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F-1 and J-1 students are eligible to work on campus. In order to work on campus, students must be enrolled full time. Employment is limited to 20 hours per week during regular semesters. Students may work more than 20 hours during vacation periods. Student jobs are available at the university and through private companies which provide services on the UCO campus. These include the UCO Dining Service, UCO Barnes and Noble Bookstore, and the custodial service. University jobs can be found via the UCO website by looking for Employment/ Jobs.
Off-campus employment requires authorization from Immigration. After you have been in the United States for nine months on an F-1 visa and are in good standing you can apply for work authorization. For each of the following categories you must first contact the Office of International Services.
Off-campus employment based on Severe Economic Hardship - If a student is suffering from severe economic hardship based on unforeseen circumstances beyond his or her control, the student may be eligible to apply for employment authorization. Examples include the following: unexpected changes in the financial condition of the student's source of support, medical bills for the student or the student's sponsor, or other substantial and unexpected expenses. Students wishing to apply for this employment authorization should report to the Office of International Services. Advisors there will guide the student through the application process.
Optional Practical Training (OPT) - F-1 students are eligible to apply for employment authorization that will allow him or her to work for up to one year in a job that is directly related to their program of study. And for some majors there is the possibility of extending that period of employment an additional 17 months. This employment takes place after completing your program of study. This employment is called post completion OPT. In some circumstances students may choose to use their OPT prior to the completion of their studies. This is called Pre-completion OPT. However pre-completion OPT subtracts from the time available after graduation for post completion OPT. OPT information sessions are held each semester by the Office of International Services.
Curricular Practical Training - Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is defined as employment which is an integral part of an established curriculum. CPT is most commonly used for internships, practicum, or externships. The student must be enrolled in an internship or practicum course. The student must provide a letter from the employer where the internship or practicum will take place. Details must include the job title, hours per week, duties, beginning and ending dates and physical location. The academic department must provide written approval of the student's internship with the stated employer. Finally all documents are presented to the Office of International Services for authorization.