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International Student Employment

As an F-1 international student, you may only be engaged in working on campus; however, there are several types of off-campus employment for which you may be eligible such as required internships. Regardless of the employment type, during school hours you may work only 20 hours per week. On breaks and holidays, you may work full time. You may, of course, volunteer your time at charitable events or to organizations such as your church or the YWCA.


On-campus Employment

To be able to work, you must have a social security number. To obtain as social security number, you must have proof of a job offer. At the beginning of each semester you may apply to various offices on campus for a job. Richard Brand, in the Financial Aid Office, has a list of campus employers. Once you are hired notify Greg Lumb, who will give will give you a letter describing your eligibility to work and a short job description. Take this letter, an <media 6036>application</media>, your passport, and I-20 to the Social Security Office. You should be given a letter saying you have applied and expect to receive a card within 10 business days. This letter will allow you to begin working on campus. Once you have a social security number, King University will be able to pay you each month.

Please let the International Student Advisor know if you need a ride to the Social Security Office. The ISA or designee will schedule a time with you for transportation to the Bristol office.


Off-campus Employment

There are several types of outside employment you may engage in. They are Curricular Practical Training (CPT), Optional Practical Training (OPT), and Economic Hardship. You must be authorized to work off-campus by the International Student Advisor or DHS.


Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is off-campus employment related to your area of study. You do not need the U.S. Customs and Immigration Service to approve CPT. However, CPT must be approved in SEVIS by a DSO (Designated School Official). It is date/place/employer specific. To be eligible, you must have been in lawful status for one academic year, unless immediately required by your program of study.

CPT must be a requirement of your degree and/or you must be earning credit for the training. You must have a written job offer indicating job title, hours, location, and dates of employment. Below is a form you, your professor/advisor, and your employer must sign before your CPT may be approved. For more details, please meet with the International Student Advisor.

CPT Request Form

You may only work 20 hours per week while school is in session; full-time during holidays and vacations. CPT is limited to 12 months. If you work full-time for 12 months you will become ineligible for OPT.


Optional Practical Training (OPT)

Optional Practical Training (OPT) is off-campus employment related to your area of study. Generally, students use OPT as work experience after graduation, although you may begin OPT earlier. To be eligible, you must have been in lawful status for one academic year.

Please meet with the International Student Advisor to discuss your application and to request authorization in SEVIS. Before beginning OPT, you must be authorized by the U.S. Customs and Immigration Service. A job offer is not required. To apply you will need to have the following:

  • Transcripts or academic record
  • Passport, I-20, and a copy (both sides) of your I-94
  • Supporting documents evidencing the economic hardship
  • Form I-765 with fees; USCIS Information Sheet
  • Two full-face (passport style) color photos

The International Student Services Office will check your documents and send your package to the USCIS Service Office.

If approved, you will be sent an Employment Authorization Document (EAD), Form I-766. It is best you begin your new job before leaving the country. You may have trouble re-entering if you leave without having secured a job.

Employment must be within your course of study. You may only work 20 hours per week while school is in session; full-time during holidays and vacations. Post-completion OPT is limited to 12 months within the 14-month period following graduation. OPT must be full-time after graduation. OPT will be terminated by transferring to another school or by beginning another educational level.


Economic Hardship

You may apply to work off campus due to economic hardship. Circumstances that cause economic hardship must be beyond the student's control such as death of a sponsor, fluctuations in home currency, or natural disaster. To be eligible you must have been enrolled in this school for one academic year. You may only work 20 hours per week while school is in session; full-time during holidays and vacations. If the economic hardship is too severe, you many need to explore other options.

To apply you will need to have the following:

  • Transcripts or academic record
  • Passport, I-20, and a copy of your I-94
  • Supporting documents evidencing the economic hardship
  • Form I-765 with fees
  • Two full-face (passport style) color photos

For more information see the U.S. Customs and Immigration Service's Information Sheet.

The International Student Services Office will check your documents and send your package to the USCIS Service Office.