CampusLife

International Student & Scholar Services

Questions?

  • Int'l Student / Scholar Svcs
    202-885-3350
    Fax: 202-885-3354
    Butler Pavilion, Room 410

    Open Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.



    ISSS advisors are available at the front desk for walk-in appointments.

    Bakar, Senem S.
    Director, International Student & Scholar Services

Mailing Address

F-1 Employment:

Before beginning any type of compensated employment, United States law requires you to obtain written authorization. Below is a brief summary of the different types of on-campus and off-campus work for which you may qualify.

Our advisers in ISSS are more than happy to talk to you about your options. Please know that working without authorization from either the US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) or our department is a serious violation of your F-1 status. If you have any questions, feel free to call or email our offices.


What is compensated employment?

According to the USCIS definition, compensated employment means work performed in exchange for a benefit. Employment authorization is necessary for work under any of the following circumstances:

1. If you receive a salary, hourly wage, fees, books, supplies, transportation, or any other benefit in exchange for work.

2. If the individual normally holding your position receives payment.


TYPES OF EMPLOYMENT
On-campus employment
Off-campus employment: CPT
Off-campus employment: Pre-completion OPT
Off-campus employment: Post-completion OPT
Off-campus employment: International Organization
Off-campus employment: Severe Economic Hardship

________________________________________________________
On-Campus Employment (at American University)

Eligibility:
• F-1 student at American University
• In good academic standing

Hours Per Week:
• 20 hours during academic year
• No limit during vacation periods

Back to top
________________________________________________________
OFF-CAMPUS EMPLOYMENT:

Curricular Practical Training


Eligibility
• Work is part of academic program
• Register for internship for academic credit
• Need to have an internship job offer
• Have been in F-1 status for at least 2 semesters (not including summer)

Hours Per Week
• Part-time: 20 hours or less
• Full-time: No limit

Application processing time:
• Requires 3 - 5 business days for ISSS to process.

Students granted one year of full-time Curricular Practical Training (CPT) will be ineligible for post-completion Optional Practical Training (OPT). 

Back to top
________________________________________________________
Optional Practical Training Pre-Completion of Studies

Eligibility
• Work must be related to field of study
• Job offer not required
• Have been in F-1 status for at least 2 semesters (not including summer)

Hours Per Week
• 20 hours during academic year
• No limit during vacation periods and after the completion of all course work for masters' and Ph.D students.

Application processing time:
• Requires 3 - 5 business days for ISSS to process, plus 2 - 3 months for USCIS to process

Any time used in pre-completion OPT will be subtracted from the 12-month allocation for post-completion OPT. Part-time OPT will be subtracted as half the time. 

Back to top
________________________________________________________
Optional Practical Training Post-Completion of Studies

Eligibility
• Work must be related to field of study
• Job offer not required to apply
• Have been in F-1 status for at least 2 semesters (not including summer)

Hours Per Week
• Full time only: No limit

Application processing time:
• Requires 3 - 5 business days for ISSS to process, plus 2 - 3 months for USCIS to process

*Students become eligible to apply for an additional 12 months of OPT per higher level of degree study completed.

Example: A student completes a Bachelor's degree and gets 12 months of OPT. S/He then completes a Master's degree and is eligible to get an additional 12 months of OPT because it is a higher degree level. The same student then completes a PhD and is eligible for another round of 12 month OPT.

Back to top
________________________________________________________
Employment with an International Organization

Eligibility
• Job offer from recognized International Organization
• Currently in F-1 status

Hours Per Week
• No limit

Application processing time:
• Requires 3 - 5 business days for ISSS to process, plus 2 - 3 months for USCIS to process 

Back to top
________________________________________________________
Severe Financial Hardship

Eligibility
• Must have explored all other options for employment
• Financial need must be unforeseen, due to a change in circumstances
• Approval of ISSS office

Hours Per Week
• 20 hours during academic year
• No limit during vacation periods

Application processing time:
• Requires 3 - 5 business days for ISSS to process, plus 2 - 3 months for USCIS to process

Back to top 

___

  
Disclaimer: The materials on this website have been prepared for general informational purposes only. They do not constitute legal advice or serve as a substitute for legal counsel.