Off-Campus Employment

Off-Campus Employment for F-visa student - Practical Training

A F-1 student may engage in temporary employment (paid or unpaid) if the work is related to one's program of study. The purpose of Practical Training is to gain hands-on experiences that compliment the classroom learning. There are two types of Practical Training- Curricular Practical Training (during your program of study) and Optional Practical Training (after your program of study).

  • What is Curricular Practical Training (CPT)?

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    An F-1 student may be authorized by the university to participate in a CPT program that is an integral part of his or her established curriculum. CPT is defined to be alternative work/study, internship, cooperative education or any other type of required internship or practicum.

    Students are required to attend a CPT seminar before applying for CPT. Students must attend a CPT seminar per degree level. Please allow for 10 or more business days for processing after submitting your completed documents to the OISS front desk. You are required to have CPT authorization on your I-20 prior to beginning the employment. The OISS cannot authorize CPT with a start date in the past; please plan accordingly and submit your paperwork in a timely manner!

    Get more details on CPT.

  • What is Optional Practical Training (OPT)?

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    OPT is practical work experience in your field of study (typically after completion of a degree) and Initial OPT can last up to 12 months. Students on OPT are still considered to be F-1 students at EMU even if working elsewhere in the U.S. The Employment Authorization Document (EAD) is not a working permit; it is an extension of your F1 status for the purposes of practical training.

    Get more details on OPT.

  • What is the 24-month OPT STEM extension?

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    Students that are STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) majors may be eligible to apply for a 24-month extension of their initial OPT.

    Learn if you are eligible for the 24-month extension [PDF].

  • How can I learn more about STEM OPT?

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    There are two primary ways to learn about the STEM OPT Extension:

    1. Attend an OISS OPT seminar – highly recommended if in the Ypsilanti area; see the OISS calendar for dates and times of upcoming seminars.
    2. Read the STEM OPT Packet [PDF] carefully – required of all applicants; it can be found in the "forms" section of the OISS website.

    Get more details on 24-month OPT STEM extension.

  • What is H-1B "Cap Gap"?

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    The H-1B status permits temporary employment (up to six years) in the U.S. for people who have a minimum of a bachelor's degree in the same or a related field as the job offered. The employer must submit a petition to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) for approval of the H-1B position. Regulations prohibit employers from filing H-1B petitions until six months before the date of actual need for the employee.

    The H-1B cap is the limit on the number of H-1Bs allowed each fiscal year.* Currently, the cap is 65,000. The fiscal year begins on October 1 when a new batch of the 65,000 H-1Bs becomes available. Employers are allowed to file an H-1B petition up to six months before the new fiscal year (April 1) so as to join the queue of new applications waiting for the October 1 date. See the USCIS web site for the most current count of H-1B petitions filed. The cap does not apply to all H-1B visas. Certain non-profit research positions are unlimited.

    The gap is the period between the end of an individual's F-1 status and the beginning of the individual's H-1B status.

    Get more details on H-1B "Cap Gap".

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