Employment is defined as any type of work or service in exchange for money, tuition, food, room or other form of compensation.
International students in valid F-1 or J- status are permitted to work under certain circumstances. Employment options are limited, but may include both on-campus and off-campus, full-time or part-time, as described below.
Off campus employment categories for international students include: Academic Training (J-1 visa), Curricular Practical Training (F-1 visa), Severe Economic Hardship, and Optional Practical Training (F-1 visa). Look below for additional instructions about this categories of student employment.
If you are uncertain whether a particular employment opportunity would be allowed, speak to an international student advisor before accepting a job offer. Keep in mind that unauthorized (illegal) employment is a clear violation of your F1 or J-1 terms, and will have serious consequences.
The H-1B visa is designed for foreign workers in "Specialty Occupations" and is used often to bring foreign professionals, professors and researchers to the American work place including: research foundations, hospitals and universities. Specialty Occupation is defined as an occupation that requires at least a Bachelor's degree in the field of intended employment. If the professional has a Bachelor's degree but the position does not require at least a Bachelor's degree to perform the duties, the occupation will not qualify for the H-1B visa category.
Academic Training (J-1 Only):
Academic Training (AT) allows a J-1 student to engage in employment, a URI internship, or co-op experience during or after a student's exchange program ends. The employment must be directly related to their field of study. For questions and/or individual appointments concerning Academic Training, contact Melissa de Jesus: email@example.com
Curricular Practical Training (F-1 only):
Curricular Practical Training (CPT) allows a lawful F-1 student to engage in "alternate work/study, internship, cooperative education or any other type of required internship or practicum experience in their field of study." A student may choose to receive wages or academic credit for this experience. CPT MUST be an integral part of the student academic work and requires a signed cooperative agreement from your employer. For questions and/or meetings concerning Curricular Practical Training (CPT), contact Amie Limon: firstname.lastname@example.org
Employment Authorization Under Severe Economic Hardship
Only students whose financial situation has changed unexpectedly and/or beyond their control may apply for Economic Hardship. Applicable Examples: loss of financial aid, unexpected loss of sponsorship (partial or total), substantial fluctuations in the value of currency or exchange rates, large increases in tuition, medical bills, living costs, and/or other substantial unexpected expenses. When processing a request to Employmnet Authorization under Severe Economic Hardship conditions, contact Amie Limon: email@example.com
Optional Practical Training (F-1 Only):
Temporary employment for practical training that is directly related to the student's major area of study and commensurate with the degree level. In most cases, students request Optional Practical Training duaring their last semester prior to graduate; or during their last semester while writing the thesis. When processing an Optional Practical Training (OPT) request, contact Amie Limon: firstname.lastname@example.org
H-1B GENERAL INFORMATION
The H-1B visa may be held for a maximum of six years with an initial grant of up to three years. It is practical to request the maximum (three years) time period in the initial H-1B visa application process because filing is time-intensive and the fees involved can be costly. Requesting the maximum period of H-1B employment will eliminate the need for a re-filing process each year. In cases where there is a year by year contract which must be renewed annually, the employer may consider writing a letter supporting the visa application for the maximum period of three years by inserting the contingency clause "pending the renewal of the contract" or "pending the availability of funds" (in the case of research grants). This suggestion is made only as a practicality and is by no means required.
An important benefit of the H-1B visa category is that the Immigration Act of 1990 gives H-1B visa holders special protections if they are applying simultaneously for Permanent Residency.
Helpful Links and Summaries
International Student Orientation
All New F-1 and J-1 International Students
Date: Friday, January 16, 2015
Time: 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon
Place: International Center
**IMPORTANT OPT INFO.**
Reporting responsibilities of F-1 International Students while on (OPT)
FALL 2014 OPT workshop schedule: Available