International Students

Employment for F1

On-Campus Employment at Rivier University

An F-1 student may accept on-campus employment provided he/she is enrolled in a full course of study and the employment does not displace a qualified U.S. resident. A maximum of 20 hours per week during the semester is allowed. During summer vacations and school breaks, full time (40 hrs) work is authorized. On-campus job opportunities are published by the University’s Financial Aid Office during the school year, and by the Human Resources Office in the summer. You must present to the Financial Aid office documents such as your SEVIS Form I-20, passport, and social security card when completing a Student Work Agreement.

Curricular Practical Training

Curricular practical training (CPT) refers to training that is a fundamental or an integral part of the existing curriculum. The training must be alternate work–study (alternating between classes and working); an internship or practicum that is offered by a sponsoring employer through an agreement with the school. C     PT may be granted by the International Student Advisor/Designated School Official in increments of no more than one year. Engaging in CPT for more than one year may affect your eligibility to apply for Optional Practical Training. CPT may also be approved for part-time 20 hours during the semester or over 20 hours when school is not in session.

Rivier University Curricular Practical Training requirements:

  • Application for the appropriate program must be completed and approved by the department chairperson.
  • Department advisor’s recommendation form must be completed and approved by the department chairperson.
  • Copy of registration form or add/drop form completed by the department
  • Sponsoring employer’s offer letter of employment showing the title of the internship position, number of hours offered, the beginning and end date of the training.
  • Completed Form I-538, Section A to be completed by student. This form is available in the ISA office.
  • Note: F-1 students who wish to apply for CPT must check with the International Student Advisor to determine eligibility before completing the above requirements. He/she must have been lawfully registered full time and have maintained F-1 status for at least one full academic year.

Optional Practical Training

Optional Practical Training (OPT) refers to practical training, which may take place during or upon completion of the course of studies. Such temporary employment maybe authorized in the following situations:

  • When school is not in session and the student is currently enrolled and intends to register for the next semester.
  • While school is in session, provided that the practical training does not exceed 20 hours a week.
  • After completion of all course requirements for the degree (excluding thesis, if applicable)
  • OPT is available for a total of 12 months of full-time employment. Employment under OPT must be directly related to a student’s field of study. Any period or increment of OPT will count toward the total 12 months. For example: part-time OPT for 20 hours per week for a period of 6 months will be counted toward the 12 months allowed at a rate of half the time. This means 3 months will have been used up of the total 12 months allowed. (6 months of employment x half time ½ = 3 months of full time employment)

OPT NEW RULES (April 8, 2008)

Changes on OPT application procedures and duration:

  1.  Under the new rule effective, April 8, 2008, a student will be able to file his or her I-765 for post completion OPT up to 90 days prior to his or her program end date and up to 60 days after his or her program end date.
  2. Employment authorization will begin on the date requested or date of the employment authorization is adjudicated, whichever is later. Exception: The employment authorization period for the 17th month OPT extension begins on the day after the expiration of the initial post-completion OPT employment authorization, and ends 17 months later, regardless of the date of the actual extension is approved.(This pertains to STEM qualified OPT applicants only)

STEM OPT Extension
Application for F-1 Student Employment Authorization,
Rules and Requirements

The Department of Homeland Security published a new rule on March 11, 2016 expanding the current STEM OPT extension program which is set to take effect May 10, 2016.
Students who hold degrees in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) may be eligible to apply for an additional 24 months of Optional Practical Training (OPT), for a total of 36 months of post-completion OPT. Only students who have completed degrees in a STEM designated field qualify for this extension. There is a possibility to apply for the STEM extension based on a prior U.S. degree in a STEM field. That degree must have been issued in within the past 10 years from an SEVP-certified school that is accredited.
Students are encouraged to meet with an advisor to determine if your degree or concentration is eligible for STEM Extension. A job offer or employment from an employer registered with “E-Verify,” a federal employment verification system is a required document for filing a STEM OPT. Student and employer will be required to complete the Form I-983, Training Plan for STEM OPT students before your application for STEM OPT is processed by OGE.

When to apply for STEM OPT?


Be mindful of when your initial OPT period expires. You may submit the STEM application up to 90 days before OPT period ends.

How to apply for STEM OPT?


Click here à Prepare Your STEM OPT Application


The Office of Global Engagement recommends that you discuss your STEM OPT extension and the Form I-983 with your OPT employer as soon as possible so that you are prepared to file your STEM OPT application.

The following are reminders to a student who plans to apply for STEM extension.

  • Work in a paid position for an E-Verify employer at least 20 hours per week
  • Work in a position related to the STEM program major listed under “Program of Study” on the I-20
  • Not work for any employer that is not an E-Verify employer
  • Not have more than 150 days of unemployment time during the entire period of post-completion OPT (regular post-completion OPT and 24-month extension combined)
  • Cannot be self-employed

 

Must report STEM OPT training plan

Students must report within 10 days any changes to the Training Plan on file. Students are also required to report to their International Student Advisor if their employer is not abiding by the terms of the the Training Plan. Students must submit a fully completed Training Plan evaluation at the end for the first and second twelve month periods of STEM OPT

Must comply with the federal reporting requirements

Non-compliance of any of the following requirements will automatically invalidate the student’s F-1 status.

STEM OPT students must provide the following information to their International Student Advisor every six months AND within 10 days of any change:

  • Legal name;
  • Residential and mailing address;
  • E-mail address;
  • Employer name;
  • Employer address;
  • Job title or position;
  • Supervisor name and contact information;
  • Employment start-date; and
  • Employment end-date

OPT students who currently have (or have an application pending on May 10, 2016 for) a 17 month extension

The new rule authorizing the 24-month STEM OPT extension will go into effect on May 10, 2016. If you currently have a 17-month STEM OPT extension, you may apply to add 7 months to your STEM OPT period on or after May 10, 2016, as long as you have at least 150 days of valid employment authorization remaining on the date you properly file your new Form I-765. Please note that you must properly file your Form I-765, with fee, on or before August 8, 2016. Applications with less than 150 days of validity remaining and/or applications filed after August 8, 2016, will be denied or will not be processed by OGE.
If you currently have an application for a 17-month STEM OPT extension that remains pending on May 10, 2016, USCIS will send you a request for evidence (RFE) to allow you to demonstrate that you are eligible for a 24-month STEM OPT extension.

 

If You…  And…  Then… 
Currently have a 17-month STEM OPT extension You do NOT want to add any additional time to your STEM OPT extension You do not need to file any new forms or pay any new fees. You are authorized to keep working until your 17-month STEM OPT period expires, or is terminated or revoked.
Currently have a 17-month STEM OPT extension You want to request to add 7 months to your STEM OPT extension You may submit a Form I-765, with fee, on or after May 10, 2016. If you do so, you must:
   
  • Properly file on or before 
  • August 8, 2016;
  • File your Form I765 within 60 days of your DSO’s recommendation;
  • Have at least 150 days of valid work authorization remaining on the date you properly file your new Form I-765;
  • Include a Form I-20, endorsed by your DSO on or after May 10, 2016; and
  • Show that you, your DSO, and your employer meet all the 24-month STEM OPT extension requirements, including submitting the Training Plan for STEM OPT Students
Until May 9, 2016, we will continue to adjudicate your application under the 2008 interim final rule.

If your application is still pending on May 10, 2016, we will send you a request for evidence to allow you to demonstrate that you are eligible for a 24-month STEM OPT extension.

Have an application for a 17-month STEM OPT extension You do not withdraw your Form I-765 application You must then submit a Form I20 endorsed on or after May 10, 2016, indicating that your DSO recommends you for a 24-month OPT extension and that you, your DSO, and your employer meet the requirements for a 24-month extension.

You will not need to pay an additional fee or refile the Form I-765.

Are a STEM student You want to apply for a STEM OPT extension on or after May 10, 2016 You must file:
  • Form I-765
  • Form I-20, endorsed by your DSO within the past 60 days, and endorsed on or after May 10, 2016
  • A copy of your degree
  • Your employer’s name as listed in E-Verify
  • Your employer’s E-Verify Company Identification Number or valid E-Verify Client Company Identification Number
 

 

Additional resources and the link to the Form I-983 are provided for your reference:
Department of Homeland Security STEM OPT Hub: https://studyinthestates.dhs.gov/stem-opt-hub
USCIS STEM OPT webpage: https://www.uscis.gov/working-united-states/students-and-exchange-visitors/students-and-employment/stem-opt
Updated STEM degree list (effective May 10, 2016): https://www.ice.gov/sites/default/files/documents/Document/2016/stem-list.pdf
Form I-983 Training Plan for STEM OPT Students: https://www.ice.gov/sites/default/files/documents/Document/2016/I-983.pdf 
Instructions for Form I-983: https://www.ice.gov/sites/default/files/documents/Document/2016/i983Instructions.pdf 

Limited Periods of Unemployment to Maintain Status

During post completion OPT, F-1 status is dependent upon employment.
Students may not accrue an aggregate of more than 90 days of unemployment during any post-completion OPT carried out under the initial post-completion OPT authorization.Students granted a 17-month OPT extension may not accrue an aggregate of more than 120 days of unemployment during the total 29-month OPT period.

 SOURCE: NAFSA

 Optional Practical Training Application Requirements:

All applicants must bring all OPT application requirements to the International Student Advising Office for review. An appointment with the International Student Advisor is advisable. Please complete immigration forms and copy of all documents requested before your appointment. ISAO offers to mail the complete application to  U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS):

  1.  $380.00* check or money order payable to U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
  2.  Documentation from academic adviser/Registrar’s office indicating the current academic status and confirming program completion. (Application for Graduation and letter or email  from adviser)
  3.  Complete an immigration form I-765. We encourage you to fill out the I-765 form online and print it. The URL link is http://www.uscis.gov    and  click on “Immigration    Forms”.  NOTE: Student’s signature on the I-765 form is scanned directly for the EAD; make sure that there is no part of the signature that crosses the line.
  4.  Complete form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, marked with the proper code at item 16: as (c )(3 ) (B) for post completion OPT
  5.  Photocopies of old EAD, if any.
  6.  Front and back copies of all previously issued I-20’s from different college/university, and original Rivier University issued I-20s.
  7.  Two (2) immigration style photos (check with the advisor for specific instruction); 2 x 2 photo size are required for this application.
  8.  Photocopy of picture page of passport
  9.  Front and back copy of your I-94 card.

 

 Optional Practical Training 17 month Extension Application Requirements:

All applicants must bring all OPT application requirements to the International Student Advising Office for review. An appointment with the International Student Advisor is advisable.

*NOTE: You need to make sure you know your employer's E-Verify company identification number when completing I-765 form. All fees are subject to change without notice. Always confirm the required fee with the International Student Advisor. 

  1.  380.00* check or money order payable to U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
  2.  Complete a NEW immigration form I-765. We encourage you to fill out the I-765 form online and print it. The URL link is http://www.uscis.gov  and click on “Immigration  Forms”.  NOTE: Student’s signature on the I-765 form is scanned directly for the EAD; make sure that there is no part of the signature that crosses the line.
  3. Complete form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, marked with the proper code at item 16: as (c )(3 ) ( C) for STEM OPT
  4. Proof of degree (copy of transcript  or diploma)
  5. Copy of EAD from the initial OPT
  6. Copy of your employment offer letter for the duration of extension; provide a copy of the offer letter for your initial OPT.
  7. Provide the E-Verify number of the company and write accurate name of employer as it appears on the E-Verify system. (Spelling is very important)

Frequently Asked Questions while on Optional Practical Training (OPT)

Do I need to find a job offer before I apply for OPT?

No, a job offer is not needed prior to applying for OPT. Your OPT job may be anywhere in the United States.

How soon do I apply for OPT?

The earliest you could file your Post Completion OPT is up to 90 days prior to your program end date.

Can OPT be extended beyond 12 months?

No, OPT cannot be extended for more than 12 months.

NOTE:  For STEM qualified F-1 students only, the OPT can be extended for up to 17 months if requirements are met. (See information on OPT Extension)

What happens if I didn’t use the applied OPT? Can I carry it over for the next time?

No, once USCIS processes the Employment Authorization Document (EAD) that's it.

If I decide to cancel my OPT before receiving my EAD, what should I do?

Schedule an appointment with your International Student Advisor for options, immediately for proper guidance.

What kind  of documents will USCIS issue to me when my OPT application is approved?

The USCIS Service Center will issue an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). This card shows your name and the dates that employment is scheduled to commence and end.

I plan to relocate while waiting for my EAD card. Can I use a P.O. Box to forward my EAD card?

No. By law, Federal mail may not be forwarded to a Post Office Box address or another address. It is very important to write a secure and correct mailing address on your OPT application. Inquire with ISAO about another address option.

Is traveling outside the United States advisable before I receive my post-completion OPT EAD card?

Traveling outside the U.S. is not advisable until you receive the EAD card, and have at least one job offer for employment in the field of study. Also to be eligible for re-entry to the U.S. you must have the EAD card, valid F-1 visa, valid passport, valid SEVIS Form I-20 with recent ISAO signature and OPT endorsement on page 3. See your International Student Advisor for additional advice.

I received my EAD card for post-completion OPT, is it safe to travel outside the United States without employment?

You can travel outside the U.S. after you’ve received your EAD card but there is a risk that you may be denied re-entry to the U.S. You must be able to convince the consular officer that you have a job waiting for you. You have to convince him/her too that you will leave the U.S. at the end of your OPT date. To be eligible for re-entry to the U.S. you must have an EAD card, valid F-1 visa, valid passport, job offer, valid SEVIS Form I-20 with recent ISAO signature and OPT endorsement on page 3. See your International Student Advisor for additional advice.

Can I start working while waiting for my EAD card?

No. You can start working only when you receive your EAD card and that the employment start date on your EAD card is current. The beginning and end dates of OPT will be listed on the EAD card. 

Do I have to depart the U.S. after the end date of my OPT/EAD card?

Yes and no. You have exactly 60 days to depart the country.  During the 60 days grace period, you also have a choice of staying in the country by seeking another degree program or seek opportunity to another non-immigrant status. If you intend to continue academic studies, you should obtain a new SEVIS I-20 prior to the OPT end date.  See your International Student Advisor for more advice.

Off-Campus Employment because of severe economic hardship

F-1 students may apply for off campus employment due to economic hardship. S/he needs to demonstrate the severity of the financial need. Documentation from the student that unforeseen circumstances have caused the urgent financial need, i.e., currency devaluation, loss of scholarship or sponsorship, and natural disaster in home country. A budget detailing expenses versus available resources is highly recommended.  You have to provide compeling evidence on why you are suffering financial difficulty despite the fact that you showed more than enough financial resources when your application for admissions was granted. Detailed explanation is needed for this application.

Email-F-1ISS Welcome HandbookPre-Arrival Guide