International Affairs: Employment
Do not accept employment without authorization. F-1 and some J-1 students MAY work on-campus only. Students are limited to 20 hours maximum per week (fall and spring semesters) and 40 hours per week during summer and winter breaks.
You MAY NOT work off-campus unless authorized by an International Student Advisor (this includes unpaid and volunteer work). Working off-campus without authorization is a serious violation of your immigration status.
Jobs are available in many departments at SAIC and positions are available at all skill levels. Most on-campus jobs during the fall and spring semesters are reserved for students with Work-Study earning eligibility and international students. Check job listings on SAIC Launch and contact departments directly about job opportunities.
Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
CPT is work authorization which allows eligible F-1 students to participate in approved off-campus internships. Approved off-campus internships are SAIC credit-bearing and required for graduation. Examples include Co-op internships or a graduate program requirement.
Students must be in F-1 status for one academic year before becoming eligible for CPT. Exceptions to the one year rule include specific Master of Arts program students that have internships built into the first year of their curricula. Contact International Affairs for more information.
You must request CPT authorization from International Affairs BEFORE starting work. CPT authorizations take three to four days to process. Approved CPT students will receive a new I-20 with the authorized location and dates of employment printed on page three. You may not work until your internship has been CPT authorized.
Working even one day without required CPT authorization is a serious violation of your F-1 status and will be considered illegal employment.
Optional Practical Training (OPT)
OPT is work authorization which allows eligible F-1 students to work in the United States for up to 12 months AFTER the completion of their degree. This is a wonderful opportunity for you to gain work experience before returning to your home country to pursue employment there. To be eligible, you must complete a master’s or bachelor’s degree. Post-Baccalaureate Certificate students are not eligible for OPT.
Authorization is granted by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) through an application process that takes two to three months. You must attend a mandatory OPT workshop early in your final semester of study, then schedule an OPT appointment when you are ready to apply. International Affairs will review your OPT application documents and submit them to USCIS for processing.
OPT Workshops are held every Tuesday from 12:10–12:50 p.m. at the International Affairs office. Contact International Affairs for special evening workshop dates and times.
F-1 students participating in OPT must report their employment to International Affairs. Students must report employer information and employment start and end dates. Updates can be made directly to the online OPT Employment Reporting Web form. Changes and updates must be made within 10 days in order to maintain your immigration status. Contact the International Affairs Office with any questions.