Employment

According to the USCIS “foreign academic or vocational students may be allowed to work in the United States under certain circumstances”. For F-1 international students the regulation is as follows:

  • Students may not work off-campus during the first academic year but may work on-campus
  • F-1 students may seek off-campus employment directly related to their major area of study after completing the first full-time academic year

Eligibility:

To be eligible for employment F-1 students must:

  • be in status
  • work part-time when school is in session (students may choose to work full-time when school is not in session)
  • be authorized to work by the DSO

Social Security Card:

All on-campus and off-campus employment requires a Social Security Number for income reporting purposes.  Clicke here to read the application instructions. 

Types of employment available to F-1 International Students:

According to the USCIS “foreign students in F-1 nonimmigrant status may work on the school’s premises, including on-location commercial firms that provide services for students on campus, such as the school bookstore or cafeteria. Students may work at an off-campus location that is educationally affiliated with the school. Thus an F-1 student working on-campus participating in a construction of a new campus building does not provide direct services to students and therefore is not considered an on-campus employee.

To be eligible for on-campus employment students must:

  • be enrolled at Stockton University full time
  • work no more than 20 hours per week when school is in session
  • may work up to 40 hours per week when school is not in session. If a student plans to work on campus during scheduled academic breaks he/she must plan on attending Stockton University full time the following semester.

Note: Students cannot work on-campus after completion of their program of study.

Students can search for on-campus employment here. Those who have found employment must come to the Office of Global Engagement to complete the necessary paperwork.

Students should bring with them:

1. A copy of the job offer letter signed by the supervisor. Letter should include:

  • Location where employment will take place
  • Beginning and date of employment
  • Number of hours student will work per week
  • Student’s duties described in detail
  • Supervisor’s name and phone number

2. Students must complete Form I-9 necessary for employment, as well as present a copy of their unexpired foreign Passport, Social Security Card, Form I-94, Form I-20/DS-2019 and F/J visa.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security defines CPT as “alternative work/study, internship, cooperative education, or any other type of required internship or practicum that is offered by sponsoring employers through cooperative agreements with the school” further stating that CPT must be “an integral part of an established curriculum”. Therefore CPT must be work experience or practicum directly related to the student’s major area of study serving as a vital part of a student’s education.

CPT may not be available for all majors. Before beginning the application process check with your International Student Advisor to find out if it is available for you.

Note: If you have 12 months or more of full-time CPT, you are ineligible for OPT, but part-time CPT is fine and will not stop you from doing OPT.

Eligibility

To be eligible for CPT:

  • Student must have lawfully completed one full time academic year of study 
  • Student must be in status
  • Employment must be directly related to the student’s program of study and be a part of an established curriculum
    • The training employment of the CPT must be required by the student’s program of study or
    • The training employment of the CPT will result in awarded academic credit

Application Requirements

To apply for the CPT you must meet with the OGE advisor and bring:

1. Copy of the official offer letter on company letterhead signed by the prospective employer. Letter should include

  • Location where employment will take place
  • Beginning and ending date of employment
  • Number of hours student will work per week
  • Student’s position title and duties described in detail which will clearly show duties as fitting the degree requirements
  • Supervisor’s name and phone number

2. Copies of current immigration documents

  • Unexpired foreign passport
  • Form I-20(s)
  • Most recent Form I-94

3. CPT recommendation form

Once your application is reviewed, the OGE advisor will determine your eligibility. If eligible, you will be issued a new Form I-20. Then and only then, may you begin your CPT.

Remember: The issued work authorization is valid for a specific employer, period of time and location which is documented on your new Form I-20. You may not continue working beyond the expiration date indicated on the Form I-20. Working beyond the authorized period of time is a violation of the F-1 nonimmigrant student status and will result in your falling out of status, jeopardizing your ability to continue your studies in the US.

How to Apply

1. Register for the CPT course before applying.

2. Obtain a copy of the official offer letter on company letterhead signed by the prospective employer. Letter should include employer’s full name, address, dates of employment and duties.

3. Fill out the CPT recommendation form

4. Submit a copy of your

  • Current Form I-20
  • Most recent Form I-94
  • Unexpired passport

5. Your preceptor must sign your CPT application form. Meet with your preceptor before applying to make sure you are in good academic standing and that your CPT is directly related to your major area of study. Without the preceptor’s recommendation your CPT application will not be approved.

6. If eligible, the OGE advisor will issue a new Form I-20 and you may begin your CPT employment.

7. You may not continue working beyond the expiration date indicated on the Form I-20. Working beyond the authorized period of time is a violation of your F-1 nonimmigrant student status and will result in your falling out of status, jeopardizing your ability to continue studies in the US.

OPT program allows qualifying students hands on experience complementary to their major area of study. Students may take advantage of OPT for a maximum of 12 months cumulatively. If a student enrolls in a new academic program of a higher level (master’s after bachelor’s degree, or PhD after master’s) the student will become eligible for a new 12 month OPT cycle. Certain STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) degree holders may be eligible for a 17 month extension of OPT period in addition to the 12 month pre-/post-completion OPT period.

Please be advised:

  • OPT must be directly related to student’s major area of study
  • OPT may not exceed 12 months of Full-Time work. Part-Time OPT will accumulate at a 50% rate, where 6 months of Part-Time OPT is equivalent to 3 months of available OPT
  • Students MUST find employment within 90 days of being approved for OPT to maintain legal status
  • Students may begin their employment only after they receive an approved Employment Authorization Document (EAD).

Eligibility Requirements:

Pre-Completion OPT
  • Student must have completed at least 1 year of Full Time academic study
  • Student must be in status
  • OPT must be directly related to student’s major area of study
  • Student must work Part Time while school is in session
  • Student may work Full Time when school is not in session
Post-Completion OPT
  • Student must have completed his/her degree of study
  • OPT must be directly related to student’s major area of study
  • If a student decides to use all 12 months of OPT on Post-completion he/she must use them all at once, not in separate periods of time

When to Apply:

Pre-Completion OPT

  • Students may apply as early as 90 days before being enrolled at Stockton University Full Time for one academic year, as long as OPT employment start date is after the one full time academic year requirement
  • If one full time academic year requirement has been met students may apply 120 days before requested OPT start date

Post-Completion OPT

  • Students may apply as early as 90 days before their program’s end date indicated on the student’s I-20
  • Students who have completed their degree programs may apply up to 60 days after their program end date (during the grace period)

Remember:USCIS must receive and accept the Post-Completion OPT application no later than 60 days after student’s program completion date. If Post-Completion OPT application is received after the 60 day grace period student will automatically fall out of status and will have to leave the US. It is STUDENT’S RESPONSIBILITY to allow the Office of Global Engagement adequate time to process the OPT application and submit it to USCIS office.

Application Process:

1. Complete OPT Request Form
2. Complete Form I-765 (Consult with the  ISO advisor prior to filing)

  • Pre-Completion OPT (c) (3) (A) under Part 2. item 27
  • Post-Completion OPT (c) (3) (B) under Part 2. item 27
  • 17 month STEM extension (c) (3) (C) under item 27
  • Print legibly in blue ink
  • Check off “I am applying for” section of EAD
  • Remember to sign in blue ink within the designated box

3.  I-765 Application Fee (check or money order only) payable to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security

4. Provide immigration documents:

  • Photocopy of passport (photo page, visa page, renewal page if original has expired, and pages showing amendments such as name changes, corrections etc.)
  • Two US passport-style photos
  • Photocopy of most recent Form I-94
  • Photocopy of pages 1 and 3 of all previous and current I-20s, including a copy of the new OPT I-20
  • Photocopy of any previously issued EAD’s

Office of Global Engagement will review your application and if all forms are filled out correctly and you qualify, we will issue a new Form I-20. You must sign the new Form I-20. Office of Global Engagement will then send your EAD application for processing.

Remember: Generally, USCIS will require 90 days to process your EAD request and send your Employment Authorization Card to the Office of Global Engagement. Please schedule beginning and ending OPT dates accordingly and remember that you may not begin your OPT work until you receive the EAD card.

 

17 Months OPT STEM Extension is available to government-designated STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) degree holders for a total of 29 months of OPT. 

STEM Designated Degree Programs:

  • Actuarial Science
  • Biological and Biometrical Sciences
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Engineering
  • Engineering Technologies
  • Medical Scientist
  • Military Technologies
  • Physical Sciences
  • Science Technologies

Eligibility Requirements:

  1. Students must have a STEM Designated Degree Program Bachelor’s, Master’s or Doctorate degree.
  2. Students must be currently enrolled in an approved 12-months OPT period, working for the US employer in a job directly related to their major area of study.
  3. Students must have a job offer from an employer registered with E-Verify. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure their employer is registered with E-Verify employment verification system.
  4. Student must not have previously received a 17-month OPT STEM Extension.
  5. Student’s International Student advisor must recommend the 17-month OPT STEM Extension after the review of the application has been completed.
  6. Student must file Form I-765 and application fee payable to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

When to Apply:

Students may apply up to 120 days prior to their current OPT expiration date.
Please note: the USCIS must receive the OPT STEM Extension application within 30 days of the issuance of the new I-20.

How to Apply:

Please submit the following documentation to the Office of Global Engagement:

  1. OPT Extension Request Form
  2. Copies of all previous and current I-20 forms (page 1 and 3)
  3. Photocopy of passport
  4. Photocopy of most recent Form I-94
  5. Photocopy of current OPT/EAD card

Please submit the following to the USCIS Service Center:

  • Completed Form I-765 and the application fee payable to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Mail Form I-765 and the application fee to:  
U.S. Postal Service deliveries:
USCIS
P.O. Box 660867
Dallas, TX 75266

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

Student Responsibility:
Students must report to their OGE advisor within 10 days of any changes in:

  • Legal name
  • Residential/mailing address
  • E-mail address
  • Employer name
  • Employer address

Note: The student must report to his/her advisor every 6 months to confirm all information listed above, even if there has been no change.