• International Students

  • Employment

    Working inside the U.S. is severely restricted by U.S. immigration regulations. Working off-campus without appropriate authorization, or on-campus more than 20 hours per week during the semester, is a violation of F and J student immigration status. There are different types of work authorization, depending on what you wish to do and your academic degree program. Please contact the OISS with questions.

  • On-Campus Employment

    Students in F-1 and J-1 status are allowed to work on-campus part-time while classes are in session and full-time during the winter and summer breaks. F-1 Students can work on-campus right away. There is no waiting period to work on campus, as with other types of F-1 employment authorization.

    F-1 students, who meet all of the criteria below, do NOT need to obtain specific work authorization from the OISS to work on-campus. Speak to your hiring supervisor to complete the necessary forms for Human Resources. J-1 students do need special authorization from the OISS to work on-campus.

    You can work a maximum of 20 hours per week during fall or spring semesters. During the summer and winter break periods, you can work over 20 hours per week.

    The employment may take place at any YU office or department. On-campus employment also includes YU graduate assistantships and teaching assistantships.

    F-1 Student Eligibility requirements:  

    • Be a full-time student in a YU degree program
    • Have a valid, unexpired YU I-20
    • Have a valid, unexpired passport
    • Have an I-94 record indicating that you are in F-1 status

    Once you find a job, in order to get paid you need to apply for a U.S. social security number, if you do not already have one. 

    J-1 Student Eligibility requirements:

    • Full-time student admitted to a YU degree program
    • Have a valid, unexpired DS-2019 with YU listed as the program sponsor
    • Have a valid, unexpired passport
    • Have an I-94 record indicating that you are in J-1 status
    • Have a letter from your on-campus supervisor stating the following:
        1. your supervisor's name, title and department address
        2. the number of hours you will work per week
        3. the start and end dates of your employment
        4. the type of employment (for example, interpreter or teaching assistant)

    Before beginning work on-campus, submit all of the above items to the OISS for review. Once the work is authorized and the OISS gives you an employment letter, you may begin to work.

    If you change jobs, you must submit an updated employment offer letter to the OISS.

    Once you find a job, in order to get paid you need to apply for a U.S. social security number, if you do not already have one.


    F-1 Curricular Practical Training

    Curricular Practical Training (CPT) permits an F-1 student to accept off-campus employment that is an integral part of your degree program. To qualify for CPT, your program must have an internship elective or fieldwork/practicum requirement as part of the curriculum. Because every program has different academic requirements, not every student will be able to take advantage of CPT. If your program does not have an internship option or fieldwork requirement, you are not eligible for CPT. Please read the instructions on Optional Practical Training (OPT) instead.

    Students who exceed 12 months of full-time CPT forfeit all Optional Practical Training (OPT). Part-time CPT authorization does not impact your OPT.

    Eligibility Criteria

    Students must:

    • Have a job offer directly related to your major
    • Have been a full-time student in F-1 status in the U.S., for at least one full academic year (2 semesters or 9 months)
      • The one year wait time is waived for students in graduate programs that require all enrolled students to obtain work experience in the first academic year.
    • Be in valid F-1 status
    • Be making satisfactory progress toward degree completion and be in good academic standing


    CPT is typically authorized on a part-time basis (up to 20 hours per week) during the school year and on a full-time basis during vacation periods. Exceptions may apply for graduate students, depending on the structure of the individual student's curriculum. You may not begin CPT employment until you receive authorization from the OISS on your I-20. Retroactive authorization is not possible.

    Students who exceed 12 months of full-time CPT forfeit all Optional Practical Training (OPT). Part-time CPT authorization does not impact your OPT.

    Procedure to apply for CPT

    1. CPT authorization is job specific, therefore, you need a job offer to apply for CPT.
      • Visit the Career Center to get information about available internships.
      • Graduate students must obtain placement permission from their program advisor or dean.
    2. Complete the top portion of the CPT application
    3. Your academic advisor, Dean or department chair must endorse your request for CPT by signing and completing the form; confirming:
      • That you are a full-time student and your anticipated program completion date.
      • The internship course name, course number, and the number of credits awarded for the course.
      • That the course credit will count toward fulfilling your degree requirements.
      • The beginning and ending dates of your employment (month/date/year), the number of hours per week, the company name, complete address, and your job title.
      • If your payroll will be processed by an outside organization (not your employer), provide a letter of explanation from your employer specifying the name and address of the payroll company.
    4. Submit your completed CPT application form electronically to oiss@yu.edu. You may also drop it off in person at the OISS.
    5. The CPT application must be submitted at least 5 business days prior to the anticipated start date of your employment.
    6. If eligible, the OISS will authorize you to engage in CPT by issuing an updated I-20. You may not begin employment until you have received the new I-20. Please check the I-20 to confirm its accuracy, and then sign at the bottom of page one. You may only work for the employer authorized on the I-20.
    7. If needed, take the CPT I-20 and passport to apply for a social security number.

    The process of obtaining permission to participate in an internship can take up to two weeks, so students must plan accordingly. If you have any questions please contact the OISS

    F-1 Optional Practical Training

    Optional Practical Training (OPT) is temporary off-campus employment authorization, granted by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to F-1 students for the purpose of gaining practical experience in their major. Eligible students may apply for up to 12 months of OPT per academic level. Eligible students may apply for OPT both before and after graduation. OPT authorization can take 3 months to be approved, so it is important to plan ahead.

    Eligibility Criteria

    Students do not need a job to apply for OPT.You must:

    - Have been a full-time student in F-1 status in the U.S., for at least one full academic year (2 semesters or 9 months)

    - Be in valid F-1 status

    - Be in good academic standing and making normal progress toward finishing your degree

    - Not have used more than 12 months of OPT in the past at your current degree level

    - Not have exceeded 12 months of Curricular Practical Training (CPT) at your current degree level

    When Can You Use Your OPT?

    - Before you finish your studies (Pre-Completion OPT)

    - After you finish your studies (Post-Completion OPT), or

    - A combination of the two, as long as the total amount of OPT does not exceed 12 months.

    **You may not start working until the OPT is authorized and you receive the authorization documentation back from the government.

    When Should I Apply for OPT?

    Pre-Completion OPT: 3 to 4 months before you will need work authorization

    Post-Completion OPT: 90 days before program completion* through 60 days after program completion. Students who are graduating should apply for post-OPT as early as possible, unless you plan to begin a new degree program the following semester or plan to leave the U.S.

    Spring graduates can use May 31; Fall and summer graduates: varies by academic program.

    *Program completion is defined as when you have finished all degree requirements. This may be different from your graduation date.

    How Long Does it Take to Get the OPT Authorization?

    Plan on three to four months:

    2 weeks to gather the documentation and obtain academic signatures

    2 weeks to process the application at the OISS

    Up to 90 days (3 months) to obtain approval from the government

    How Do I Apply for OPT?

    1. Complete the entire OPT application

    2. Bring the complete, original application to the OISS. (Cardozo students should bring their application to the Beren Campus.)

    3. The OISS will contact the student to come to the OISS to pick up the application once it is complete.

    4. Student mails the application to USCIS.

    Travel While on OPT

    Travel before program completion is the same as usual.

    Travel after graduation: students must have:

    1. An unexpired passport valid for at least six months beyond the end date on the EAD 

    2. A valid F-1 visa (Canadian citizens are exempt)

    3. I-20 endorsed for travel within the past six months

    4. The employment authorization document (EAD) and USCIS approval notice

    5. SEVIS Fee receipt Reprint 

    6. Employment letter

    7. Students are not advised to leave the U.S. until OPT is approved

    8. Students with an expired F-1 visa should speak with the OISS prior to traveling

    Reporting OPT Employment

    Once OPT is approved and the start date is reached, students are limited to a maximum of 90 days of unemployment. Students, who go more than 90 days without reporting post-OPT employment information, are at risk of automatic SEVIS termination of F-1 status, I-20 and employment authorization. Report OPT

    Returning to School

    OPT employment authorization is automatically terminated when a student transfers to another school or begins study at another educational level at the same school.

    Going Home

    Students who decide to depart the U.S. early with the intention of forfeiting the remainder of their OPT, must report this to the OISS.

    Notify the OISS within 10 days if any of the following happen:

    - Change in legal name

    - Change in mailing or residential address

    - Change in employer (submit "report OPT Employment" form)

    - Decision to depart the U.S. with the intention of forfeiting the remainder of your OPT

    - Return to school full time, or

    - Change of immigration status

    For more information, please contact the OISS or call 646.592.4203.

    J-1 Student Academic Training

    Academic Training is employment/training that is directly related to a student’s major field of study. It must be a direct application of the student’s coursework and/or research to a professional position. The student’s academic advisor or Dean must evaluate all Academic Training request as effectively connected to the student’s field of study. Academic Training may be divided into two basic categories:

    • Pre-completion - prior to completion of requirements for the degree
    • Post-completion - once all coursework or all degree requirements have been completed

    Time Limitations on Pre-and-Post Completion Academic Training

    In general, J-1 students are granted up to 18 months of Academic Training to be used on a pre-completion and/or post-completion basis. Note, however, the following exceptions:

    • The length of your Academic Training may not exceed the length of your program’s classroom time. For example, if your J-1 program is only 12 months, you cannot receive more than 12 months of Academic Training.
    • Doctoral students may be eligible for a second 18 months of Academic Training, for a total of 36 months. The second 18 months can only be applied toward post-completion Academic Training, i.e., for qualified positions following completion of all requirements for the degree.

    There is no distinction between "part-time" or "full-time" Academic Training. Every month that you are authorized is deducted as a month used, regardless of whether or not the position is part-time or full-time.

    Eligibility Criteria and Deadlines

    In order to apply for Academic Training, you must meet the following eligibility criteria:


    • Be a full-time student at Yeshiva University in J-1 status.
    • Have an offer for a qualified training position in your field of studies.
    • Your employment must not exceed 20 hours per week during the school year if you are still taking classes.
    • Have a valid, activated DS-2019 from Yeshiva University and otherwise be in J-1 status.
    • You must apply prior to starting the employment.


    • Have been a full-time student and completed your program in a timely manner.
    • Have an offer for a qualified training position in your field of studies. If you do not have a training offer, you cannot apply for Academic Training.
    • The position may be paid or unpaid. If the position is unpaid, you must provide financial documentation showing that you are capable of meeting your living expenses while on Academic Training. ($2000 per month or $24000 per year)
    • Provide evidence of health insurance coverage during the requested post-completion Academic Training period. The insurance must comply with the J-1 regulatory requirements.
    • Apply for Academic Training within 30 days of completing your studies (i.e., the date you finish the work for your degree) or before your current DS-2019 expires, whichever comes first.
    • Academic Training is job-specific; you must have a training offer in order to apply.
    • You may work either full-time or part-time while on Academic Training.
    • J-1 post-completion Academic Training does not allow for any "gaps" in employment. That is, if a J-1 student changes employers, the work period must be uninterrupted.

    Procedure to Apply

    Applying for Academic Training work permission is a three-step process:

    1. Obtain an offer letter from your employer;
    2. Request a recommendation letter from your academic advisor or Dean; and lastly
    3. Make an appointment with the YU international student advisor to obtain approval.

    Please see the J-1 Academic Training application for complete instructions.

    Once you are authorized for J-1 AT, you need to have a U.S. social security number in order to get paid, if you do not already have on.

    Social Security Numbers

    Applying for a Social Security Number

    F-1 students must have either an on-campus job, or have authorization for Curricular Practical Training (internship) or Optional Practical (OPT) to apply for a Social Security Number. Students CANNOT obtain a social security number without having a job or post-completion Optional Practical Training employment authorization.

    Students with On-campus Employment:

    1. Obtain job offer from a YU department.
    2. Print out the on-campus social security verification form.
    3. Student completes the top portion of the form.
    4. Immediate job supervisor completes the middle section in full.
    5. Once you have your supervisor’s signature, bring the following to the OISS:
      • On-campus social security verification form signed by your supervisor.
      • Valid YU I-20
      • I-94 (print it out at www.cbp.gov/i94)
      • A Designated School Official (DSO) will sign the verification form.
    6.  Complete the Form SS-5, available on line at http://www.ssa.gov/ssnumber/
    7. Go to Social Security in person to apply for a card. You Bring:
      • Completed SS-5
      • On-campus social security verification form
      • Passport
      • I-20
      • I-94 (print it out at www.cbp.gov/i94)
      • Apply within 14 of the signature, but no earlier than 30 days before your job start date.
    8. It may take 10 to 14 days for card to arrive in the mail.
    9. Student takes original card to Human Resources to be paid by YU.
    10. The Social Security Card is not work authorization. Students cannot work off-campus even if they obtain a social security number. The card will state NOT AUTHORIZED FOR WORK WITHOUT DHS PERMISSION.

    Students with Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

    1. Obtain CPT authorization from the OISS.
    2. Take new SEVIS Form I-20, passport, and I-94 to Social Security Administration to apply for a Social Security Card
    3. It may take 10 to 14 days to get the card in the mail
    4. Take card to internship employer
    5. The Social Security Card is not work authorization. Students cannot work without permission from the Department of Homeland Security. Working illegally is a serious and deportable offense.

    Students with Optional Practical Training (OPT)

    1. Take OPT I-20, work authorization documents, passport, and I-94 to SSA to apply for a number.

    SSA Card Center locations:

    Bronx: 820 Concourse Village West, Bronx Card Center 2nd Floor, Bronx, NY 10451

    Brooklyn: 154 Pierrepont St, 6th Floor Brooklyn, NY 11201

    Queens: 155-10 Jamaica Ave, Jamaica, NY 11432

    Manhattan: 123 William Street, 3rd floor, NY, NY 10038

    Additional Social Security Administration card processing centers, hours, and contact information: https://secure.ssa.gov/ICON/main.jsp


    Learn about the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) rules and regulations for the optional practical training (OPT) extension for F-1 students with science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) degrees.

    In March 2016, DHS published amended F-1 nonimmigrant student regulations on OPT for certain students with STEM degrees from U.S. institutions of higher education. The amended regulation, which provides for an extension of the OPT period by 24 months (a STEM OPT extension), will go into effect on May 10, 2016.

    STEM Extension Overview

    H-1B Cap Gap Extension of OPT

    The H-1B work visa is an employer sponsored application submitted by the employer on your behalf. To begin the process of applying for H-1B and becoming eligible for an extension of OPT, you must first speak to your employer.

    The H-1B Cap is the congressionally-mandated limit on the number of individuals who may be granted initial H-1B status during each fiscal year. The cap is currently set at 65,000 plus 20,000 more for those with higher degrees (U.S. Master's degree or higher). Employees who will work at institutions of higher education or a related or affiliated nonprofit entities, or at nonprofit research organizations or governmental research organizations, are exempt from the fiscal year cap.

    The H-1B Fiscal Year for Cap-Subject employers runs from October 1st to September 30th each year. An F-1 student graduating in the Spring Semester with a standard 12 months of post-completion OPT will find that their work authorization will expire in June or July one year after graduation, leaving a gap in work authorization until October 1st when H-1B status can begin.

    The Cap Gap Extension of OPT through September 30th of the current year is granted if an H-1B petition has been filed by a Cap-Subject employer before the current period of OPT expires. The first day to file for H-1B is April 1st.

    To be eligible for the Cap Gap Extension, students who have less than 12 months of post-completion OPT remaining after using pre-completion OPT prior to graduation, will need to be sure that their post-completion OPT is still valid on April 1st. We recommend counting backwards from April 1st to determine your OPT start date.

    If your OPT expires before April 1stand you are in a valid 60-day grace period on the first day to file an H-1B petition, your legal status to remain in the U.S. is extended to October 1st, but you are not eligible to work for this gap period.

    While on Cap Gap  

    Work authorization on Cap Gap is valid until September 30th unless the H-1B petition is denied, withdrawn or revoked.

    Evidence of work authorization for the extended period is reflected on a new I-20. There will be no new EAD card issued for Cap Gap Extension. The OISS will be able to provide you with an updated I-20 if you notify us and provide evidence of a timely filed H-1B petition (receipt or approval notice) by e-mailing the OISS with the subject “Cap Gap I-20.”

    Travel is NOT advised during the Cap Gap period.

    Thanks to Yale University Office of International Students and Scholars for assistance with H-1B Cap Gap information.


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