International Student Services
F-1 Options (On Campus, CPT, OPT)
“Employment” is work performed in exchange for compensation. Compensation can include money, room and board, or other significant benefits. Before accepting any kind of employment, be sure it is allowed by the F-1 regulations. Note that the off-campus employment opportunities generally require you to have completed one academic year (three quarters) to be eligible to apply for authorization. Consult an ISS adviser with any questions related to F-1 status and employment.
F-1 status allows the following five categories of employment:
- On-campus Employment
- Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
- Optional Practical Training (OPT)
- Severe Economic Hardship
- International Organizations
Having trouble deciding between CPT and OPT? This handout will help you figure out which to use.
Changing from the F-1 student visa to an H-1B employment visa:
Obtaining a Social Security Number