Students on F-1/J-1 visas are allowed to work on-campus for 20 hours per week during the fall and spring semester. During the summer, F/J students are allowed to work full-time on-campus. The definition of on-campus is any office where you are working for Winthrop University and receiving a pay check from Winthrop University. In order to receive pay for your work, you must have a social security card. For information on the application process for a social security card please refer to Social Security and Taxes.
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Before beginning any type of employment off-campus you must make an appointment to speak with the International Student Advisor in the International Center.
USCIS defines “curricular practical training” as an employment option available to F-1 students where the employment is considered to be an integral or required part of the curriculum or academic program.
Criteria for CPTThe CPT employment must be listed in the program of study for the students degree program and be considered necessary for the awarding of the degree. The employment must be required of the course. The course and employment must run simultaneously, meaning you must be registered for the course during the same period that you are working under CPT authorization.
Application and Approval Process Students must submit the following documents to the International Student Advisor 5 working days prior to their requested employment start date.
If your CPT request is approved you will receive a Form I-20 endorsed on page 3 for CPT listing the dates of employment and the name and address of your employer. You must be careful to work only from the beginning to the end date of the employment authorization. You may not continue employment beyond the date authorized on your Form I-20 unless you apply for and are granted an extension of your permission to work.
CPT vs. OPT
If a student's program of study does not require an internship for credit then CPT is not an option, there is the possibility of pre-completion OPT (working using your OPT benefit prior to graduation). Refer to the OPT section below for more information on pre-completion OPT.
Also note, if a student completes one year (12 months) of full-time CPT then their Optional Practical Training (OPT) benefit is no longer available.
In order to apply for CPT please make an appointment to meet with the International Student Advisor.
Optional Practical Training, or OPT is an employment benefit awarded to F-1 students by USCIS. Optional Practical Training, or OPT, is used for extending your legal F-1 status to enable authorization of work that is directly related to your field of study. USCIS determines eligibility for OPT and reserves the right not to award OPT if a student has violated and failed to maintain their legal status while studying in the United States.
Students are eligible for two periods of OPT. There is a 12-month benefit allowed after receiving an undergraduate degree and another 12-month benefit allowed after receiving a graduate degree. OPT must be completed within 14 months of completion of your studies.
Types of OPT and When to Apply for OPT-
Procedures for Applying for OPT
The International Center cannot assist you in completing your application if you do not provide all of the documents requested above.IMPORTANT REMINDERS –
While authorized for OPT you must -
What if I cannot find a job while on OPT?
Can OPT be extended?
Options available after OPT
If you have questions about OPT or if you plan to apply for OPT, please contact the International Center to make an appointment.
Academic training is available only to students holding J-1 visas. Academic Training is a type of employment (paid or unpaid) that is directly related to your major area of study and authorized by your J-1 program sponsor, Winthrop University. Academic Training is designed for students to apply knowledge and skills learned at Winthrop University.
All J-1 students may apply for academic training if they meet the eligibility requirements below. Academic Training must be approved before the expiration date of a students DS-2019. Students may work part-time while school is in session and full-time during the summer and winter breaks.
Length of Work Authorization
How to Apply
If you have questions about employment authorization at Winthrop University contact the International Center.