3What is Academic Training? Academic Training permits certain types of study-related employment for J students.Flexible full and part-time employment options are available.Employment must be directly related to student’s major field of study.
4What are the Requirements? Request for J-1 Academic Training FormLetter from employer that includes:Exact start and end datesPhysical worksite addressName of supervisor and contact informationSalaryJob TitleBrief description of the goals and objectives of employment
5Obtaining Approval for Academic Training Student should make appointment with International Student Advisor in DVS after obtaining employment letter and Academic Advisor approval.International Student Advisor will review request, and if approved, a letter of approval authorizing the employment will be issued, with a new DS-2019, and an extension of program if needed.
6Academic Training summary Must apply before end of the J-1 student’s academic program (cannot apply during 30 day grace period).Must maintain health insurance.Approval cannot exceed the length of time student is approved for J-1 study or 18 months, whichever is shorter.Additional time may be available to Ph.D. students beyond 18 months.
8What is Curricular Practical Training? Work Authorization benefit for F-1 StudentsEmployment related to or required for Academic Program of Study
9What are the Requirements? Must have maintained F-1 status and have been studying full-time for at least one academic yearEmployment must be part of academic program:Required part of student’s curriculum (Student must provide appropriate documentation from course catalogue)ORMust be taken for credit if not a required part of curriculum (Student must provide evidence of enrollment in the course)9
10Application ProcessComplete Application for Curricular Practical Training (Law, Fuqua and MEM students must obtain a special form prepared by their schools, in lieu of Section III)Job offer letter from employer that states:Exact start and end datesPhysical worksite address(es)Name of supervisor and contact informationSalaryJob titleJob descriptionSchedule appointment with designated International Student Advisor in DVS10
11Obtaining Curricular Practical Training Approval Please bring to the SCHEDULED appointment:Completed ApplicationJob offer letterPassport, all Form I-20(s), and I-94*If all is in order, you will receive a new Form I-20 with CPT approval at the appointment.11
12Curricular Practical Training summary No cost to applyApply at least 2 weeks prior to start dateCannot work until CPT has been approvedCPT can be issued for part-time or full-time employment12 months of full-time CPT eliminates OPT benefits entirely12
14What is Optional Practical Training? 12-month work authorization per each higher educational levelBenefit of F-1 statusRelated to major area of studyPre-completion OPT - before graduation (may be part-time or full-time)Post-completion OPT - after graduation (must be employed at least 20 hours per week)17-month STEM extension - additional OPT for STEM majors (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics)
15What are the Requirements? Must have maintained F-1 status and have been studying full-time for at least one academic yearEmployment must be related to field of studyMust not have used 12 months or more of full-time Curricular Practical Training (CPT) at the same educational levelDo not need a job offer to apply
16Types of Employment allowed using Post-Completion Optional Practical Training Paid Employment: Must be able to provide evidence showing employment of at least 20 hours per weekMultiple EmployersShort-term multiple employers (performing artists)Work for hire: Student performs a service based on contractual relationship
17Types of Employment allowed using Post-Completion Optional Practical Training (continued) Self-Employed business owner: Student must have appropriate business licenses and engage in employment related to degreeEmployment through an agencyUnpaid Employment: May work as volunteers or unpaid interns, where this does not violate any labor laws.
18Is Employment related to Degree? Students should maintain evidence for each job or the position held, proof of the duration of the position, job title, contact information for supervisor and a description of the employment.Request a signed letter from the supervisor confirming the job is related to the degree if it is not clear in the job description.
19What is the Application Process? KEY= Student Responsibility=Int’l Advisor Responsibility= Dept. of Homeland Security Responsibility
20How to apply for Optional Practical Training Form I-765Optional Practical Training ApplicationRecommendation letter from academic advisor$ check or money order made payable to “U.S. Department of Homeland Security” (check must have pre-printed name, cannot be starter check)2 passport size photos (must meet USCIS specifications)All I-20sPassportVisa stampI-94 cardPrevious EAD (if applicable)Copy of student’s degree reflecting the conferred degree and major field of study (STEM extension only)
21When Should the Application be Submitted? Pre-completion:up to 90 days before being enrolled for one full academic year, provided that employment doesn’t start prior to completion of the full academic yearup to 90 days in advance of requested employment start date if already met the one academic year requirementPost-completion:90 days before program end date or within 60 day grace periodmay lose OPT time if the application is submitted during your 60 days grace period17-month STEM:must be filed before current EAD expires
22What about travel?Before Graduation: Must reenter the U.S. before degree program completion (before end date on I-20). Must have valid I-20, visa stamp and passport.After Graduation: Reentry to the U.S. requires:Valid passportValid F-1 visa stampValid I-20 reflecting “OPT approved” with a travel signature of 6 months or lessEADJob offer letterDo NOT travel abroad and reenter after graduation during the OPT period unless you are returning to a job!!
23What Happens to Dependents? If students request a new I-20 reflecting “OPT approved”, dependent I-20s will also be issued at the same timeIf traveling, obtain a travel signature on I-20every 6 months
24No more than 90 days of unemployment from the start date on the EAD No more than 90 days of unemployment from the start date on the EAD. If more than 90 days, the F-1 status is no longer valid and departure from the U.S. is required.Report changes of residential address, employer’s name and address, and change of status to DVS within 10 daysTravel signatures on page 3 of I-20 are valid for 6 monthsNo expedited processing option for OPT applications
2517-month STEM Extension Eligibility: Employer must be registered in E-verify (contact Human Resources or Payroll)Must be paid employmentDegree must be in a STEM field as defined by the Dept. of State CIP code list (see page 3 of I-20 to find CIP code)Must apply before current OPT expiresNot permitted to have more than 120 days of unemployment for the entire 29 months of OPT
26Employment for STEM Extension Must work at least 20 hours per week for E-Verify employerMay work multiple jobs as long as all employers are enrolled in E-VerifyStudents are allowed to volunteer, incidental to their status. This means that volunteer work is allowed but does not count as employment for the purpose of maintaining F-1 status.
27Volunteer ActivitiesStudents cannot “volunteer” for positions that are normally paid positions. The following webpage provides detailed instructions on the issue:
28What are my options after OPT? Return to home countryTransfer to another degree programStop employment after the OPT end date. A 60-day grace period is available to prepare for departure.Change non-immigrant status from F-1 OPT to another visa status
29What about the H-1B visa? Temporary worker’s visa 65,000/year for cap subject employersAdditional 20,000 for Master’s degree or higherEarliest day for employer to file is April 1 for an H-1B (cap subject) to begin October 1Notify DVS upon receipt of H-1B approval
30What is the F-1/H-1B “cap gap?” Occurs when an F-1 student’s status and work authorization will expirein the present fiscal year before their approved H-1B employment willbegin on October 1st.Good News!! The Cap Gap allows F-1 OPT students with an approved or receipted H-1B petition to continue working until the October 1 start date for the H-1B takes effect. Applies only to “cap subject” employers.
31QuestionsFor further assistance, please contact your International Student Advisor by phone or . DVS office is open Monday through Friday from 8:00am-5:00pm.or International Student AdvisorAddress: Smith Warehouse, Bay 7-1st floor114 South Buchanan Blvd.Telephone: