International Student Employment Furman

On-campus employment

F-1 and J-1 visa holders are eligible to work without special approval on-campus up to 20 hours per week while classes are in session and up to 40 hours per week during school holidays. Our Student Employment Office can help you locate an on-campus job opportunity. No special approval is needed for on-campus work within the weekly hours described above.

curricular practical training

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) work authorization allows F-1 students to gain practical experience in their major field of study prior to graduation. If you would like to enroll in a credit-bearing course for work that is done off-campus, such as a internship, you must seek approval for CPT. Total employment can be up to 20 hours per week during the school year and up to 40 hours per week during school vacations. Approval is contingent upon course enrollment and a written offer of employment.

If you would like to work or intern off-campus, you must attend a mandatory workshop which covers issues related to CPT, typically offered in February. E-mail notification of the workshop dates and times will be sent to you.

Optional Practical training

Optional Practical Training (OPT) work authorization is designed to provide international students with F-1 visas opportunities for employment in their fields of study before or after graduation. Students maintain F-1 status while on OPT since it is considered part of the program of study. If you gain OPT work authorization, you are eligible to work off-campus for up to 20 hours per week while school is in session and 40 hours per week during holidays without special approval. OPT provides the chance to have an off-campus employment experience related to the field of study.

If you would like to work or intern off-campus, you must attend a mandatory workshop which covers issues related to OPT, typically offered in February. E-mail notification of the workshop dates and times will be sent to you.

To apply for OPT, you must maintain F-1 status for at least nine months and the proposed employment must be related to your field of study. The employment may occur anywhere in the United States.

Forms needed:

  • Complete Form I-765 for employment authorization.
  • Be sure to use the following address format on the I-765 application: 
    • U.S. Mailing Address: 3300 Poinsett Intl Ed.
    • Town: Greenville,  State: SC,  ZIP code: 2961
  • Complete form G-1145 to receive notification via e-mail of application.

There is no application deadline for OPT, except that the application must be submitted before the end of your visa program. However, approval can take up to four months, and travel outside of the U.S. after applying for OPT and before receiving the employment authorization card is not advised. Therefore, it is very important to plan ahead and to submit a complete application by the deadline established by our office.

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