-immigrant students. OPT is not an integral part of a student's academic program and requires Department of Homeland Security adjudication.
F-1 students can participate in OPT that is directly related to their major area of study while they are enrolled in school (pre-completion) and upon completion of their program of study (post completion). Certain students (STEM) are eligible for a 17 month extension of post-completion OPT.
Students must be enrolled full time for a full academic year before being eligible for OPT, and there is no exception to this requirement. However, F-1 students can apply for pre-completion OPT as early as 90 days prior to completion of a full academic year.

Guidelines for OPT

  • F-1 students can participate in a total of 12 months of OPT at each educational level.
  • Part time work counts toward the maximum 12 months at one-half the rate of full-time employment.
  • OPT does not count as part of the student's full-time course load.
  • A student may work up to 20 hours per week when classes are in session.
  • A student may work more than 20 hours a week when classes are not in session.
  • A student does not need a job offer to be authorized for OPT.
  • A student is limited to an aggregate of 90 days of unemployment during post-completion OPT and 120 days of unemployment if granted the 17–month extension.

How to Apply for OPT

  1. Request an OPT Recommendation Form from the IAO and complete both Parts A and B (IAO Forms).
  2. Submit the completed OPT Recommendation Form to the DSO in the International Affairs Office.
  3. Submit the Form I-20 with OPT endorsement, signed by the DSO and student on page 1 and signed and dated by the DSO on page 3. Filing of an OPT application (I-765, signed I-20, and fee) must occur within 30 days of the DSO's recommendation in SEVIS, and within other OPT filing deadlines (No sooner than 90 days before program end date, and no later than 60 days after the program end date).
  4. Make photo copies of all I-20 forms.
  5. Photo copy any previous employment authorization documents (EAD)
  6. Complete the current Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization www.uscis.gov/i-765. At item 16, enter the appropriate code
    Pre-completion OPT – (c) (3) (A)
    Post-completion OPT – (c) (3) (B)
  7. Write a check or obtain a money order for the Form I-765 filing fee, made payable to "US Department of Homeland Security"($410.00 as of 12/23/17 Y)
  8. Submit two identical immigration style photos with the I-765 that were taken within the last 30 days before filing the Form I-765.
  9. Submit an electronic Form I-94 printout or photo copy both sides of a cardstock I-94.
  10. Photo copy the passport ID pages: photo page, page with passport validity dates, including renewal page if the original has expired, and pages showing amendments such as name changes, corrections, etc.
  11. Photo copy of the F-1 visa page (if any)
  12. Mail all of the above to the USCIS Lockbox Facility having jurisdiction over Pennsylvania residence. The Lockbox will then forward the application to the proper UCSIS Service Center for adjudication.

For US Postal Service Deliveries:
USCIS
P.O. Box 660867
Dallas, TX 75266

For Express Mail and courier deliveries:
USCIS
Attn: AOS
2501 S. State Hwy.
121 Business Suite 400
Lewisville, TX 75067

J-1 Exchange Student

A student exchange visitor may be employed on the campus of the school in which they are enrolled to a maximum of 20 hours per week with prior written authorization from the Responsible Officer (RO) of their designated program (and full time during official school breaks). The student may work off campus under limited circumstances provided he/she has obtained prior written authorization from the RO. Employment does not require additional permission from USCIS or an EAD. The student is also eligible for up to 18 months of Academic Training with written approval from the RO. An exchange visitor who engages in unauthorized employment shall be deemed in violation of his/her program status and is subject to termination as a participant in an exchange visitor program.

J-1 Exchange Visitor Short-term Scholar, Professor, Researcher, or Specialist

This group of J-1 Exchange Visitors may be employed only by the designated program sponsor or appropriate designee as stated on Form DS-2019, and within the period of validity stated on the Form DS-2019. Under limited circumstances, individuals in this group may receive compensation from other institutions with prior written authorization from the Responsible Officer of their designated program. An EAD is not required. An exchange visitor who engages in unauthorized employment shall be deemed in violation of his/her program status and is subject to termination as a participant in an exchange visitor program.

J-1 Dependents: J-2 Status

A dependent of a J-1 visa holder is eligible to apply to USCIS for work authorization. Once he/she has been issued an EAD by USCIS the individual may work for any employer. The employer must verify the dependent's employment authorization by the expiration date on the EAD. Work permission is typically granted for a period of one year or to the end of the J-1's program.