Students with an F-1 visa are generally allowed to work on campus provided that:
- The student has obtained a social security number.
- While classes are in session, F-1 students may not work more than 20 hours in a week.
- During winter and summer vacation, F-1 students are permitted to work on campus full-time.
- F-1 students coming to study in the US for the first time may not begin on-campus work more than 30 days prior to the start of their classes.
- F-1 students who have graduated may not work on campus during their 60 day grace period.
Curricular Practical Training
Curricular Practical Training is most commonly referred to as “CPT.” CPT is an internship or training which is deemed to be “an integral part of an established curriculum.”
Applying for your internship may take several weeks. Please plan accordingly.
- Meet with the International Student Advisor to determine that you:
- Have been enrolled at Washington College for the previous academic year, carrying 12 or more academic credits each semester. (Study Abroad is O.K.)
- Have not worked off-campus without a work permit.
- Are making progress towards graduating from Washington College by the program end date indicated on your I-20.
- The training must be a requirement of the program of study and/or receive course credit
- CPT requires a written job offer indicating job title, dates of employment, number of hours, and location of employment
- Have a social security number (see above)
- Understand that if you break the rules of your F-1 status, you will loose your CPT.
- May apply for more than one CPT, but the maximum of any one CPT is limited to 12 months.
- Understand that if you work more than 20 hours a week during your CPT and total accumulation of time on CPT is greater than 12 months, you CANNOT apply for OPT.
- Obtain a Washington College Internship Proposal Form and Internship Learning Contract. Then contact Dean Sack and your Academic Advisor to begin the process. The Dean’s Office can be reached at 410-778-7206. These papers are required to establish that participation in CPT is an integral part of your academic program and must be completed before working.
- Submit completed, signed and approved copies of the Washington College CPT Outline and CPT Application;(PDF) forms to the International Student Advisor.
- After submitting the completed forms, you will receive a new form I-20 indicating your participation in Curricular Practical Training. You must have this updated I-20 prior to the start date of your internship.
Optional Practical Training
Optional Practical Training is most commonly referred to as “OPT.” It is a period of 12 months during which a student holding F-1 status may work in the United States.
Most commonly, students apply during the final semester of their studies, requesting full-time OPT to begin upon the completion of their academic program.
Students must apply before the program end date on their I-20 and it may take 3 or more months to receive OPT permission from the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (BCIS). Students should indicate interest in OPT when checking in at the Office of International and Diversity Affairs (OIDA) at the beginning of the semester in which they want to apply.
- Establish eligibility for OPT. Meet with the International Student Advisor to determine that you:
- Have been enrolled at Washington College for the previous semester, carrying 12 or more academic credits, and will continue until completion of the current semester. (Study Abroad is O.K.)
- Have not worked off-campus without permission
- Already have a social security number (see above)
- Are completing classes with passing grades and will graduate Washington College by the program end date indicated on your I-20.
- Have supplied the Global Education Office with contact information
- Are aware that it is better not to travel out of the United States until you receive a reply regarding your OPT from the US Government.
- Know that you will loose your OPT if you violate F-1 status.
- Will work in your field of study.
- Schedule an appointment with the International Student Advisor to assemble your application. Please bring:
- Valid passport and I-94 card.
- I-20s past and present.
- Academic Record or Transcript.
- Academic Status Letter (PDF) from your Academic Advisor.
- I-765 (will be issued/completed during your appointment with the advisor).
- A personal check/money order (personal check is better) made payable to the US Department of Homeland Security. Check with advisor for current fee.
- Make two copies of your application (you can do this during your appointment)
- Give one copy to the International Student Advisor and keep the other copy for your personal files.
- Two to three weeks after you submit your application you will receive a receipt from the USCIS (US Citizens and Immigration Services). KEEP THAT RECEIPT! It is very important as you may be asked for it later. You may also check the status of your application using your receipt number and going to this link:Case Status
- Status Verification and Travel
- Please be aware that after you receive your card, if you relocate, it is your responsibility to notify the International Student Advisor of changes in your contact information. You have 10 days in which to notify of any change of address
- Once employment has been secured; you must notify the International Student Advisor of your new employment within 10 days. Should you change employment or become unemployed; you must also notify the International Student Advisor within 10 days.
- Likewise, although you will no longer be at Washington College during Semester Check-in, you must still have your contact information confirmed periodically to maintain your status/OPT.
- Please read the departure and arrival travel procedures below, taking note of requirements for OPT participants.