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).

Scroll down to section (c) of the linked page from the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).

*Note: World Bank (Group) listed as:

  • International Bank for Reconstruction and Development
  • International Development Association
  • International Finance Corporation
  • International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes

OGS observes offers from both larger WB(G) and smaller units within.

  • 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 Advisor via email (in-person submissions are not accepted).
  • Within 3-5 business days, OGS will issue a new Form I-20 reflecting your IO request.

Application Checklist:

  • Filing Fee: Personal check (sample [PDF]), cashier’s check, money order, or Form G-1450 for debit/credit card payment. Find the current fee amount on the Form I-765 website.
    • OGS has observed an unexpectedly high number of rejected card payments and recommends using another payment method if possible. If paying by card, refer to the USCIS Instructions for Form G-1450 and the USCIS Pay With a Credit Card website. Applicants using a non-card payment method must not submit Form G-1450. 
    • Note: USCIS planned to publish a new edition of Form I-765 and increase the filing fee from $410 to $550 on October 2, 2020. However, on September 29, 2020, a federal judge temporarily blocked the implementation of these changes. Until the changes go into effect, applicants should continue to use the 8/25/2020 edition of Form I-765 and pay the $410 filing fee. Because OGS cannot predict whether or when the new fee and new form edition will go into effect, applicants must carefully confirm the current filing fee and form edition when mailing their application to USCIS. Applicants can print the I-765 website on the day of mailing to include in the application packet as evidence of correct payment. OGS is tracking these developments on the NAFSA website, which was updated marginally sooner than the USCIS website after the September 29 decision.
  • 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.
  • Make a copy of the entire application to keep for your personal records 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).
    • OGS recommends sending the application via a courier service with shipment tracking (e.g. FedEx, UPS, USPS Priority Mail) in order to secure proof of timely delivery.

Deadline: Your application must be received by USCIS within 30 days of the IS Advisor signature on page 1 of the Form I-20 recommending IO authorization or it will be denied. If you think your application may not arrive within this deadline, 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.