F-1 Work Options
Students with an I-20 authorizing them to attend the University of Minnesota are eligible to work on the campus. Students transferring to the University of Minnesota must have their SEVIS record transferred and possess a University of Minnesota I-20 to be eligible to work on the campus.
Off-Campus Employment – Types of Authorization
- Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
CPT is work authorization which allows a student to work in a job directly related to the student‘s major area of study before degree completion. CPT authorization is provided by ISSS and can be granted within 7 business days of application submission.
- Optional Practical Training (OPT)
OPT is work authorization which allows a student to work in a job directly related to the student‘s major area of study either before or after degree completion. OPT authorization is provided by USCIS and is usually granted within 2-3 months after the student submits an application.
- 17-Month Extension for Post-Completion OPT
Students who graduate with a certain STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) degree are eligible to remain in the United States for an additional 17 months on an OPT STEM Extension. 17-month STEM Extension is provided by USCIS and is usually granted within 2-3 months after the student submits an application.
- Off Campus Work Permission Based on Unforeseen Financial Change (Limited Eligibility)
The severe economic hardship employment authorization benefit is intended to address situations where a financial need beyond the student’s control arises, which was unforeseen at the time the student applied to the school he or she is currently attending and after all other potential employment opportunities have proven to be in sufficient.
All off-campus work requires work authorization. This includes:
- Required, paid internships off the campus
- Summer off-campus employment
Receiving a benefit in exchange for services rendered (i.e., free room/board for babysitting or free rent for being a caretaker of an apartment building) is considered to be employment and would require work permission. This type of work is only authorized by Off Campus Work Permission Based on Unforeseen Financial Change or Special Student Relief.