• Can I work as a student in F-1 status?
    • As an F-1 student, you have permission to work on-campus part-time (up to 20 hours per week) when the university is in regular school sessions (Fall and Spring semesters) and full-time (20+ hours per week) when the university is not in session (December holiday, Spring Break, summer).
    • Working off-campus without specific permission is ILLEGAL and is a serious violation of your F-1 visa status.  Please see an International Student Advisor to discuss off-campus employment.

 

  • What is OPT?
    • Optional Practical Training (OPT) is “temporary employment for practical training directly related to your major area of study.”  ISS frequently provides OPT Informational Workshops and strongly encourages you to attend a session if you are thinking about applying for OPT.  

 

  • How do I know if I qualify for OPT?
    • You must be in good academic standing and have maintained your F-1 status for the duration of your program at Marshall University. You are required to have been a full-time student attending concurrent semesters for the entire time of your study.

 

  • When can OPT be authorized?
    • During annual vacation and other times school is not is session
    • While school is in session, provided that it does not exceed 20 hours per week while school is in session
    • After completion of all course requirements for the degree, excluding thesis or equivalent, if you are in a bachelor, master, or doctoral degree program
    • After completion of your course of study

 

  • How much can I work on OPT?
    • A cumulative maximum of 12 months per educational level. Part-time OPT is deducted from the 12 month limit at 50%.

 

  • What Field/level of work?
    • Must be directly related to and commensurate with the level of your course of study. No offer of employment is required, but you are expected to work or be actively seeking employment after the OPT EAD is issued. You may engage in OPT for any employer for the duration of OPT authorization, as long as the employment qualifies under OPT standards.

     

  • Who approves my OPT?
    • You must apply for and receive an EAD from USCIS with the assistance of a DSO (in CIP Office) before work begins. EAD application must be properly filed with USCIS BEFORE your program completion date. You must begin the application procedures sufficiently (90-120 days is suggested)in advance to allow the DSO to update the SEVIS record with the recommendation, and to ensure that I-765 is accepted by USCIS prior to your program completion date.

 

  • Can I reenter the US if my OPT application is pending?
    • There is some risk involved in reentering the US before your OPT is approved.  Please see an International Student Advisor to discuss any travel plans while your OPT application is pending.  

 

  • Can I reenter if I left while on OPT?
    • If your OPT has been approved and you depart before you get a job, your OPT ends and you cannot reenter unless you have a written job offer.
    • If you have a job, you may travel and reenter to resume work at the same job or you have a written offer for another job.

 

  • What is CPT?
    • CPT is Curricular Practical Training and students must have been enrolled on a full-time basis for one full academic year before being eligible for CPT.  Students may engage in CPT only for the specific employer, location, and period of time approved. The duration depends on the specific period granted by the DSO in increments of no more than one year, or until expected date of employment completion, whichever is shorter.

 

  • How much can I work on CPT?
    • You can be approved for part-time (20 hours or less).  In specific situations, you may be approved for full-time (over 20 hours). 

 

  • What Field/level of work?
    • Your work must be an integral part of an established curriculum, in your course/field of study. You must have an offer of employment from an employer offering work that qualifies as curricular practical training.

 

  • Does CPT affect OPT later?
    • Use of full-time CPT for one year or more eliminates eligibility for Optional Practical Training. Use of part-time CPT does not affect eligibility for OPT.

     

  • Who approves my CPT?
    • A DSO in the CIP Office will authorize in SEVIS and issue SEVIS I-20 with notation, before your work can begin. USCIS approval is not required.