There are two components for qualified on-campus employment for F-1 students:
F-1 students may engage in employment on the campus they are authorized to attend (indicated in Section 2 of the I-20 Form) for a maximum of 20 hours per week during normal enrollment periods and up to 40 hours per week during the summer or other officially recognized school breaks. No special authorization from the USCIS is necessary in order to engage in on-campus employment. F-1 students may also engage in on-campus employment at an off-campus location.
Before completion of studies, F-1 students may engage in employment (on-campus or off-campus) that directly relates to their major field of study via Curricular Practical Training (CPT). CPT is granted by the student’s Designated School Official (DSO) and the Form I-20 is endorsed with the dates the student is eligible to work, as well as the number of hours per week. A student with CPT must present an original Form I-20 indicating CPT approval to an intended employer before employment may lawfully commence. CPT can be divided into two categories:
F-1 students may be authorized to engage in employment (on-campus or off-campus) that is directly related to their major fields of study through Optional Practical Training (OPT).The maximum amount of time an F-1 student may engage in OPT is 12 months. The student is limited to working in the field in which they received a degree. For example, an international student with an accounting degree could work in a bank setting. However, the student with an accounting degree would be prohibited from working as a librarian.
OPT can be divided into four categories:
NOTE: F-1 students who have engaged in full-time "Curricular Practical Training" for 12 months or more are ineligible for OPT.
ATTENTION: Students engaging in OPT CANNOT begin work until they receive approval from their DSO and subsequent authorization by the USCIS in the form of a valid Employment Authorization Card (EAD). F-1 students may also apply for an EAD based on economic hardship.
An F-1 student who received a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) from an accredited and SEVP-certified school may apply for a 24-month extension of their optional practical training (OPT).
Employment must be directly related to the student’s major area of study. The employer must be enrolled in and be in good standing with E-Verify. The E-Verify company identification number is required for the student to apply to USCIS for the STEM extension using Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization. A STEM student may change employers or work at a different hiring site for the same employer, but the new employer or new hiring site must be enrolled in and be in good standing with E-Verify before the student begins their STEM OPT with the new employer or hiring site.
To apply for STEM Optional Practical Training based on employment with the University of Oklahoma, please forward a completed and signed HR983; Request for STEM Students I-983 Training Plan for OPT extension to the International Faculty & Staff Services on the appropriate campus (refer to form for instructions and campus contact locations).