- F-1 Optional Practical Training (OPT)
- F-1 STEM 24-month Optional Practical Training Extension
- F-1 Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
- J-1 Academic Training
International students in F-1 status are eligible for one year of work authorization in their field following completion of studies at a U.S. university or college. F-1 students may apply for this work authorization, known as Optional Practical Training (OPT), by submitting an application to U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services through their IS Advisor at their home institution. Following approval for this one year of work authorization, the student will receive an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) specifying the dates approved for employment. The EAD may be used to verify employment eligibility for a position in the student's field of study at any U.S. institution or organization. The hiring department at Georgetown does not have to process paperwork through OGS for these employees.
Because Georgetown University is an E-Verify employer, students who are currently approved for OPT, working in a job directly related to their major field of study and who have received a degree in a STEM eligible field, may be eligible to apply for an extension of their OPT. Prior to May 10, 2016, students may be eligible for a 17 month STEM OPT extension. Effective May 10, 2016, STEM OPT extensions can be granted for 24 months.
Students apply for the STEM extension through their home institution. USCIS recommends that students submit applications at least 90 days before the current OPT authorization expires. However, students may continue working up to 180 days while a timely-filed STEM extension is pending. If the hiring department wishes to extend the employment beyond the period of OPT authorization, the department should contact OGS about H-1B sponsorship at least 6 months prior to the expiration of the OPT authorization.
With the change from 17 to 24 months come many requirements for employers of students working on STEM OPT.
Training Plan: The student must complete a training plan Form I-983 and have it signed by the employer prior to applying for STEM OPT. A properly completed Form I-983 must explain:
- How the practical training directly relates to the student’s qualifying STEM degree.
- The specific goals of the STEM practical training opportunity.
- How those goals will be achieved through the work-based learning opportunity with the employer, including details of the knowledge, skills or techniques to be imparted to the STEM OPT student.
- The performance evaluation process.
- The methods of oversight and supervision of the STEM OPT student.
- The employer has sufficient resources and personnel available to provide appropriate training in connection with the specified opportunity and is prepared to implement the work-based learning opportunity at the locations identified.
- The STEM OPT student will not replace a full-time or part-time, temporary or permanent U.S. worker.
- The opportunity assists the student in attaining their training goals.
- The duties, hours and compensation associated with the student’s STEM OPT position are commensurate with those provided to the employer’s similarly situated U.S. workers in the area of employment.
Material Changes: Additionally, the employer is required to inform the student’s school of any material change including:
- Termination of the student’s employment (or non-authorized absence from work for 5 consecutive days).
- Any reduction in student compensation that is not tied to a reduction in hours worked.
- Any significant decrease in hours per week that a student engages in a STEM training opportunity.
- Changes to the employer’s commitments or student’s learning objectives as documented on the Form I-983.
Evaluation Requirement: The STEM OPT student is responsible for conducting an annual self-evaluation based on their own progress. The employer must review and sign the self-evaluation to attest to its accuracy. Although not required, employers may elect to attach and submit their own evaluation of a student’s progress.
More information about this new STEM OPT regulation can be found here.
Students must apply for written employment authorization prior to engaging in any off-campus employment activity, whether paid or unpaid. Unauthorized employment may result in a loss of immigration status.
An F-1 student who has been in status for one academic year* and who is in good academic standing is eligible for CPT, with authorization from his/her International Student (IS) Advisor, to work off-campus in a position which is an integral part of the student's academic program or a specific class.
Employment authorization for CPT may only be obtained by students who will receive academic credit for the employment experience or whose program of study require it for the degree. At a minimum, qualifying CPT courses will carry academic credit, be listed in the regular bulletin of course offerings, and have a faculty member assigned to teach the course. It is particularly important that any employment experience required by the course be instrumental to achieving a curricular academic objective.
CPT authorization may be granted for either full-time (summer) or part-time employment. Students are limited by their Department/Program in the amount of curricular practical training they may utilize. Students who receive more than 12 months of full-time CPT will lose all eligibility for Optional Practical Training.
*Graduate students required to engage in a practicum may be permitted to waive the academic year waiting period.
Please note the following:
- Students may only work within the approved dates and may not begin work until their IS Advisor has approved their application and has issued a new I-20 Form with the authorization on page 3.
- If CPT is associated with a Georgetown University internship course, all related coursework must be submitted within 30 days of the CPT end date, and enrollment in the internship course must be maintained throughout the semester of CPT authorization.
Academic Deans/Advisors will be asked to complete Part II of the CPT Request Form.
For specific details on the application process for students, please visit the off-campus employment page.
International students in J-1 Exchange Visitor status may also be eligible for a period of work authorization in their field of study. J-1 students may apply for this work authorization, known as Academic Training, by submitting an application to their International Student Advisor at their home institution or their J-1 Program Sponsor. Students must have a job offer before applying and then are authorized for a specific position, with a specific employer for specific dates. Following approval of this work authorization, the student will receive a Form DS-2019 specifying the dates approved for employment. This Form DS-2019, along with the student's passport and Form I-94, may be used to verify employment eligibility. The hiring department at Georgetown does not have to process paperwork through OGS for these employees.