On-Campus Employment During the academic year, students in F1 status may be employed on campus at TSCPP. Employment cannot exceed 20 hours per week inclusive of all authorized on-campus employment. May work more than 20 hours per week on campus during official university breaks only.
On-Campus Employment On Campus job positions do not need to be related to the student’s field of study Students must be in valid status in order to be eligible for work on campus International Students are not eligible for Federally funded jobs and Financial Aid
What is CPT? Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is off-campus training in the form of an internship, co-op, or practicum that is An integral part of an established curriculum. CPT must be either required or be an established part of the student’s degree program. Required by a course. Authorized PER SEMERSTER. CPT application is required for all TCSPP internships, practicums, any off-site work that is required while at TCSPP, PAID OR UNPAID.
Part Time Full Time Part Time: CPT that is authorized for 20 hours a week or less Full Time: CPT that is authorized for 21 hours a week or more 12 Months of Full Time CPT: Will make you ineligible to apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT) at the same degree level Clinical PsyD and Forensic PsyD students CANNOT do any full-time CPT during your first 3 Practicums! There isn’t a limit on Part-Time CPT
If you work on campus and will participate in a required CPT, your on-campus working hours don’t have any impact on your CPT hours. You cannot begin employment until you have been granted work permission for CPT on your I- 20 by an International Student Advisor, also known as Designated School Official (DSO). Failure to obtain proper work authorization will result in falling out of F-1 status and the immediate termination of any work privileges (on or off campus). CPT is authorized only for the semester in which the course is registered. If you wish to continue work beyond the expiration of your CPT, you must apply to extend before it expires.
How to Apply for CPT Apply at least one month in advance of your employment start date. 1.Complete CPT application form and have your Academic Advisor or Department Chair sign the application. 2.Obtain an employment letter from your employer. 3.Register for the corresponding CPT course. CPT cannot be authorized until you have registered for the corresponding course. 4.Submit completed materials to your DSO at least two weeks prior to starting work.
Once CPT is Approved If approved, your DSO will email you to let you know that a new I-20 is ready for pick up. The new I-20 lists your CPT authorization. Make a copy of your CPT I-20 and always keep in a safe place! You will need it in the future for other applications, including OPT. Provide your new employer with a copy of your CPT I-20 to use for employment verification.
Not Retroactive! CPT can only be authorized for future dates. If you provide your DSO with an application that list employment dates that have already passed, your DSO will return your application and only accept the application once you can provide future start dates for employment or change the start date to the day of process or a future date.
Volunteer Work Volunteer work is work that someone would not normally be paid to do. It must be a “true” volunteer work and the government has very strict definition about it. If you have a question about volunteer work, please meet with your DSO before your start to work.
What is OPT? OPT is a benefit of the F-1 status that must be requested to USCIS by an international student for temporary employment authorization. If approved, this benefit gives F-1 students an opportunity to apply knowledge gained in the classroom to a practical work experience off campus prior to or after graduation.
Who is Eligible? Typically students request OPT when you are nearing the end of your academic program or course work. If you have been in student status for one full academic year, you are eligible to apply. Must receive recommendation from your academic department and from your Designated School Official before you can request OPT from USCIS.
How to Apply? 1.Get a recommendation letter from your Department Chair. 2.Complete an OPT Application. 3.Complete Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization. 4.Submit everything to your DSO. 5.Your DSO reviews your application and issues a new I-20 with OPT recommendation listed on your I-20. You are responsible for reviewing I-20 and ensuring its’ accuracy. 6.You mail your complete document to USCIS to request OPT. Check list follows. 7.USCIS will take several months to review your request. You will receive a receipt notice several weeks after you submit your application and can check your case status online. If approved, you will receive an “EAD card” in the mail. Once you have the card in your hand, and the date on the card has passed, you may begin work in authorized employment.
Types of OPT Post-completion Full-time after the completion of all course work and/or thesis/dissertation defense. This is the most commonly used form of employment authorization and we will refer to the procedure to apply to Post-OPT. You are generally awarded 12 months total at each academic level for OPT, which must be applied for all at once, you cannot divide this time (for Post- Completion). Pre-Completion Part-time when school in session or full-time during the student’s annual vacation. Pre-Completion OPT is not commonly used as it detracts for Post-OPT. “Cap Gap” Once on approved OPT, and if filing an H-1B, in some cases employment authorization and/or status are automatically extended. See DSO for details. “STEM” extension Extension of employment authorization for students in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. Currently USCIS DOES NOT include TCSPP’s psychology majors.
When Should I Apply? If you have been in full time status for one academic year: You can submit to USCIS up to 3 months (90 days) before your Program End Date listed on your I-20 No later than 60 days after your program end date listed on your I-20 Apply to USCIS, so USCIS can receive your application within 30 days after the date your DSO has signed your I-20 on page 1 and page 3.
Timing is Everything Regardless of whether you are applying for pre- or post-completion OPT, it is important that you submit your application in a timely manner, since it can take up to 90 days to obtain OPT authorization from USCIS. There isn’t any way to expedite this process. Plan accordingly! Watch out for fraud! You legally cannot begin employment until your EAD card is in your hand and the start date on the card has been reached.
How to Pick a “Program End Date” You will meet with your Department Chair/Academic advisor, to determine when you will be finished with your program and it will be the New End Date of your I-20. This can be the date that: All required course work is complete All required course work and project/thesis/dissertation is complete All required course work, project/thesis/dissertation, and on-campus employment obligations are complete Your department will then recommend this date in their recommendation letter.
How to Pick an OPT “Start Date” Once you start your OPT application, do your best to select the start date of your OPT. Guide yourself with: You can select a start date after the program end date listed on your I-20, and up to 60 days after that date. If you are applying late, picking an earlier start date will not expedite your request. Allow for as much time as possible for USCIS to review.
Now You are Ready to Apply! Follow all USCIS instructions and IPS website and mail in a completed package: Application Fee Payment Passport Photos I-765 New I-20 for OPT All I-20s with previous CPT and OPT authorization if any Passport Copy – Photo, Information page and Visa I-94 Front & Back or Print-out from CBP website Copies of previous EAD if any Wait for USCIS to send receipt notice, and then EAD (Employment Authorization Document)
Helpful Tips on Mailing Your Application to USCIS Use a mail service that you can track (eg. FedEx, UPS, Express Mail) Include in your application the G-1145. This will send you emails and/or text message updates on your request. Do your best to provide a mailing address on the I-765 that won’t change! Change of address can cause serious delays. No staples!!! Use Paperclips! The USCIS address you mail your application to should correspond to the address you provide in the I-765! Include all copies of all previous I-20s that show work authorization (CPT, OPT) if any - your application will be returned if you do not do this! Copy the complete application before you mail it in!
While on OPT: You may no longer be a student, but you are in F-1 student status, and all requirements to update your address, employer, status, still apply. You still must have a valid travel signature on your I-20 if you want to travel while on OPT. If you have not complete your program as anticipated and have applied or been approved for OPT, you still need to register for classes to maintain your status. Failure to do so will result in you falling out of status. Speak immediately to your DSO for more details.
Employment While on OPT Must be related to field of study No cap on hours - may work as much as you wish in related field Can not start until after EAD start date and card is in hand Need to report to DSO
Unemployment While on OPT Students may not accrue an aggregate of more than 90 days of unemployment during any post-completion OPT carried out under the initial post-completion OPT authorization. Unemployment dates will be counted from either the start date of a student’s OPT or the date the employment authorization is adjudicated by USCIS, whichever is later.
Volunteering While on OPT Students may maintain status by volunteering at least 20 hours/week in a related field. This information must be reported to the DSO to be input into SEVIS. Keep a record and log to track all volunteer work in your related field of study that you are counting towards employment while on OPT.
Travel and OPT You cannot travel outside the U.S. and re-enter during your grace period and apply for OPT. Once you leave after the end date of your I-20, you no long are eligible to apply for OPT. While OPT is pending, travel is not recommended without at minimum a receipt notice. It is best to travel after you have received your EAD card and have a job offer letter. You must still have all valid documents when travelling while on OPT, including a travel signature on your I-20 from your DSO. Plan in advance.
Transfer to a New School on OPT If you transfer to a new school and you still have time left on your OPT, your OPT ends on the date you elect to transfer your record out of your old school and into your new school. Once you transfer the record out, you can not change your mind and later obtain your OPT. If you are on OPT and are considering a school transfer, talk to your DSO about your OPT use before making decision.
As an F1 student, you may work for a qualified international organization As defined by the International Organization Immunities Act of Dec. 29, 1945 Apply to USCIS for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) It is a very rare occurrence and unusual Does not have to be in the field of study and can be part-time or full time Must maintain a full time study in F-1 status Does not affect your eligibility for OPT Changing to another status other than F-1, you may lose the benefits based on your F-1 status Takes about 2-4 months to process; Valid for a year if approved. Do not work until the EAD is received. What Is It?
How to Apply Form I-765 (write (c)(3)(ii) in item 16) Form I-765 $380 fee payable to U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security Copy of Form I-20, bearing the recommendation by your DSO for employment with an international organization Passport style photos Copy of I-94 front or back or print out from CBP Written certification from the international organization that your employment is within the scope of their sponsorship Copy of passport identification page Copy of visa page Copies of any previously issued EAD cards.
Employment Authorization for Economic Hardship Available for students who have had unforeseen and severe economic hardship, such as: Unexpected severe medical hardship Natural disaster causing severe financial destruction Loss of on-campus employment or loss of job of the person who provides financial support If you wish to consider this application, speak with your DSO-International Student Advisor.
Still Have Questions? Ask Early, Ask Often Contact your Designated School Official (DSO) Daniel Esquivel – So. Cal. – 213-283-4268 Cindie Zhou – Chicago – 312-467-2504 Courtney Bilbrey – Chicago – 312-467-2549 Monisola Fakiyesi – DC – 202-706-5111 Still Have Questions? Ask Early, Ask Often Contact your Designated School Official (DSO) Daniel Esquivel – So. Cal. – 213-283-4268 Cindie Zhou – Chicago – 312-467-2504 Courtney Bilbrey – Chicago – 312-467-2549 Monisola Fakiyesi – DC – 202-706-5111