You may work on-campus, for any UO department or office, on a part-time basis (up to 20 hours per week) while school is in session, or full time (more than 20 hours per week) during school breaks or during your annual vacation term. On-campus employment authorization ends once you have finished your studies or are no longer a student at the UO.
If you are an international student in valid F-1 student status, you may accept employment in only specific situations. Any off-campus employment outside of the University of Oregon must be authorized in advance by either an international student advisor or by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services. Failure to obtain authorization before working is a serious immigration violation and may lead to termination of your status.
Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
CPT allows paid or unpaid internship, practicum, or field work experience that is an integral part of your degree experience. You can request CPT only if you are still working toward your degree, and in most cases, you must register for an internship or practicum class before you can be approved for CPT. CPT is allowed only after you have completed at least one academic year, requires a job offer, and is approved by an international student advisor with the recommendation of your academic advisor. To request CPT, you must submit a completed CPT Request Form along with a job offer letter that specifies your internship / job site, job dates, hours per week, and a description of job duties.
Pre-Completion Optional Practical Training (OPT)
OPT is an optional benefit that allows you to accept work experience in your major field of study for up to 12 months. It may be done before you have completed your studies as long as you have completed at least one academic year. However, most students use it after completing their degrees (see post-completion OPT, below). OPT requires an application to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services and takes about three months to process. In order to apply for OPT, you must first attend an ISSS OPT Workshop.
For the OPT Workshop schedule, see the section on Post-Completion Optional Practical Training, below.
Severe Economic Hardship Employment
If you have been an F-1 student for at least one academic year, and you have suffered an unforeseen event that has had a negative effect on your financial resources, you can apply for off-campus work authorization that will allow you to work in any job, up to 20 hours per week while school is in session, to help with your financial situation. It requires an application to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services that may take up to three months to process. For more information, schedule an appointment with an international student advisor.
Post-Completion Optional Practical Training (OPT)
Post-completion OPT is an optional benefit that allows you to accept work experience in your major field of study for up to 12 months after you have completed your studies. In order to qualify, you must have completed at least one academic year of full-time study and be on track to complete your degree requirements. OPT requires an application to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services and takes about three months to process. We recommend that you are start the application process about 3 months before completing your studies.
In order to apply for OPT, you must first attend an ISSS OPT Workshop. All workshops are in Oregon Hall 360, unless stated otherwise, and are one hour long. DO NOT BE LATE!
Scheduled OPT Workshops:
Thursday, March 23 at 11 am
Tuesday, April 11 at 1:30 pm
Thursday, April 20 at 1:30 pm
Friday, April 28 at 11 am
Thursday, May 4 at 1 pm
Tuesday, May 16 at 1:30 pm
Wednesday, May 24 at 1:30 pm
Thursday, June 1 at 11 am ***Last OPT workshop for Spring 2017 Term***
OPT Packet: Before the workshop, and to get more information about OPT requirements and procedures, please print out and review our OPT Packet.
STEM OPT Extension
If you have completed a degree in a STEM (science, technology, engineering, or mathematics) field and you are already on post-completion OPT, you may be eligible for a 24-month extension of your OPT to work in a STEM field. In order to apply for this benefit, you should download and read through our STEM OPT Packet, or call 541-346-3206 to make an in-person or phone appointment with an international student advisor. In order to qualify for the extension, USCIS must receive your application no later than the last day of your current post-completion OPT authorization period. Please plan ahead.
OPT Update and Validation Form
If you are an F-1 student on post-completion OPT or the STEM OPT extension, you must complete an OPT Update and Validation Form within ten days of changing your US address and/or starting or stopping an OPT employment or job. Once your information is received, your SEVIS record will be updated accordingly. You can also use the OPT Update and Validation Form to notify us that you plan to stop working and leave the US before your OPT period is over.
Social Security Number
You can apply for a Social Security Number (SSN) if you have been hired for an on-campus job or received authorization for another type of F-1 employment, such as CPT or OPT. If you are applying on the basis of an on-campus job, you must first complete an F-1 Social Security Verification Form before you can go to a Social Security office to apply for a Social Security Number.
In order to apply for a Social Security Number, you must take the following documents to a Social Security office:
- valid passport
- I-94 admission record
- Most recent I-20 - if applying on the basis of CPT or OPT, bring your OPT or CPT I-20
- Signed F-1 Social Security Verification Form if applying for an on-campus job, or valid Employment Authorization (EAD) card if applying on the basis of OPT
Find a Social Security Office by going to the Social Security web site and entering your ZIP code. The nearest office in Eugene is at 2504 OAKMONT WAY, EUGENE, OR (behind Albertson's grocery store at the Oakway Shopping Center).
Note that a Social Security Number is a lifetime number. If you already received a SSN in the past, you do not need to apply for a new one. Keep your SSN information private at all times.
If you do not have employment, but have a taxable scholarship or fellowship that needs to be reported, you can apply for an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN).