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Employment

All students who gain employment, whether on-campus or off, need to apply for a Social Security Number.

Working on-campus
Students are generally allowed to work on-campus not exceeding 20 hours / week while school is in session and 40 hours / week when school is not in session. Please consult with your International advisor regarding on-campus employment and to obtain a completed Permission to Work form.

Working off-campus
Approval from the International Advising office is required prior to working off-campus.

F-1 visa students who have been enrolled for one full academic year in the United States may elect employment through Optional Practical Training (OPT) for paid practical work experience in the field of their major or through Curricular Practical Training (CPT)  for work required by their course or degree program.

J-1 visa students may engage in Academic Training for employment related directly to their area of study.

24 Month STEM Extension for Graduated Students on Post-Completion OPT

An F-1 student currently engaged in a period of post-completion OPT who has been awarded a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree in a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) approved STEM field and works for an E-Verify employer is eligible to apply for the STEM extension. Effective May 10, 2016, a new DHS rule extends the period of STEM OPT from 17 to 24 months. The 17-month STEM OPT regulations remain in effect through May 9, 2016.

If you are currently on the 17-month STEM extension, you may qualify for the additional 7 months. Please read the DHS website for more information and application instructions.

If you will likely have a pending 17-month STEM extension application on May 10, 2016, please read the DHS website for more information about how your application will be handled.

Eligibility of 24 Month Extension

An F-1 student is allowed two 24-month extensions total. Each extension must be used after the completion of a qualifying higher level degree program and cannot be combined. The extension can be based on a previous STEM degree as long as the following apply:

  • the student is currently in a valid period of 12-month post completion OPT, even if the OPT is based on a non-STEM degree
  • the previous STEM degree was obtained within 10 years of the STEM extension application date from an institution that is U.S. Department of Education accredited and Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) certified at the time of application
  • the previous STEM degree is on the current STEM Designated Degree Program List at the time of application
  • the work being done for the STEM extension relates to the previous STEM degree

Volunteering and self-employment are not allowed and students must work at least 20 hours per week in a paid position for an E-Verify employer.

Students should submit their application 90 days before the end of their current OPT period. Students may NOT apply during the 60-day grace period following the OPT end date. An 180 day automatic work authorization extension will be granted while the application is pending.

24 Month STEM Extension Application

Please read the following form over carefully and submit to pawlowsm@union.edu

24 month STEM OPT Extension Application