F-1 Employment and Cap-Gap

F-1 students are eligible for two categories of work authorization.

I. On-campus
  • Employment authorization not  required
  • Social Security Number required (see below)
  • Limited to 20 hours per week during the semester
  II. Off-campus
  • Employment authorization and ISSS processing required
  • Social Security Number required if work is paid (see below)
  • Employment workshop offered by ISSS is required within 1 year of application (see schedule below)
  • Three types of employment known as “Practical Training” must be related to your degree and are designed to extend classroom education.
  1. CPT – Curricular Practical Training
  2. OPT –  Optional Practical Training
  3. OPT – STEM Extension & Cap-Gap 
  • A fourth type of off-campus employment authorization may be available for those experiencing a major, unforeseen and prolonged situation.

4.  Severe Economic Hardship

Practical Training (employment) workshops are required within one year of applying as part of the approval process.

  • Free workshops are held in the ISSS Map Room and begin promptly at 2pm.If you are only interested in OPT, you may arrive at 2:30.
  • An online CPT/OPT workshop is available, but in-person workshops are strongly advised.
  • A minimum of 4 participants are needed to present the workshop.
  • Seasonal H1-B & Green Card workshops are published in the ISSS Newsletter and Facebook.

Future In-person

Workshops (2020)




Thursday, January 23 2:00 pm 2:30 pm

Offered each Fall and Spring with

University Career Services during:

1. International Education Week

(usually November)

2. International Spring Festival

(usually March)

Tuesday, February 11 2:00 pm 2:30 pm
Thursday, March 26
2:00 pm 2:30 pm
Tuesday, April 21
2:00 pm 2:30 pm

Register for Workshops

  • Free, but registration is required since space is limited.
  • Log-in to iStart and click "Session Sign-ups" to register for the in-person workshop of your choice.
  • No Registration is required for the online workshop; however, you must submit confirmation of understanding upon completion. Click the links below to access the online workshop.


  • Never accept or work off-campus employment without authorization through ISSS in advance.
  • All CPT authorizations end on the last day of finals. An internship offer that extends beyond this date requires an additional CPT authorization and corresponding internship course for the next semester.
  • TPS (Temporary Protected Status) work authorization could be a violation of nonimmigrant status. Work with an experienced immigration attorney to find out more.
  • International students should not plan to meet educational or personal living expenses through employment in the U.S.  As an F-1 or J-1 student, you were required to demonstrate sufficient financial resources to cover your expenses at the time you began the Visa process.