F-1 Work with an International Organization (IO)

Quick Information & Links

Work with an International Organization (IO) is an authorization that allows F-1 Students who have been offered an internship with specifically recognized international organizations to work off campus. Such organizations include the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the Organization of American States, United Nations, IFC, and others (see complete list below).

You can view the list of international organizations in section (c) of the linked page from the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).

*Note: You must scroll down the list to see section (c).

Please note that the World Bank, or the World Bank Group, is a qualifying IO. It does not appear on the list because it is instead described by its two constituent institutions, the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA). However, most WB job/internship offers do not come from these two entities. Rather, the offer typically comes from the World Bank (Group) or from a very specific office within the larger whole.

  • Requires USCIS approval (OGS estimates 2-4 months), so applicants should attempt to secure the offer far in advance of the planned start date.
  • Only available during academic program.
  • Note: CPT and OPT are also valid authorizations for positions at international organizations. Distinctions between IO and CPT/OPT:
    • No two-semester waiting period for eligibility; students can apply from the beginning of their program.
    • No requirement for direct relationship to major field of study.

The letter should be written on the recognized international organization’s letterhead and must include the following information. Incomplete letters will delay I-20 issuance.

  • position description and title
  • position start and end date
  • number of hours per week*
  • supervisor’s name, title, and contact information
  • employment address (if not included on letterhead)
  • Sample Offer Letter (PDF)

*F-1 Students may not exceed 20 total hours per week of employment and training during required academic terms (combined on- and off-campus). This is a weekly maximum rather than an average.

  • Complete the International Organization Request Form (PDF).
  • Download your most recent I-94 Record.
  • Submit the completed IO Request Form, IO Offer Letter, and I-94 Record to your dedicated IS Advsior via email (in-person submissions are not accepted).
  • Within 7-10 business days, OGS will issue a new Form I-20 reflecting your IO request.

Application Checklist:

  • Offer Letter from an approved international organization (Sample Offer Letter [PDF])
  • Filing Fee: Form G-1450 for debit/credit card payment* only (USCIS only accepts Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover, and the card must have a US billing address. If the card does not have the full $410 available, your entire application will be sent back to you.), personal check, cashier’s check, or money order (Sample Check [PDF]). *Note: Some students have reported payment processing issues with debit/credit cards.
  • Two passport photos taken within 30 days (Write your name and SEVIS ID Number on the back with pencil.)
  • Form I-765*
  • See IO FAQs for general instructions and OGS Sample I-765 (PDF) for details.
  • Form G-1145 (Strongly Recommended E-Notification of Application/Petition Acceptance)
  • Copy of new Form I-20 (with IO recommendation on page 2)
  • Copies of all previous Form I-20s  If you do not have all copies of your previous I-20s, you should write a letter acknowledging that they are missing (Sample Missing Form I-20s Letter [.DOC]).
  • Copies of Employment Authorization Documents (EADs), if any.
  • Copy of passport biographic page.
  • Copy of I-94 Record.
  • Copy of F-1 Visa.
  • Copy the entire application before mailing to USCIS.
  • Sign up for Informed Delivery with U.S. Postal Service (USPS) for advanced warning on when to expect the EAD card to be delivered after it has been shipped by USCIS.
  • Submit IO Application to USCIS by mail (do not use the online form).* We highly recommend making a copy of your application before mailing in case there are any errors later. Carefully consider sending it by priority mail so you receive a tracking number to have confirmation of receipt!

*Your application must be received by USCIS within 30 days of the IS Advisor signature on the Form I-20 recommending IO authorization.  If the application does not reach the service center in time, your request will be denied. If you think your application may not arrive within this timeframe, email your IS Advisor for a new I-20 prior to mailing.

Pending Application

  • USCIS will mail a receipt notice to the address you provided on Form I-765. Confirm all information on the notice is correct; contact your IS Advisor with any doubts, or if you receive any other notice or request from USCIS.
  • Use your receipt number to check the Case Status website. Once your EAD card is printed, this site will provide the USPS tracking number for its delivery.
  • Do not begin any activities for your position until you have received the EAD card and the authorization start date is current.

Approved Authorization

  • Email a scan or photo of the front and back of your EAD to your IS Advisor.
  • Maintain full-time progress toward degree completion.
  • Work no more than 20 hours each week during required academic terms (total on-campus and off-campus, paid and unpaid). No hours limit during official University breaks of at least one week.
  • Conclude your position by your EAD end date. Any further off-campus activities require a new F-1 authorization. 
  • IO authorization is not valid beyond graduation, regardless of EAD end date. Apply for OPT to work/intern in the United States after graduation.