2 F-1 STATUS AND EMPLOYMENT Can I work? Should I work? Where should I work? When can I work? What s CPT? What s OPT?
3 Curricular Practical Training What does the regulations say? Curricular practical training programs. An F-1 student may be authorized by the DSO to participate in a curricular practical training program that is an integral part of an established curriculum. Curricular practical training is defined to be 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. 8 CFR 214.2(f)(10)(i)
4 Curricular Practical Training Types of CPT CPT is available in the following cases: required part of program- the program requires employment in the field of study to graduate. non-required part of program- the practical experience is not for credit but directly related to your field of study.
6 Curricular Practical Training How long can I have CPT? Part-time CPT: Employment for 20 hours or less per week is considered part-time CPT During the Fall and Spring semester students can only work up to 20 hours Students that have on campus employment can and doing CPT can only do a combined 20 hours There is no limit on how much part time CPT students can participate in during their degree
7 Curricular Practical Training Full-time CPT: Employment for more than 20 hours per week is considered full-time CPT. Please be aware that 12 months or more of fulltime CPT will cancel your eligibility for Optional Practical Training (OPT). Students are allowed to do more than 20 hours in the Summer and Winter sessions
8 Curricular Practical Training How can I qualify for CPT? Generally, students must be: lawfully enrolled full time for at least one academic year currently be maintaining a full-time program of study and valid F-1 status have a job offer that is directly related to the student s field of study
9 Curricular Practical Training Undergraduate Students Complete a minimum of 30 credits Transfer students in their first semester are not eligible Must be currently enrolled for 12 credits unless it is your last semester Must maintain a 3.25 GPA or above Students on academic probation are not eligible to participate in CPT
10 Curricular Practical Training Graduate Students Complete a minimum of 18 credits unless an internship is a requirement of your degree Students on academic probation are not eligible to participate in CPT Must maintain a 3.50 GPA or above Must be currently enrolled for 9 credits unless it is your last semester
11 Curricular Practical Training Application Process Offer letter from employer on official letterhead a. The starting and end date of the placement b. The number of hours per week c. A brief description of duties to be performed d. Signature from supervisor Faculty Advisor Recommendation Form For CPT Proof that student has been maintaining their F-1 Status Proof that student has registered and paid for internship course if it is required for major
12 Firm s Name Beginning and Ending Dates Full time or Part time Date Nature of Training Signature Firm s Contact Information
13 Curricular Practical Training THESE STEPS MUST BE COMPLETED BEFORE YOU START CURRICULAR PRACTICAL TRAINING. FAILURE TO GET APPROVAL PRIOR TO STARTING CPT CAN RESULT IN A DENIAL OR MAY BE A VIOLATION OF YOUR F-1 STATUS
14 Curricular Practical Training International Student Services will review the application with the supporting documents Authorize training in SEVIS Prepare new I-20 showing CPT authorization
15 Full time Firm s Contact Information Beginning and Ending Dates
16 Curricular Practical Training
17 Curricular Practical Training Keisha Simon Manager of International Student Services/DSO Room 234 West Quad Building Telephone: (718) ext Fax: (718)
18 What does the regulations say? Consistent with the application and approval process in paragraph (f)(11) of this section, a student may apply to USCIS for authorization for temporary employment for optional practical training directly related to the student's major area of study. 8 CFR 214.2(f)(10)(ii)
19 In layman terms: Optional Practical Training (OPT) is off-campus employment authorization that lets F-1 students get work experience in their major field of study. The amount of work you are permitted is a maximum of 12 months of full-time employment for each higher educational level you pursue in the U.S. You can use it during or after your studies. You can work for any employer, anywhere in the country.
20 Associates OPT (12 months) Bachelors OPT(12 months) Masters OPT(12 months) PhD Possible 48 months of OPT OPT (12 months)
21 There are two types of OPT: Pre-Completion OPT- employment while pursing degree Post-Completion OPT- employment after you have completed your degree
22 How can I qualify for OPT? You must have been enrolled full-time for at least one academic year. You do not have to have a job offer to apply for OPT. If you are seeking Post-Completion OPT, your department must certify the date that you are expected to complete your program of study.
23 You may apply for Post-Completion of Studies OPT up to 90 days before your completing your program of study, but not later than 60 days after. If you apply within the 60 day period after completion, you are likely not to receive your full 12 month OPT benefit due to USCIS processing times. You cannot already have used 12 months of full-time Curricular Practical Training.
25 What s in the application for OPT A completed Form I-765 Application A completed Form G-1145 A check or money order (for the I-765 application fee) for $380 (a check is preferable because, if necessary, you can determine if and when it is cashed), payable to the US Department of Homeland Security A copy of your new OPT I-20 with OPT recommendation
26 Photocopy of all your previous and current I-20s Photocopy of Form I-94 (front and back) Photocopy of passport (biographical data, photo, and expiration date) Two US passport-style photos (lightly print your name on the back of each photo with a pencil) Front and back copy of any previously approved employment authorization (EAD) cards.
27 What qualifies as OPT employment for the 12- month EAD card? OPT employment must be in a job that is: Related to the student s degree major. Appropriate to the student's degree level. On average at least 20 hours per week. Either paid or unpaid.
28 Eligible Employment Paid employment. Multiple employers Students may work for more than one employer, but all employment must be related to the student s degree program. Short-term multiple employers (performing artists) Students, such as musicians and other performing artists may work for multiple short-term employers (gigs). The student should maintain a list of all gigs, the dates, and duration. Work for hire This is also commonly referred to as 1099 employment where an individual performs a service based on a contractual relationship rather than an employment relationship.
29 Self-employed business owner Students on OPT may start a business and be self-employed. In this situation, the student must work full-time. The student must be able to prove that to DHS that he or she has the proper business licenses and is actively engaged in a business related to the student s degree program. ISS cannot advise you on how to start a business. Employment through an employment agency Unpaid employment Students may work as volunteers or unpaid internships, where this does not violate any U.S. labor laws.
30 Traveling on OPT Before the student's graduation date Students will travel as they always have, as a student, even if they have filed for OPT. The documents to travel with are: Valid passport Valid (unexpired) F-1 visa stamp in passport I-20 (endorsed for travel by ISS) on page 3 of the I-20 (Signature must be less than 6 months old.) Filing for OPT has NO effect on your ability to travel before your graduation date.
31 After the student's graduation date Students will transition from an F-1 student status to a status of an F-1 doing OPT. This means they must present to the border officials all the documents listed ABOVE that they carried as a student as well as: EAD Card (says Not Valid for Re-entry since card must be presented with ABOVE documents. Alone, it does not suffice.) [8 CFR (f) (13) (ii)]. Proof of current employment or job letter [ Item 2.O
32 STEM Extension Overview: Recipients of bachelor s, master s, and doctoral degrees in certain STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) fields may be eligible for a one-time 17-month extension of postcompletion OPT (for a total eligibility of up to 29 months). The 17-month Stem Extension OPT is adjudicated (approved) by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
33 STEM Extension Overview: Only one 17-month STEM extension is granted PER LIFETIME regardless of additional degrees awarded or level of degrees. New STEM extension EAD card begins the day after the expiration of the 12 month EAD card and ends 17 months later, no matter the date of adjudication.
34 STEM Extension Overview: 17-month extension will be granted in one EAD card period and cannot be split into smaller periods. It is possible to change employers during the 17 months. The new employment must meet the STEM extension requirements. Students whose applications are received before the EAD card expires will be able to continue employment while the extension application is pending until they receive the final decision from USCIS on the application or for 180 days, whichever comes first. It is possible to change employment while application is pending, as long as the new employment meets STEM extension requirements. If extension application is denied, student will still have the 60-day grace period after expiration of the 12-month EAD card.
35 To qualify for the STEM Extension: Student must be currently participating in a 12-month period of OPT, working for a U.S. employer in a job directly related to the student's STEM major area of study. The student's current or prospective employer must be registered with the DHS E-Verify employment verification system. The student has not previously received a 17-month OPT extension. The application for the 17-month OPT extension must be received by USCIS prior to the expiration date of the student's current OPT Employment Authorization Document (EAD), and no later than 30 days after the DSO signs the OPT extension recommendation on Form I-20.
36 STEM Graduate Majors Computer Science Biology Mathematics Chemistry Experimental Psychology Physics Computer Science & Health Sci Geology Information Systems Applied Chem Health Informatics
38 STEM Undergraduate Majors Financial Mathematics Mathematics Multimedia Computing Physics Information Systems Biology Business Information Systems
39 Your responsibilities on OPT 1. Only work in your major field of study and within the dates that you have been authorized on your EAD. 2. DHS regulations state, During post-completion OPT, F-1 status is dependent upon employment. Students may not accrue an aggregate of more than 90 days of unemployment [8 CFR 214.2(f)(10)(ii)(E)]. You are required to report interruptions of OPT employment to our office [8 CFR 214.2(f)(12)(i)].
40 3. It is strongly recommended that you keep a record and supporting evidence of all your OPT-related activities such as: Details of job searches: correspondence with prospective employers, interviews, etc. Employment information: dates, name/location of employer, position, part/fulltime Volunteer work: dates, name/location/type of volunteer work, part/full-time. Please note that federal law requires that a volunteer may not assume a normally paid position or displace a U.S. worker.
41 4. You are required to report the following information to our office: Change of name (You must bring proof of your updated passport noting the change) Change of address Proof of employment 5. Beginning a new course of study or transferring U.S. schools automatically terminates OPT employment. 6. Obtain a DSO s endorsement to travel every six months.
43 Shirma Cunningham CUNY Office Assistant/DSO Room 235 West Quad Building Telephone: (718) Fax: (718)
44 On Campus Employment Employment performed on the premises of Brooklyn College campus or any City University of New York campus. You can work anywhere on-campus as long as the work provides a direct service to students. Examples are: school library, labs, bookstore, tutoring, and student service departments. Keep in mind that there is limited On-Campus Employment at Brooklyn College.
45 On Campus Employment How can I be eligible for On Campus Employment? Valid F-1 Status Enrolled full time (12 credits undergrad, 9 credits grad) Students on Academic Probation are not allowed to participate in On Campus Employment
46 On Campus Employment How many hours can I work? Students can work up to 20 hours per week when school is in session (fall and spring semester) Students can work more than 20 hours per week during official school breaks (summer, winter) once you plan on being registered full time next semester.
47 On Campus Employment All employment must be authorized BEFORE you begin.
49 Social Security Card How can I get Social Security Number? The Social Security Administration (SSA) has implemented a policy that social security numbers are issued to international students for the purpose of employment only. Therefore, the SSA is requesting schools to verify that students are in need of a social security number for employment by issuing a letter addressed to the SSA office. In order for F-1 students to receive a social security letter from a Designated School Official (DSO), a student must have a letter on company letterhead with an official signature from either an on- or off-campus prospective employer offering the student a job.
50 Social Security Card What to bring to SSA Letter from the DSO to the Social Security Administration Employment offer letter Original Form I-20 Unexpired Passport Visa I-94 EAD Card
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