F-1 and J-1 visa holders are eligible to work without special approval on-campus up to 20 hours per week while classes are in session and up to 40 hours per week during school holidays. Our Student Employment Office can help you locate an on-campus job opportunity. No special approval is needed for on-campus work within the weekly hours described above.
curricular practical training
Practical Training (CPT) work authorization allows F-1 students to gain
practical experience in their major
field of study prior to graduation. If you would like to enroll in a credit-bearing course for work that is done off-campus, such as a internship, you must seek approval for CPT. Total employment can be up to 20 hours per week during the school year and up to 40 hours per week during school vacations. Approval is contingent upon course enrollment and a written offer of employment.
Optional Practical training
Optional Practical Training (OPT) work authorization is designed to provide international students with F-1 visas
opportunities for employment in their fields of study before or after graduation. Students
maintain F-1 status while on OPT since it is considered part of
the program of study.
If you gain OPT work authorization, you are eligible to work
off-campus for up to 20
hours per week while school is in session and 40 hours per week during holidays
without special approval. OPT provides the chance to have an off-campus employment
experience related to the field of study.
If you would like to work or intern off-campus, you
must attend a mandatory workshop which covers issues related to OPT, typically
offered in February. E-mail notification of the workshop dates and times will be sent to you.
To apply for OPT, you must maintain F-1 status for at least nine months and
the proposed employment must be related to your field of study. The
employment may occur anywhere in the United States.
- Be sure to use the following address format on the I-765 application:
- U.S. Mailing Address: 3300 Poinsett Intl Ed.
- Town: Greenville, State: SC, ZIP code: 29613
- Complete form G-1145 to receive notification via e-mail of application.
There is no application deadline for OPT, except that the application must be submitted before
the end of your visa program. However, approval can take up
to four months, and travel outside of the U.S. after applying for OPT and before receiving
the employment authorization card is not advised. Therefore, it is very
important to plan
ahead and to
submit a complete
by the deadline established by our office.