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Employment

On-campus Employment
Eligibility

Students with an F-1 visa may be approved to work on campus following arrival at UW Oshkosh.

Steps to Working On Campus
  • Register in person with the UW Oshkosh International Student Advisor upon arrival at UW Oshkosh;
  • Search for a job on campus;
  • Apply for a job on campus;
  • Apply to the Office of International Education for approval to work on campus AFTER receiving a job offer;
  • Apply for a social security number AFTER receiving approval to work from the Office of International Education.
Search for a Job On Campus

Students with an F-1 visa may begin searching for a job at UW Oshkosh by

  • Attending the Student Employment Fair on opening day just prior to fall or spring semester;
  • Logging in to Handshake (on-line UW Oshkosh student job search system)
  • Visiting department offices on campus to inquire about job openings.
Apply for a Job On Campus

Students with an F-1 visa will compete for jobs with other UW Oshkosh students.  Be prepared!  To apply for a job, you may be asked:

  • To submit a job application, available from the employer;
  • To submit a resume;
  • To submit a cover letter explaining your skills & experiences;
  • To submit a list of references and/or letters of recommendation;
  • To interview.
Maximum Work Hours per Week

Students with an F-1 visa may work on campus

  • for a maximum of 20 hours per week while classes are in session;
  • any number of hours during breaks (there is no required minimum or maximum number of hours).
Off-campus Employment
Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

DEFINITION: Curricular Practical Training, or CPT, is off-campus training that occurs prior to graduation.  

ELIGIBILITY:

  1. The student has been “in lawful status” for at least one (1) academic year, unless the student is in a graduate program that requires an internship earlier.
  2. In addition, CPT may be approved only if the following conditions are met:
  • The Practical training is directly related to students major AND the training is completing a specific graduation requirement

OR

  • The Practical training is directly related to students major AND academic credit can be awarded for the training (Student must be registered for the course(s) at all times during the period of authorized CPT).

 

Students with an F-1 visa may NOT work as waitresses, bar tenders, cashiers, or in other positions that are not required by a degree program. 

Students who have received one year or more of full time curricular practical training are INELIGIBLE for post-completion OPT.

 

PROCEDURES:

1.      Make sure you understand how restrictive CPT is please contact iss@uwosh.edu if you have any questions

2.      Search for an Internship or Practicum

Students with an F-1 student visa may begin searching for an internship or practicum just prior to meeting the requirement of being “in lawful status” for at least one (1) academic year (or earlier, if the student is in a graduate program that requires an earlier internship).  Students may begin the search by:

 

3.      Apply for an Internship or Practicum

Students with an F-1 student visa will compete with other UW Oshkosh students and with other students in the Oshkosh community for internship and practicum opportunities.  Be prepared!  To apply for a job, you will probably be asked, at a minimum,

  • To submit a job application, available from the employer;
  • To submit a resume;
  • To submit a cover letter explaining your skills & experiences;
  • To submit a list of references and/or letters of recommendation;
  • To interview.

To prepare your application properly, make an appointment with a UW Oshkosh Career Advisor or with your faculty advisor.


4.      Apply for CPT AFTER Receiving an Internship or Practicum  Offer

Students with an F-1 student visa must have a job offer before applying for CPT.  You may NOT apply for CPT unless you have an Employment Letter with a specific employment start date. 

To apply for CPT:

1. Pick up a "Request for Employment" form letter from the OIE and share it with your employer. 

Your employer must an Original Letter to our office (UW Oshkosh, Office of International Education, Dempsey 202, 800 Algoma Blvd, Oshkosh, WI 54901) and send an email to iss@uwosh.edu containing ALL of the following information:

- Title of circular practical training; 

- CPT start date;

- CPT end date;

- number of hours of work per week;    

- Location of practical training;    

- Supervisors name;  

- CPT provider’s address, including street, city, state, zip code; 

- brief description of focus of the training (must be directly related   to your major).

You are legal to start your CPT and any position related training only AFTER you have received your updated I-20; therefore, you must have the updated I-20 before your effective CPT start date.

2. Complete the Office of International Education CPT Application Form. Your faculty advisor has to confirm your ELIGIBILITY for CPT as listed above

3. After receiving your CPT Application Form, the Office of International Education will determine whether the employment can be approved. If your employment gets approved, OIE will update your SEVIS record and your I-20.

Severe Economic Hardship

Students on an F-1 visa may apply to work off campus if they can prove "that new, unexpected circumstances beyond their control have created severe economic hardship." Examples provided by the Department of Homeland Security include:

  • "Loss of financial aid or on-campus employment (if the student is not at fault)";
  • "Large increases in tuition or living costs";
  • "Substantial decrease in the relative value of currency the student depends upon to pay expenses";
  • "Unexpected changes in the financial conditions for a student's sources of financial support";
  • "Unexpectedly large medical bills not covered by insurance";
  • "Other substantial, unexpected expenses";

To be eligible to apply, students on an F-1 visa must:

  • be enrolled for at least one academic year; and
  • be in status; and
  • be in good academic standing; and
  • be unable to get on-campus employment, or the pay from available on-campus employment must be insufficient to meet financial needs; and
  • demonstrate that employment will not interfere with the student's ability to successfully study full time.

Application Process

  • Complete form I-765 and submit within 30 dates updating form I-20.
  • Complete all requirements as detailed under "Apply for OPT".
  • Submit a letter, addressed to "Department of Homeland Security".  Review the examples listed above before writing the letter.  You must give solid information in relation to specific events that led to the change in your economic status.  Include event dates and details.
  • Submit any documentation you might have that provides evidence of the events that led to the change in your economic status.

If approved, you will receive form I-766 "Employment Authorization Document" (EAD) from U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Service (USCIS).  Approval for off-campus employment is good for one year, after which the student must re-apply.

Post-graduation Employment
Optional Practical Training (OPT)

Optional Practical Training, or OPT, is full-time off-campus training that occurs after graduation.

Eligibility for OPT: Prerequisites and Limitations

  • Employment is directly related to the student’s major field of study; AND
  • The F-1 student has been “in lawful status” for at least one (1) academic year; AND
  • Student must have graduated = completed all course requirements for the degree
  • OPT application MUST be received by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) no sooner than 90 days before and no later than 60 days after the program end date stated on your I-20 or your last day of classes, whichever is sooner.  Note: Currently it takes 3-4months from the date USCIS receives an application until the applicant receives the EAD card.

 

Review the following document and attend the OPT info session that is offered by iss@uwosh.edu once a semester if you have any questions about OPT.

Please download and follow THESE very detailed OPT Application Process STEPS! This document explains all steps as they pertain to Post Completion OPT:

STEP 1: Complete checklist and submit your complete application to the OIE or iss@uwosh.edu

STEP 2: RECEIVE a new I-20 from a DSO (Designated School Official) at the OIE

STEP 3: Sign the new I-20; make a copy of the new I-20; keep the original and send the I-20 copy along with the payment and the complete OPT application (see checklist on page 1) to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Phoenix Lockbox for adjudication

STEP 4: Wait for positive USCIS adjudication (OPT approval notice & OPT card arrival). If OPT is approved, an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) will be issued valid for the employment start and end dates that you request with this application.

STEP 5: Once you received the OPT card you are required to send a copy of the front and back of the Employment Authorization Document (EAD-Card) to iss@uwosh.edu

STEP 6: Ensure you comply with all post completion OPT employment limitations

STEP 7: Comply with all OPT reporting requirements!

 

Warnings:

The timing of completing Step1 and Step3 of this process is crucial to maximize your chances to be eligible for OPT!

If you plan to travel abroad during the application process or after your OPT is approved please review Bulletpoint 9 of the appendix! If you have questions or you need a travel signature please contact iss@uwosh.edu right away.

After OPT approval: you must follow Step 7 diligently in order to remain “in status”

 

In addition, some of you might be able to apply for a 24-month STEM OPT Extension, if you meet the eligibility criteria.

Please download to verify if you meet these criteria: STEM OPT Extension Process STEPS !


Search for Employment

The Department of Homeland Security considers full-time employment under standard OPT to be 1) paid work (21+ hours per week); 2) multiple positions held simultaneously (and adding up to 21+ hours per week); or 3) volunteer or unpaid internship or practica, where this does not violate any labor laws. This does not apply for the stricter STEM OPT Extension definition of full-time OPT.

Begin your search by:

  • Logging in to Titan Jobs (on-line UW Oshkosh student job search system)
  • Reviewing resources on the UW Oshkosh Career Services website.
  • Reviewing resources on the UW Oshkosh website for the student’s major.
  • Networking with students in student organizations related to the student’s major.
  • Discussing employment options with academic and faculty advisors.


Apply for Employment

You will compete for employment with other UW Oshkosh students and with other students in Oshkosh, Wisconsin and beyond. Be prepared! To apply for a job, you will probably be asked, at a minimum,

  • To submit a job application, available from the employer;
  • To submit a resume;
  • To submit a cover letter explaining your skills & experiences;
  • To submit a list of references and/or letters of recommendation;
  • To interview.

To prepare your application properly, make an appointment with a UW Oshkosh Career Advisor or with your faculty advisor.


Maintain Documentation - Recommended

  • USCIS and other U.S. government agencies may request documentation in the future showing evidence that all Optional Practical Training - that means every job! - you complete is directly related to your program of study. For example, you may be asked to submit this documentation if applying for a new visa for graduate school or if applying for a work visa in the U.S. Therefore, it is recommended that you keep in your files:
    • Documentation from the employer stating the job title and position duties. If it is not clear from the job description that the work is related to the student's degree, obtain a signed letter from your supervisor or hiring official stating how your degree is related to the work you performed;
    • Documentation from the employer giving the dates over which the position was held (for example, save both monthly and annual documents that show how much money you earned, employment letters and a copy of your resignation letter);
    • Documentation showing how many hours you worked per week;
    • Your direct supervisor's name, title and contact information.
Social Security Number
Eligibility & Purpose

The social security number is used to report wages to the government.

Students with an F-1 visa who have been in the U.S. for at least 10 calendar days AND have been registered in SEVIS may request a social security number under the following conditions:

  • You have been offered a job on campus.
    OR
  • You have been authorized to work off campus by the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Service (USCIS).
Application

Timing your Application

  • On campus employment or Curricular Practical Training (CPT): You may apply 30 or fewer days prior to your employment start date.
  • Optional Practical Training (OPT): You may apply ON or AFTER the "work authorization date" listed on your Form I-766, Application for Employment Authorization.
  • You must APPLY for this number before beginning employment.
  • You may begin working before you RECEIVE your social security number.
  • NOTE: You are legally allowed to begin working before you receive your Social Security Number; however, your employer may require that you start work after receiving the number.  

 Application Documents

  • All Applicants need:
    • Application for a Social Security Card (form SS-5)
    • Unexpired, original Passport
    • I-94
  • F-1 STUDENTS also need:
    • Original current I-20 (all three pages; for CPT, the third page MUST show that you are authorized for employment)
  • Students working ON CAMPUS also need:
  • Students on OPT also need
    • original Employment Authorization Document (EAD) from the Department of Homeland Security 

Apply in Person

You must apply IN PERSON at the Social Security Office in Oshkosh.  This office is located at 400 City Center.

More Information

View the Social Security Administration's Information for International Students.

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