Off-Campus Employment

Curricular Practical Training

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) may be available to F-1 students after one year of full-time enrollment, in the academic year immediately preceding CPT, at a U.S. university and before completion of the minimum graduation requirements.

Optional Practical Training

Optional Practical Training (OPT) may be available to F-1 students after one year of full-time enrollment, in the academic year immediately preceding OPT, at a U.S. university. F-1 students are eligible for up to one year of Optional Practical Training (OPT) per educational level. Types of OPT include:

To request for an OPT extension, visit the OPT 24-Month Extension webpage.

Severe Economic Hardship

Severe Economic Hardship is for F-1 students who experience severe changes in funding that are unforeseen and uncontrollable:

  • Provides one year of off-campus work authorization before completion of studies.
  • Authorizes work up to 20 hours per week while school is in session, 21 or more hours during school breaks.
  • Student must maintain full-time enrollment.


  • Lawfully enrolled full-time in a U.S. university for at least one academic year (two long semesters).
  • Valid F-1 status.
  • Good academic standing (minimum 3.0 GPA for graduates, 2.0 GPA for undergraduates).
  • Since arriving in the U.S. something unexpected happened to your funding, such as a sponsor dies or unexpected medical bills.
  • You have looked for an on-campus job and have been unable to find sufficient work.

Application Process

  • Carefully review the UT Dallas Economic Hardship Guide.
  • Set an appointment to speak with an international student advisor to review requirements and required documents.
  • Submit the required documents to obtain an economic hardship I-20. Processing time is five business days.
  • Pick up the I-20 and mailing instructions.
  • Send the required documents to USCIS. USCIS processing usually takes about three months.
  • If approved, USCIS will send you an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) authorizing off-campus employment.

Internship with an International Organization

This F-1 employment benefit allows F-1 students to work for recognized international organizations as defined by the International Organization Immunities Act [59 Stat. 669]


  • Active F-1 status
  • Cannot have completed academic program

Employment information

  • Must be with a qualified international organization
  • Authorized by United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) in increments of no more than one year
  • May be full-time or part-time employment, however, must maintain full-time student enrollment
  • Does not have to be related to course of study
  • Must have a written offer of employment
  • Must apply for and  receive the Employment Authorization Document (EAD) from USCIS before employment begins