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On-Campus Employment - 8CFR214.2(f)(9)(i)


  1. Student must be enrolled full-time at WSU (12 hours for undergraduate students; 9 hours for graduate students), or have an approved Reduced Course Load form or Full Course Load certification on file at the Office of International Education.
  2. Student must have a valid I-20 issued by WSU
  3. Student must have a social security number (see information about obtaining a social security card)

An F-1 student who is maintaining status may work 20 hours per week on-campus while school is in session and 40 hours per week during breaks and the summer vacation. A student cannot continue on-campus employment after graduation except in the following situations: 1) student has employment authorized under OPT and will be working in their field of study; or 2) student has been issued an I-20 for a new program at WSU.

Please note:

  • Individuals on F-2 visas are never permitted to accept employment.
  • Foreign students are not eligible for work study employment due to Federal regulations.


Off-Campus Employment

Students must meet with an adviser in the Office of International Education to determine eligibility.

Curricular Practical Training - 8CFR214.2(f)(10)(i)

  1. Student must be in valid F-1 status studying full-time and in good academic status.
  2. Student must have been enrolled full-time for one fall and spring semester.
  3. Authorization will be part-time (up to 20 hours/week) during fall and spring terms. Authorization may be full-time (more than 20 hours/week) during the winter break as well as the summer term.
  4. Training must be in the student's major field of study.
  5. Student must be receiving course credit for the training unless it fulfills a graduation requirement.

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is an academic program allowing eligible F-1 students to accept employment connected to their major field of study. CPT is designed to provide students the opportunity to supplement their coursework with practical application of skills learned in the classroom. Authorization for CPT is given by a Designated School Official (DSO) in the OIE on a semester-by-semester basis. Typically, students are allowed to work part-time (20 or fewer hours per week) during the fall and spring semesters and full-time (more than 20 hours per week) during the summer and winter breaks. Students must maintain full-time enrollment while engaging in CPT. The student may not begin employment until the CPT authorization has been recorded in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) and a new I-20 has been issued. On page two of the new I-20, the effective dates and type (part or full-time) of CPT will be listed. A filing fee is not required, however, the student must enroll in the corresponding course. Students who have completed all program requirements are not eligible for CPT. Graduate students who have completed required coursework are typically not eligible for CPT since they qualify for OPT, though exceptions may exist for students who need the CPT experience to complete their terminal activity.

Students interested in applying for CPT must review the information in the CPT Tutorial to receive a CPT application (if eligible). This requirement includes students who previously participated in CPT.


Optional Practical Training - 8CFR214.2(f)(10)(ii)

  1. Student must be a full time academic F-1 student in good standing.
  2. Student must have been enrolled full-time for one fall and spring semester.
  3. Employment must be in the student's major field of study.
  4. The application must be received by USCIS within 60 days of completing program.
  • Post-Completion Optional Practical Training
    • Optional Practical Training is an employment benefit authorized by USCIS for eligible F-1 students providing them with an opportunity to gain actual employment experience in their chosen profession for a maximum of one year per educational level. A student becomes eligible for another 12 months of practical training when he or she completes a higher educational level.
    • A student may apply for OPT in their final semester of study up to 90 days before his or her program end date. OIE assists the student with the process by reviewing application materials for accuracy, making a recommendation for OPT in SEVIS, and issuing the OPT I-20. The student is responsible for completing an online OPT application or mailing the complete OPT application packet to the USCIS by the deadline (within 30 days of the issuance of the OPT I-20 and no later than 60 days after program completion). If approved, the USCIS will issue an Employment Authorization Document (EAD / OPT card) to the student. The student is not allowed to work until the EAD has been received and he or she has reached the OPT start date indicated on the EAD. The approval process can be somewhat lengthy, and can take 3 months or more during peak application periods. For full details, please see the online 12-month OPT Tutorial.


Severe Economic Hardship (SEH) - 8CFR214.2(f)(9)(ii)(C)


  1. Student must be a full time academic F-1 student in good standing.
  2. Student must have been in F-1 status for one fall and spring semester.
  3. Student must demonstrate severe economic hardship based on a change in the financial situation since arriving in the U.S. due to circumstances beyond their control.

In case of unforeseen economic hardship, an international student may apply to the USCIS for off-campus work authorization. The Office of International Education will assist in the completion of the application, but the application itself must be submitted to USCIS with $520 filing fee by the student along with documentation of the unforeseen economic hardship. If the application is approved, USCIS will issue an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). The student may then work up to 20 hours per week during the school year and full-time during breaks and the summer vacation period. The student may not work until: 1) they receive this card and 2) the date specified on the EAD card. It is not required that the employment be in the field of study. The approval process can be rather lengthy, often taking 3 months or more. For full details, please see the online Severe Economic Hardship Tutorial.

SEH authorization is only granted for one year at a time. Upon graduation or transfer, the EAD card is no longer valid.

You may apply for an extension: 1) if your severe economic conditions continue and 2) you are maintaining your status and 3) you are in good academic standing