Expand All
  • On-Campus Employment

    F-1 and J-1 students are eligible to work in Student Employment and other positions that are considered on-campus jobs, such as summer research on campus with a UR professor, without authorization from the international student advisor.

    International students, unlike U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents, complete employment paperwork with the Office of International Taxation (OIT), rather than the Student Employment office. Non-U.S. students should follow the hiring process to complete paperwork and to obtain a Work Release Form.

  • Off-Campus Employment

    International students are not permitted to accept off-campus employment without authorization. There are strict regulations regarding working off-campus.

    F-1 students typically need to apply for optional practical training or curricular practical training to work off-campus.

    Contact Krittika Onsanit for more information.

  • Academic Training

    Academic training is paid or unpaid work, training, or experience related to a student’s field of study. International students can participate in academic training before and after they complete their studies on a full or part-time basis, as long as the training does not exceed specified time limits.

    If a student wishes to participate in unpaid academic training after completion of studies, the student must show proof of adequate funding to cover expenses.

    Academic training must be authorized by the International Student Advisor (ISA) in the International Education office. Please read the Academic Training Information for eligibility and application information and download the Employer Statement, Departmental Recommendation Form, and Student Statement.

  • Optional Practical Training (OPT)

    Optional Practical Training (OPT) is an opportunity for F-1 students who have been enrolled for one full academic year in the United States to work in a position directly related to their academic studies. Students retain F-1 visa status while using OPT.

    Learn more about OPT eligibility on the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement website.

    OPT must be authorized by an International Student Advisor (ISA) in the International Education office. To apply, please do the following:

    • Read the OPT Guide
    • Attend a mandatory OPT workshop (times and dates will be sent via email)

    At the workshop, you will receive detailed instructions about completing the following forms and submitting your application to USCIS.

    STEM Extension Regulations

    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 24-month STEM extension.

    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) 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 to USCIS 90 days before the end of their current OPT period and within 60 days of the DSO’s STEM OPT recommendation date on the I-20. USCIS MUST receive the application by the OPT end date. 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. No extensions beyond 180 days are possible.


    Students must include as part of the application a new I-20 from Richmond with the STEM extension recommendation. Please submit the following documents electronically to konsanit@richmond.edu to receive a new I-20:

    • DHS Form I-983 Mentoring & Training Plan Instructions for students and employers on completing the form are available on this website.
    • Official or unofficial copy of transcript confirming graduation date, STEM degree awarded, and major. We cannot consider transcripts without this information, or copies of diplomas by themselves since they do not list the major.
    • OPT Student Statement completed with STEM extension dates and employment information.

    There is no application deadline to submit these documents to the International Education office but please allow 5 working days for processing your new I-20.

    You will need to file USCIS Form I-765 Application for Employment Authorization to apply for the STEM extension once you receive the new I-20 from Richmond.

    For more information, visit the USCIS webpage on STEM OPT or DHS’ Study in the States STEM OPT Hub.

  • Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

    Curricular Practical Training (CPT) includes alternate work/study, internship, cooperation education, or any other type of required internship or practicum that is offered by sponsoring employers through cooperative agreements with the school.  CPT must be authorized by an International Student Advisor (ISA) in the International Education office. Please read the CPT Guide for eligibility and application information and download the Employer Statement, Departmental Recommendation Form, and Student Statement.

    Learn more about CPT eligibility on the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement website.