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Employment

F-1 off-campus employment

As an F-1 or J-1 international student, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) provides a variety of opportunities to be employed in the United States during and after the completion of a degree. 

Students must obtain the appropriate work authorization type before commencing employment. Failing to receive proper work authorization is a serious violation of your F-1 or J-1 student status.

F-1 off-campus employment before graduation

Let’s compare Curricular Practical Training and Pre-Completion Optional Practical Training

 

Purpose

 

Note: If your program does not offer an internship as part of your curriculum and you wish to participate in an internship, you will need to apply for Pre-OPT. It is in your best interest to determine early if an internship is an option as Pre-OPT applications take approximately 90 days to process.

CPT

Pre-OPT

Your academic department will have specific internship requirements that need to be met before submitting the CPT I-20 Request eForm to ISSC. 

Confirms a future expected graduation date and approves the internship course as a necessary/integral part of the degree program.

Confirms a future expected graduation date. 

 

CPT

Pre-OPT

Proposed employment must be an integral part of an established curriculum and meet one of the following requirements:

  • Internship is required of all candidates for a particular degree program; or
  • Internship is required of a particular student's degree program as a planned option in their program of study; or
  • Internship is necessary/integral for the student’s dissertation or thesis competencies.
  • Maintenance of F-1 status for a minimum of one academic year in a degree program.
  • You must be registered at ASU for the semester during which you wish to pursue Pre-OPT.
  • Employment must be directly related to your field of study.

CPT

Pre-OPT

If 12 months of full-time Curricular Practical Training (CPT) have been used, you will not be eligible for Pre-OPT or Post-OPT.

Your maximum total of 12 months of OPT per degree program can be used while earning your degree (Pre-OPT), after earning your degree (Post-OPT), or a combination of both (Pre- and Post-OPT). 

 

Any approved Pre-OPT will be deducted from your available 12 months of OPT time: accrued at half the rate when used during the semester, in full when used during the summer break when requested at full time.   

CPT

Pre-OPT

ISSC and Academic Department.

ISSC and USCIS.

CPT

Pre-OPT

Internship class credit. The cost depends on the number of the credit hours.

Current application fee to USCIS.

CPT

Pre-OPT

Part-time employment (up to 20 hours a week) generally during the fall and spring semesters. 

 

Full-time CPT may be approved depending on the session and course requirements left - please discuss with your Academic Advisor. 

Part-time (20 hours or less) during the semester

 

Full-time (more than 20 hours) during the summer or (graduate students with thesis/dissertation only) during the semester if all coursework is completed

CPT

Pre-OPT

  1. Full-time enrollment 
  2. Enrollment in an internship course as required or approved by your academic unit
  1. Full-time enrollment 
  2. No internship course required

CPT

Pre-OPT

Unemployment time is not a factor during CPT. If you stop working please discuss the possible academic impacts with your Academic Advisor. 

Unemployment time is not a factor during Pre-OPT. If you find a job you must report employment through the MyISSC eForm Portal and submit the Pre-OPT Employment Update eForm.

Application process and timeline

Learn more

F-1 off-campus employment after graduation