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    Employment

    International students are eligible to work on-campus 30 days before beginning classes, and may work off-campus after two semesters of full-time study using Curricular Practical Training (CPT) if available, Optional Practical Training (OPT), or Pre-completion Optional Practical Training.

    Students may also be approved for off-campus employment through Economic Hardship, provided they meet the eligibility requirements.

    Please see the tabs at the top of this page to review the eligibility requirements for each of these employment types.


    Economic Hardship

    You may be eligible for Economic Hardship Work Authorization if you have experienced a severe and unforeseen change in your economic situation. Examples of such unforeseen circumstances include loss of on-campus employment, medical bills, and substantial shift in the value of your home country’s currency. If granted, you will be allowed to work off campus in any job for 20 hours per week while school is in session and 40 hours during vacation breaks. Authorization is given one year at a time and may be renewed.

    To qualify you must meet all eligibility requirements, be in good academic standing, and have been a full-time F-1 student for nine consecutive months. Authorization is required from Citizenship and Immigration Services. The application requires a significant fee and approval is not guaranteed. To apply, complete the Economic Hardship application. 

    Working on Campus

    As a full-time student, you may work on campus if working will not interfere with your enrollment or delay your degree completion. If you are a new student, you are eligible to work on campus after checking in with the Registrar up to 30 days before the start of the semester. If you are a transfer student you are eligible to work as soon as you receive your I-20 from NNU. Prior to working, you must obtain an International Student On-Campus Employment Approval Form from the Registrar and provide it to the NNU Human Resources Office. You must also have a Social Security number.

    Federal regulations limit your employment to 20 hours per week while classes are in session. During your vacation semester (usually summer) you may work full-time even if you choose to take one or two classes. However, you may not work full-time and attend classes full-time during the same semester.

    As an international student, you are eligible for non-work study jobs on campus. You can receive help finding an on-campus job from the Career Center located in the Student Center.

    IMPORTANT
    The Department of Homeland Security does not necessarily distinguish between paid employment and volunteer work. Always obtain authorization prior to working regardless of whether you will be paid.

    OPT

    Optional Practical Training

    Practical training provides international students with off-campus employment authorization in their major field of study. You become eligible for practical training if you have been enrolled full-time for at least 9 months and are in F-1 status at the time you apply for optional practical training. 

    USCIS.gov is the agency that processes your I-765 form for OPT. After applying for OPT or STEM Extension, contact USCIS about updates and issues that you are concerned with.  When calling, there is an automated voice system that will ask you to respond with your phone keypad, so listen carefully. Eventually, you want to speak with a representative. This will get you to a live person and they can answer your questions. They may ask for your receipt number. They will want the "YSC" before your number. On your phone, that should be "972". Eventually, you want to speak with a representative. This will get you to a live person and they can answer your questions. USCIS Contact Us page


    Optional Practical Training (OPT)
    Optional Practical Training (OPT) is employment authorization in your field of study for up to 12 months following completion of your degree.

    Process (do this in order. See below for information and forms):

    -Check with NNU's PDSO/DSO for OPT recommendation approval in SEVIS and for the necessary information to apply for OPT/ STEM extension.
    -Prepare required documents, applications, payments and photos.
    -Check with NNU's PDSO/DSO to make sure all documents are in order.
    -Mail your forms, payment, and documents to the USCIS address on the OPT instructions.
    -Check for you Receipt Number YSCXXXXXXXXXX by mail and/or on the USCIS website (Make your account)
    -Check with USCIS.gov for update or issues you have. Contact the PDSO/DSO id you need help navigating the USCIS system. They will want to talk with you directly and you will need to give them permission if you want them to talk with NNU's PDSO/DSO.

    Please see the following documents to help you to prepare to apply for OPT:

    1. OPT Information
    2. OPT Filing Instructions
    3. Form I-765 Optional Practical Training Overview
    • (c)(3)(A) – Pre-Completion
    • (c)(3)(B) – Post-Completion
    • (c)(3)(C) – Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics (STEM)
    • (c)(6) - M-1 Post-Completion Practical Training
    OPT Eligibility
    To be eligible for OPT you must:
    • Have been enrolled for 9 consecutive months (2 semesters)
    • Have F-1 visa status
    • Have completed your degree program
    • Submit your OPT Application to the Registrar for review
    • Receive a new I-20 prior to submitting your Form I-765 application to Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
    • Apply to and obtain authorization from USCIS
    Remember that once you have obtained a job offer, you will need to apply for a Social Security Number before beginning employment, if you do not have one already.

    More tips for OPT authorization:

    • Allow 3 months for USCIS to process your Form I-765 application.
    • See https://egov.uscis.gov/cris/processTimesDisplayInit.do for current processing times.
    • Ensure you have met your graduation requirements.
    • Be certain of your OPT start date prior to application. Once submitted, it cannot be changed and once authorized it cannot be canceled.
    • Sign up for a USCIS account or check on your case status with your receipt number. https://egov.uscis.gov/casestatus/landing.do
    • USCIS.gov is the agency that processes your I-765 form for OPT. After applying for OPT or STEM Extension, contact USCIS about updates and issues that you are concerned with.  When calling, there is an automated voice system that will ask you to respond with your phone keypad, so listen carefully. Eventually, you want to speak with a representative. This will get you to a live person and they can answer your questions. They may ask for your receipt number. They will want the "YSC" before your number. On your phone, that should be "972". Eventually, you want to speak with a representative. This will get you to a live person and they can answer your questions. USCIS Contact Us page
    IMPORTANT:
    • You will be in violation of your immigration status and must return home if you are unemployed more than 90 days of your initial 12 month OPT period. It is your responsibility to monitor this requirement to ensure that you do not have more than 90 days of unemployment during OPT.
    • You may be eligible to apply for a 24-month OPT extension. 
    What information is needed to add an employer on your SEVIS record? 
    (From SEVIS)

    OPT Reporting Requirements
    While authorized for OPT you must report the following to NNU:
    • Change of address within 10 days of moving 
    • Date of new employment within 10 days of being hired 
    • Employer’s name and address 
    • End of employment 
    • Address and employer information every 12 months, if under a 24-month extension 
    NNU will report the necessary information to the government via SEVIS.  You should keep all documentation of employment (for example offer letters and pay stubs) in case you are asked to verify your employment status during the OPT period.

    OPT Stem Extension Information
    When applying for the 24 month STEM extension (c) (3) (C), provide a completed Form I-983 to the PDSO or DSO. 
    You must apply for the extension within 90 days of your current OPT end date.  
    You will need to complete another Form I-765 for the USCIS and send in your application fee.

    Helpful links about OPT 24 Month STEM Extension
    USCIS Information about Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization
    Study in the State's STEM OPT I-983 tutorial
    NYU's Tips for completing the Form I-983
    Harvard's Guide for completing Form I-983
    Berkeley's OPT 24 Month STEM Extension Tutorial

    Need Passport Photos? See if Epassportphotos will work for you. There is a do it yourself section that can help you.

    CPT

    Curricular Practical Training

    Practical training provides international students with off-campus employment authorization in their major field of study. You become eligible for practical training if you have been enrolled full-time for at least 9 months and are in F-1 status at the time you apply for practical training. 

    Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
    Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is work authorization which allows an international student to gain practical experience off campus usually in the form of an internship, co-op education, or practicum that earns credit toward your degree completion prior to graduation.

    CPT Eligibility
    To be eligible for CPT you must:
    • Have been enrolled full time for 9 consecutive months (2 semesters)
    • Have F-1 visa status
    • Be enrolled full-time if you have remaining coursework
    • Complete the CPT Application Packet
    • Obtain authorization from the Registrar
    Remember that you will need to apply for a Social Security Number before beginning your employment.

    IMPORTANT
    The Department of Homeland Security does not necessarily distinguish between paid employment and volunteer work. Always obtain authorization prior to working regardless of whether you will be paid.

    Social Security and Tax Info

    Social Security

    If you will be employed in the US you must have a Social Security Card. You must have an employer job offer letter before you can apply for a card. You may apply for a card at any Social Security office. They require you to bring your:
    • Employment authorization letter 
    • Employer job offer letter, to include the title of your position, your start date, the number of hours you will work per week, and your supervisor's name and telephone number
    • Passport
    • I-94 Departure Card (white card from Customs) or printed copy of the electronic I-94 form (I-94 Replacement)
    • DS-2019 or I-20 Certificate of Eligibility form
    • Application for a Social Security Card
    Be sure to GET YOUR RECEIPT as this is your only proof of employability until you receive your card in the mail. Be sure to provide the Social Security Office a valid mailing address on your application.

    Social Security Office Location:
    1118 South Kimball Ave
    Caldwell, ID 83605


    Tax Information

    April 15th is the deadline for reporting income from the previous year. Reporting can be done as soon as you get your tax documents from your employer. To find out about your requirements and responsibilities, please consult a tax advisor and read the information on the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) website: https://www.irs.gov/

    IRS Income reporting information can be found:
    International Taxpayers
    Foreign Student and Scholars