International Students and Scholars

F-1 Employment

The main purpose of an F-1 student is to pursue a full course of study in the U.S. If you have been maintaining lawful F-1 status, you may be eligible for on-campus jobs with certain restrictions, incidental to F-1 status. If an F-1 student is in violation of F-1 rules, the student should stop working immediately.

If you are an F-1 student, you have the option of working in the United States by doing practical training during your program or after it ends. Click on one of the links below for more information.

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Social Security Number
  • If you are going to be paid for any type of work, you will be required to get a Social Security number.
  • You must request and be approved for your work-verify BEFORE requesting a Social Security number.
  • If you have a previous Social Security number, you do NOT have to request a new one.
  • For on-campus student workers, you are REQUIRED to bring the Evidence of On-Campus Employment on UNLV letterhead. (Print page 3 of your hiring department letterhead.)
  • For off-campus student workers, your I-20 reflecting CPT is required to request a Social Security Number.
  • Get the details of how to apply for a Social Security number (what to bring and where to apply).
On-Campus Work-Verify
  • Graduate assistant/teaching assistant/research assistant jobs require a work-verify.
  • You must find on-campus employment on your own or you can search UNLV CareerLink before requesting a work-verify.
  • Eligibility Requirements:
    • Must have at least a cumulative 2.0 GPA (undergraduate) or 3.0 GPA (graduate).
    • Employment must be associated with UNLV.
    • Your address, phone number, email, passport, I-94, and visa must be up to date.
  • To Request a Fall & Spring Work-Verify:
    • Undergraduates must be enrolled in 12 credits to request a regular on-campus work-verify.
    • Graduate students must be enrolled in 9 credits to request a regular on-campus work-verify.
    • Graduate Assistants must be enrolled in 6 credits to request a GA/TA/RA work-verify.
  • To Request a Summer Work-Verify:
    • Undergraduates and graduates need to enroll in at least one course during summer term or be full-time for the fall term (see enrollment rules above) to request a regular on-campus work-verify.
    • Per Graduate College requirements, graduate assistants must be enrolled in at least one graduate level credit during summer term to request a GA/TA/RA work-verify.
  • To Request a Winter Break Work-Verify:
    • You need to be registered full-time (see enrollment rules above) for the upcoming spring term.
Difference between a Regular On-Campus Work-Verify and a GA/TA/RA Work-Verify
  • Regular on-campus work is paid hourly.
  • GA/TA/RAs are graduate students who are paid on the last day of every month (as well as having tuition paid), signed a contract with the Graduate College, and are required to work 20 hours/week (as set in the contract).
  • LOA (Letter of Appointment without benefits) and LOB (Letter of Appointment with Benefits) contracts are NOT considered graduate assistant contracts.
To Maintain Lawful F-1 Status with Your Work-Verify
  • You are NOT allowed to work over 20 hours/week during the fall and spring semesters.
  • You can work more than 20 hours per week during the winter break and summer vacation.
  • It is possible to work multiple on-campus jobs; however, you are not allowed to go past the set total hours as outlined above. For example: During the fall semester, you can work 10 hours at one job and 10 hours at another per week.
  • You are NOT allowed to work past the dates of your work-verify.
  • It is your responsibility to balance your working hours and follow immigration rules.
  • Generally, work-verify expires on the last day of classes. It is recommended that students request a new work-verify one week BEFORE that date if they plan to continue working with the same department.
  • Regular on-campus work-verify will be emailed to your RebelMail account. GA/TA/RA work-verify will be sent to the Graduate College.
Off-Campus Work Permit (CPT)
  • Off-Campus Work Permit (CPT)
  • You must find off-campus employment on your own or you can search UNLV CareerLink before requesting a work- permit.
  • Hospitality students are recommended to utilize your career services department.
  • Eligibility Requirements:
    • Must have been in F-1 status for at least one academic year and have been maintaining lawful F-1 status. Summer term does not require you to enroll full-time unless you are completing your degree program in summer.
    • Must have at least a cumulative 2.0 GPA (undergraduate) or 3.0 GPA (graduate).
    • Your address, phone number, email, passport, I-94, and visa must be up-to-date.
    • Off-campus work permit can ONLY be granted to complete a requirement for your degree program (i.e., work experience, internship, externship, independent study, etc).
    • If your CPT is during the fall and spring semesters, you must be enrolled full-time: 12 credits for undergraduate or 9 credits for graduate.
    • If your CPT is for the summer or winter break, you must be enrolled in the class that requires the off-campus work.
  • It is your responsibility to notify your teachers/supervisors that they will be contacted to verify your CPT eligibility. If they do NOT respond to ISS, your CPT application will be delayed or denied.
  • To maintain lawful F-1 status with your off-campus work permit:
    • You are NOT allowed to work over 20 hours/week during the fall and spring semesters.
    • You can work more than 20 hours per week during the winter break and summer vacation.
    • It is possible to work multiple off-campus jobs; however, you are not allowed to go past the set total hours outlined above. For example: during the fall semester, you can work 10 hours at one job and 10 hours at another per week.
    • You are NOT allowed to work past the dates indicated on the work permit.
    • Generally, work permits expire on the last day of classes. It is recommended that students request a new off-campus work permit one week BEFORE that date if they plan to continue working off-campus with the same employer.
  • If an F-1 student completes an aggregate of 12 months or more of full-time CPT, you will NOT be eligible for Optional Practical Training (OPT).
  • You are responsible to come to ISS to pick up your I-20 with CPT authorization. ISS will send an email to your RebelMail when it is ready to be picked up.
Optional Practical Training (OPT)

Optional Practical Training Application

What is OPT?
Optional Practical Training (OPT) is a work authorization granted by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) through the United States Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS), which enables F-1 students to gain full-time work experience ONLY in their major area of study for up to one year. (Example: An accounting major CANNOT use his or her OPT Work Permit to work as a salesperson at a clothing store.) The work authorization is granted with an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) card, and is valid anywhere in the United States.

Who is eligible to apply?
International students who have been in F-1 status, enrolling full-time for one academic year (two full semesters), maintaining lawful F-1 status and are near the completion of their course of study (defending thesis and/or taking final courses). In addition, you may NOT HAVE accumulated 12 months or more of full-time Curricular Practical Training (CPT – work experience/internship). If students decide NOT to apply, they must depart the United States within 60 days after the “completion of studies” date (last day of class in final term).

Get more information on OPT

Optional Practical Training 17-Month Extension for S.T.E.M. Majors (OPT STEM)

Who is eligible to apply?
An F-1 student who has completed a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree in a DHS-approved STEM major (science, technology, engineering, math). The student must be currently engaged in post-completion OPT and have a job or job offer from an E-Verified employer.

If you have completed your OPT, you have a number of options:

  • Change program levels – For example, you can apply to a graduate program after you finish your bachelor’s.
  • Transfers – You can transfer to a different program at the same school or another school.
  • Change to another non-immigrant status in the U.S. Please visit U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website for more information.
  • Leave the U.S. within 60 day of grace period following the OPT end date.

 

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