Student Employment Overview
Overview of Student Employment and Practical Training
F/M students’ ability to work and train in the United States is limited by law. DSOs must know:
- Federal regulations and policies for F-1 student employment and practical training
- Federal regulations for M-1 practical training
- Any school policies that govern student employment
Students cannot start work or paid/unpaid practical training until they have the proper authorization.
A student’s employment history can be viewed on the Employment Information page in SEVIS.
The Employment Information page lists all authorizations for an individual SEVIS ID. It does not list any authorizations for the same individual with another SEVIS ID.
F-1 Employment and Practical Training
The following types of employment and practical training may be available to F-1 students:
Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
CPT is training that is an integral (i.e., required) part of the student’s curriculum. It is authorized by the DSO.
Optional Practical Training (OPT)
OPT allows postsecondary students to get practical training in their field of study. Types:
OPT must be authorized by USCIS through the issuance of an Employment Authorization Document (EAD).
Off-campus employment is for individual students with:
Off-campus employment must be authorized by USCIS through the issuance of an Employment Authorization Document (EAD).
This is work with an organization covered by the International Organizations Immunities Act. Internships with an international organization must be authorized by USCIS through the issuance of an Employment Authorization Document (EAD).
M-1 Practical Training
M-1 students are only eligible for M-1 practical training. This training can only happen after the student is done with the program.
M-1 practical training must be authorized by USCIS.
Process Overview: Applications Filed with USCIS
Students cannot legally work before the start date on the USCIS-approved work authorization.
The Form I-765 is available on the USCIS website.
Students should carefully read and follow USCIS instructions for filing the form. The Form I-765 has a filing fee.
Students and schools are urged to keep copies of anything filed with government agencies.
DSOs should be familiar with the tax-filing requirements for international students.
- The Internal Revenue Service offers detailed information for Foreign Students and Scholars. This site provides information and useful tools on:
- How to figure out if the student is a “resident alien for tax purposes,” which can differ from the student’s “nonresident” immigration status
- Tax Payer Identification Numbers (ITINs)
- Employer’s withholding on students and scholars
- Income on foreign students and scholars
- Deductions for foreign students and scholars
- Other references
- Tax-related information from SEVP: