Employment

UWGBAs an international student in the United States on either the F-1 or J-1 visa classifications, your primary objective is to obtain a degree, not employment. Unauthorized employment in these visa classifications constitutes a failure to maintain immigration status. Work authorization can be obtained in very specific instances; however, positions are limited and competitive. You should not plan to meet your educational and personal living expenses through employment earnings.

  • On-Campus Employment for F-1 Students

      • UW-Green Bay international students are permitted to work on campus (on school premises) provided you are in good immigration status. Employment is limited to 20 hours per week while school is in session and can be full-time during official school breaks.

        What you must do:
        • Review job postings and identify those you find of interest. Job postings are online at: http://www.myinterfase.com/uwgb/student
        • Select the jobs you are interested in and apply directly. You may need to provide a resume/CV during the application process
        • Prepare yourself for an interview. Think about reasons why you want a job on campus and why you would make a great employee.
        • If offered a job, obtain a letter from your employer verifying employment and stating the start-date (you will need this to obtain a social security number).
        • Bring the letter from your employer to the Office of International Education and request employment authorization and a Social Security Letter
        • Follow the steps listed on this website to obtain a Social Security Number
        What the Office of International Education must do:
        • Verify that you are “in status”
        • Authorize your employment
        • Draft a letter to Social Security verifying your enrollment and work eligibility status
  • On-Campus Employment for J-1 Students

      • As a UW-Green Bay international exchange student, you are permitted to work on campus (on school premises) provided you are in good immigration status. Employment is limited to 20 hours per week while school is in session and can be full-time during official school breaks.

        What you must do:
        • Review job postings and identify those you find of interest. Job postings are online at: http://www.myinterfase.com/uwgb/student
        • Select the jobs you are interested in and apply directly. You may need to provide a resume/CV during the application process
        • Prepare yourself for an interview. Think about reasons why you want a job on campus and why you would make a great employee.
        • If offered a job, obtain a letter from your employer verifying employment and stating the start-date (you will need this to obtain a social security number).
        • Bring the letter from your employer to the Office of International Education and request employment authorization and a Social Security Letter
        • Follow the steps listed on this website to obtain a Social Security Number
        What the Office of International Education must do:
        • Verify that you are “in status”
        • Authorize your employment
        • Draft a letter to Social Security verifying your enrollment and work eligibility status
  • Curricular Practical Training (CPT) for F-1 Students

      • Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is an employment option available to F-1 students where the practical training employment is considered to be an integral part of the curriculum or academic program. According to the immigration regulations, this employment may be an internship, cooperative education job, a practicum, or any other work experience that is either required for your degree (as defined in the course catalog) or for which academic credit is awarded.

        To be eligible for curricular practical training, you must have been in lawfully enrolled on a full-time basis for one full academic year (exception exists for graduate students whose programs require immediate curricular training), your employment must be an integral part of your degree program or requirement for a course (as defined above), and your job offer related to your major or field of study. You must have an offer of employment offering work that qualifies as curricular practical training.

        The Office of International Education can authorize curricular practical training for you if it can be clearly documented that the proposed employment meets one of the following conditions:

        1. The training employment is required of all degree candidates in the program and is necessary for the awarding of the degree. Included in this category is employment in a required internship or practicum. Graduate students in their first year of study may be eligible for curricular practical training in this category. Undergraduates are not eligible in their first year of study.
        2. The training employment will result in the awarding of academic credit, at least predominately, if not solely, on the basis of the training experience. Included in this category is employment for a course specifically designed to award academic credit for an employment experience. Also included in this category is employment that will result in the award of at least one course credit for an independent study. In both of these cases you must be registered for the course during the period that you are working under curricular practical training authorization.

        Number of hours authorized:

        • Part-time (20 hours/week or less)
        • Full-time (Over 20 hours per week)

        Because of its unique relationship with the curriculum, there is no limit to the total (aggregate) time CPT may be authorized. However, CPT authorization is on a semester by semester basis. Use of full-time CPT for one year or more eliminates eligibility for Optional Practical training. Full-time CPT that has not met (or surpassed) the one year mark does not affect eligibility for authorization of Optional Practical Training. Part-time CPT does not affect OPT eligibility.

        What you must do:
        • Obtain a Curricular Practical Training employment offer
        • Download Curricular Practical Training Application
        • Meet with your academic advisor to complete the “advisor” or “co-op” section of the Curricular Practical Training Application
        • Register for the corresponding course
        • Meet with your employer to complete the “employer” section of the Curricular Practical Training Application
        • Submit the completed application along with your current I-20 to the Office of International Education for processing
        • Refrain from beginning employment until receipt of a new I-20 bearing the authorization start and end dates
        What the Office of International Education must do:
        • Verify that you are in valid F-1 status and have met the one full academic year requirement, and that the employment qualifies for Curricular Practical Training
        • Update your SEVIS record with authorization for CPT
        • Print a new I-20 with employment authorization
  • Optional Practical Training (OPT) for F-1 Students

      • If granted by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), Optional Practical Training (OPT) allows you to accept either part or full-time employment directly related to your major area of study. OPT can be authorized before or after completion of studies; however, the total period of authorization cannot exceed the equivalent of 12 full months. Part-time practical training (20 hours per week or less) is subtracted from the available 12 months at half the full-time rate (example: If granted 6 months of part-time OPT, 3 months are subtracted from your 12 month total). You may apply for 12 months of OPT during or after an undergraduate degree and then again after a graduate degree. You may NOT save your OPT and collect 24 months following completion of graduate studies.

        OPT may be used:
        • During Summer Break: Part-time or Full-time
        • During the Academic Year: Half-time Only
        • After the Completion of All Degree Requirements: Full-time Only
        • For Graduate Students Only: After the Completion of all Degree Requirements and Prior to Completion of the Thesis (you must continue to make progress toward the completion of your thesis while engaging in OPT)
        Eligibility

        You ARE eligible to apply for OPT if you are currently in lawful F-1 status and have been a full-time student for one full academic year (nine months-even if part of that time was in another non-immigrant status which does not prohibit full-time study).

        You are NOT eligible for OPT if you have been authorized for 12 months or more (in aggregate) of Full-Time Curricular Practical Training (CPT) during your current program of study.

        Job Offer

        An offer of employment is NOT REQUIRED when requesting Optional Practical Training; however, many students planning to work before the completion of their program of study often receive a job offer and then apply for OPT.

        NOTE: Once authorized by USCIS for work authorization, the time period is deducted from your total eligibility regardless of whether used or not.

        When to Apply for Optional Practical Training

        The Office of International Education recommends applying for OPT authorization up to three (3) months in advance of the begin date of your proposed employment or completion of your program of study.

        Note: You MUST apply for OPT prior to your completion date or you will lose your OPT opportunity.

        Dates of Employment Authorization

        When applying for OPT, you will designate your proposed start and end date of work authorization. USCIS will authorize your begin date as either the day stated on your application or the date the Employment Authorization Document (EAD card) is approved, whichever is later.

        • If you apply for OPT to work before the completion of your program of study, your end date will be as designated on your application.
        • If you apply for OPT to work after the completion of your program of study, the authorization will be for the duration requested on your application; however, the end date will be no later than 14 months from your date of completion.

        You may not begin working until you receive the valid EAD card and its start date has commenced. If you were granted OPT based on working after the completion of your studies, and your graduation was delayed, you must wait until you officially complete your studies prior to beginning employment.

        Recipients of bachelor’s or master’s degrees in certain STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) fields can apply for a one-time 17-month extension of post-completion OPT (for a total eligibility of up to 29 months). To be eligible for the extension, you must be engaged in an unexpired authorized period of post-completion OPT with an employer registered in E-Verify

        Maintaining Employment

        Students on OPT cannot be unemployed for more than 3 months. If you are nearing that time frame, please see the Office of International Education.

        Documenting Employment

        You must always update your employment with the Office of International Education. Please provide the name of the company, address and phone number for each employer. You must do this within 10 days of employment with the company.

        Travel While OPT Application is Pending

        Before completing your studies, you may continue to travel internationally provided you have a valid travel endorsement by the Office of International Education on your I-20.

        If you choose to depart the U.S. after completing your studies but have not yet received an EAD card, you must carry your Receipt Notice from USCIS verifying that your application for OPT is pending. The Office of International Education will only endorse your I-20 after completion of studies if you provide a copy of the Receipt Notice.

        Travel Once OPT is Approved

        After completing your studies and receiving your EAD card, you must obtain a travel endorsement from the OIE for re-entry into the U.S., to do so, submit complete an OIE travel endorsement application

        Address

        You must keep your U.S. residential address up-to-date with the OIE while on OPT. Failure to notify the OIE within 10 days of moving is a violation of your F-1 status.

        Disruption of Employment

        You must inform the OIE of any disruption in employment. Failure to do so is a violation of your F-1 status.

        Resuming Study

        If you return to school you must cease working regardless of your EAD card validity. Authorization to engage in OPT is automatically terminated your resuming full-time study. If you resume studies at a higher education level (i.e. Masters or Doctorate) you are eligible for an additional 12 months of OPT.

        What you must do:
        • Fully complete the Optional Practical Training Application form
        • Complete and the Form I-765
        • Submit the completed Application and I-765 to the Office of International Education along with the following:
          • Your current I-20
          • A copy of both sides of your I-94 arrival card (the small white card stapled in your passport)
          • A copy of every page of your passport
          • Two passport style photographs
          • A check or Money Order Made payable to US Department of Homeland Security for the I-765 filing fee. Updated fee amounts are available at the U.S. citizenship and Immigration Services website.
          • Verification that you have applied for graduation
          • A copy of your previous EAD (if applicable)
        • Sign your new I-20 once your application has been processed
        • Refrain from beginning employment until receipt of an EAD
        What the Office of International Education must do:
        • Verify your eligibility for OPT, including whether you have been in full-time student status for at least one academic year, and the dates of prior periods of curricular and optional practical training previously granted
        • Update your SEVIS record with a recommendation for OPT
        • Print and endorse a new I-20 which will reflect the OPT recommendation on page 3
        • Make file copies
        • Send the fully complete packet of materials to the appropriate USCIS Service Center for adjudication
  • Off-Campus Employment due to Severe Economic Hardship

      • Economic hardship Employment is permission grated to F-1 students by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to work off-campus on the basis of “severe economic hardship due to unforeseen circumstances beyond the students’ control.” Employment for Economic Hardship is granted by USCIS in increments of one year at a time, or until the program end-date, whichever is shorter. Employment is limited to 20 hours per week while school is in session and can be full-time during official school breaks. Employment can be in any field and does not have to be related to a course of study.

        To be eligible for economic hardship, you must document that:
        • You have been in valid F-1 status for at least one academic year (two semesters)
        • You are experiencing economic hardship based on unforeseen circumstances (see below) that arose since your last I-20 was issued
        • You are currently in good academic standing and are carrying a full course load
        • Employment opportunities on campus are unavailable or insufficient
        • Acceptance of employment will not interfere with your full-time study
        What are “unforeseen circumstances”?

        Examples of “unforeseen circumstances” include:

        • Loss of financial aid or on-campus employment resulting from circumstances beyond your control
        • Substantial fluctuations in the exchange rate or value of your home country’s currency
        • Unexpected changes in the financial condition of your financial sponsor
        • Unexpected medical bills
        • Other substantial and unexpected expenses
        What you must do:
        • Complete the Office of International Education’s Economic Hardship Application
        • Complete Form I-765 using the code: “(c) (2) (iii)” for item #16.
        • Compose a letter addressed to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service explaining your unforeseen economic hardship circumstances and your efforts to obtain on-campus employment
        • Gather evidence/documentation of your economic hardship (examples include copies of past and present currency exchange charts showing the devaluation of your country’s currency, affidavits and bank statements of unexpected changes in the financial situation of your sponsor, copies of medical bills or other substantial and unexpected expenses)
        • Obtain two passport style photographs
        • Provide a check or money order for the I-765 filing fee
        • Schedule an appointment with the Office of International Education and bring all documentation stated above along with your I-20 and I-94 arrival card
        • Refrain from employment until receipt of an employment authorization card (EAD) from the Federal government.
        What the Office of International Education must do:
        • Verify your eligibility for Economic Hardship employment
        • Update your SEVIS record with a recommendation for employment
        • Issue a new I-20
        • Copy your passport, I-94, and I-20
        • Mail the complete application to the appropriate USCIS Service Center for adjudication