Career Services at Purdue Calumet is available to students, alumni, and the community. It offers a range of services including resume and cover letter reviews, mock interviews, networking opportunities, job search assistance, career-related advice, and more. For current events and information refer to the Career Services webpage.
Employment Opportunities for International Students
There are three types of employment authorization for F-1 students:
- On-Campus Employment
- Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
- Optional Practical Training (OPT)
As an F-1 student, you are eligible to work ONLY ON-CAMPUS, for no more than 20 hours a week during the academic year, which is usually from
August to May. During semester break and the summer you can work ONLY ON CAMPUS, full time.
This is for students who have not been authorized for CPT/OPT.
All paperwork for on-campus work can be completed by the department that employs you.
Please note that on-campus employment is not permitted after completion of a degree unless the student has been issued a form I-20 to begin a new program with intentions to enroll for the following semester. Work violations do not qualify for reinstatement. If you work illegally, you could be subject to Deportation.
Note: F-1 International Students are not permitted to work off-campus unless they are authorized for CPT or OPT, or if other very specific conditions are met.
Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
CPT is authorization to be employed in training off-campus “which is an integral part of an established curriculum and is directly related to the student’s major area of study.” This may be defined as: alternative work/study, internship, cooperative education or any other type of required internship or practicum. The employment must correspond to a specific
course in the student’s academic plan of study.
CPT can be full time (more than 20 hours per week) or part time (20 hours or less per week). Students registered for part time CPT during a fall or spring semester must be full time students and be registered for a full course load of study. Students engaged in part time CPT during summer vacation do not need to be registered for a full time load of classes.
How to Apply for CPT
- F-1 Student Status
- Completed one full academic year (fall and spring semester)
- If your degree program requires employment authorization before you have met the academic year requirement, please see your ISS Immigration Advisor (DSO)
- Schedule an appointment to meet with an ISS Immigration Advisor (DSO), and bring the following documents with you to your appointment:
- Valid passport
- Current form I-20
- CPT training certification form
- A job offer from your prospective employer which indicates in the body of the letter:
- Whether the position is full time or part time (specify the number of hours per week)
- The address of employment
- The beginning and ending dates of employment
Note: ISS authorizes CPT after verification that a student meets the eligibility requirements for CPT, has a job offer, and has enrolled in a class requiring employment. ISS gives the authorization on the I-20 Employment page; no Employment Authorization Document from USCIS is required for CPT, but students must be in full good academic and immigration status to be approved.
Requesting Changes after CPT is authorized
CPT is approved for a specific employer, place of employment and time period. You must request any changes two weeks before the new employer; place and/or time period may begin (completing new forms and obtaining new authorization).
Effect on Optional Practical Training (OPT)
Please note that F-1 students with 12 months or 365 days of full-time CPT are not eligible for Optional Practical Training (OPT). CPT should not exceed 364 days if the student intends to apply for post-completion OPT.
Optional Practical Training (OPT)
Optional Practical Training (OPT) is available to students on an F-1 visa who have been lawfully enrolled on a full-time basis for a full academic year. An eligible F-1 visa student may request OPT in order to work in a position which is directly related to his/her major field of study.
A total of twelve months of OPT is available for qualified students to use after each higher educational level obtained as an F-1 visa holder in the United States.
When to Apply for OPT
A student can file his or her I-765 Application for Employment Authorization (Also Called “Optional Practical Training” or “OPT”) up to 90 days before his or her program end date, and up to 60 days after his or her program end date.
Reporting Requirements While on OPT
All students on OPT are required to report to ISS within 10 days of:
- Any change in name or address
- Any update to employment information (first employer, change of employer, period of unemployment)
Note: Report changes to ISS immediately via e-mail to the ISS webpage.
Important to Remember:
- No work until the EAD card is received
- No travel out of the country until the EAD card is received and you have a “job offer” letter
- Only work during dates on EAD card
- Out of Country travel must be approved through the Office of International Students and Scholars