F-1 Employment Information

Employment Guidelines for F-1 Students


On-Campus Research, Internship or Job

  • Your visa status permits you to work on campus starting up to 30 days prior to the starting date listed on your I-20. However, in most cases it is encouraged that you not work during your first semester of study.
  • Your visa status allows you to work part-time when school is in session (up to 20 hours/week*) and full-time during the semester breaks and summer.  *NOTE: GFU may limit you to 10 hours/week when school is in session.
  • You can find a list of on-campus jobs in your myGFU account - for more information, contact the IDEA Center.
  • You may complete an on-campus internship if you meet the eligibility requirements for Curricular Practical Training (CPT) - see more information below.

Off-Campus Research, Internship or Job

  • If you wish to work off campus, you must FIRST obtain an authorization to do so. There are several types of authorization outlined below.
  • Off-campus authorizations* are ONLY available after you have completed one academic year of study in the U.S. *NOTE: If you are a graduate student who is required to do an internship your first semester, you may be eligible for CPT.
  • Working off campus without authorization is viewed as a serious violation of F-1 visa rules and could result in the termination of your visa status.
  • For information about obtaining authorizations, read the section below then speak with Tiona Cage (tcage@georgefox.edu) or Alex Pia (apia@georgefox.edu).

Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

  • Permits you to take an on- or off-campus paid or unpaid internship, research position or practicum that is directly related to your major field of study.

  • The authorization takes 1-2 days to process once a complete application is submitted to the International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS) Office and has NO fee.
  • Full-time CPT (more than 20 hours/week) is only available during the summer or if you degree requires you complete a full-time work experience.
  • Can only be used prior to graduation.

Optional Practical Training (OPT)

  • Permits you to work in the U.S. for up to 1 year in a paid or unpaid volunteer, internship, research or employment position directly related to your major field of study.

  • The authorization takes 2-3 months for processing once a complete application is submitted to the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) office and has a $380 fee.
  • May be used prior to or after graduation.
    • If used prior to graduation, may only be used part-time (20 hours/week or less) when school is in session. This is called pre-completion OPT.
    • If used after graduation, may only be used full-time (20 hours/week or more). This is called post-completion OPT.
  • Students in certain science, technology, engineering and math fields could be eligible for longer than 1 year of authorization.
  • Post-completion OPT Workshops are held each fall and spring - you are encouraged to attend at least one semester prior to graduation.
  • For more information, see the guidance sheet attached. If you still have questions, speak with someone in the International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS) office.

Economic Hardship

  • Permits you to work off campus in any kind of job if you suffer a financial loss that is beyond your control (example: your sponsor loses his job, you lose your scholarship due to funding issues) and you wish to work to make up the difference
  • The authorization takes 2-3 months for processing once a complete application is submitted to the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) office and has a $380 fee
  • Full-time economic hardship (20 hours/week or more) is only available during the summer
  • For more information, speak with someone in the International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS) office.

Social Security Number (SSN)

  • To be eligible to work in the U.S., you will need an SSN.
  • You are only eligible to apply for an SSN once you have been offered a job and/or have obtained work authorization.
  • Once you obtain an SSN, you keep the same SSN for life.
  • For more information, see the guidance sheet attached. If you still have questions, speak with someone in the International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS) office.

Information Guides/Applications


Tiona Cage - tcage@georgefox.edu

Alex Pia - apia@georgefox.edu