Employment, OPT, and CPT
Be sure to carefully review the regulations so that you do not violate any laws or start unauthorized employment. Unauthorized employment of any kind is a serious violation of F-1 or J-1 status, so it is important to learn what employment is allowed before you consider a potential job.
F-1 students do not require a special employment authorization document.
J-1 students need work authorization from a Responsible Officer or Alternate Responsible Officer (RO or ARO).
F-1 and J-1 students can work a maximum of 20 hours per week on campus. See Georgia Southern’s Student Employment Center for on-campus opportunities.
- Learn more about obtaining your Social Security Number.
- Additional Information: F-1 Student Employment On & Off Campus
- What Employers Should Know About Hiring International Students (pdf)
Off campus employment is not allowed under any circumstances, unless participating in Curricular Practical Training (CPT) or Optional Practical Training (OPT), or if a student has a circumstance involving severe economic hardship.
Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
All students must submit a CPT Request in the ISSS Portal to apply for CPT. Students must upload their CPT documentation for review. If/when a CPT request is approved, students will receive a new I-20 with CPT authorization. If students have questions after reviewing the posted information, they may schedule an appointment with a DSO.
Optional Practical Training (OPT)
All students must submit an OPT Request in the ISSS Portal to apply for OPT. Students can upload their OPT packet for review. If/when an OPT request is approved, students will receive a new I-20 with OPT recommendation. If students have questions after reviewing the posted information, they may schedule an appointment with a DSO.
Helpful Resources for Students:
OPT Workshop Presentation: Please refer to this presentation for any questions about OPT
OPT Application Checklist: Review this checklist to make sure you have everything needed for your OPT application
Additional Information: Practical Training (CPT/OPT)
Economic Hardship Employment
In instances where USCIS determines that a student faces financial hardship due to unforeseeable factors beyond their control, a student may be authorized to pursue off-campus unemployment. If a student believes they have a case, they should work closely with their assigned International Student Advisor to submit an application to USCIS for Severe Economic Hardship Employment.
Last updated: 1/22/2020