script

Employment for International Students

Drury University > Undergraduate Admission > International Student Admission > Employment for International Students

Drury offers student employment only to full-time undergraduate day school students. Federal regulations allow for F-1 student on-campus employment as long as the student is maintaining their F-1 immigration status and are in good academic standing.

During the academic year, F-1 students can work up to twenty hours per week on campus. When school is not in session, F-1 students can work full time on campus.

Human Resources can help you with all stages of the on campus job search: identification of open positions, accepting applications for employment, and assisting with the paperwork associated with working on the Drury campus.

If you are experiencing financial difficulties, please see the Director of International Support Services as soon as possible.

View Current Student Job Openings

Off-campus Employment Options

It is very important to remember that immigration regulations prohibit all types of off-campus employment without specific authorization. Any unauthorized off-campus work is illegal and subject to strict penalties, including deportation.

Optional Practical Training (OPT)

Optional Practical Training (OPT) is most commonly used by students to gain work experience in their field of study after completing a degree program. There are certain other situations in which OPT may be possible prior to completion of a degree program.

Applications for OPT are submitted by mail to US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). When approved, an Employment Authorization Document (EAD, Form I-766) will be mailed to the address which is listed on the student’s I-765 application form.

OPT applications must be submitted prior to completion of a degree program. It can take USCIS ninety days or more to process an OPT application. The International Support Services can provide a current estimate of processing times. Applications should be submitted at least 90 days prior to the date you want to begin working. You cannot begin working until you have received your EAD card.

USCIS regulations allow up to 12 months of OPT at each degree level for a student in F-1 status. A student must have been in F-1 status for at least 9 consecutive months to be eligible for OPT. In certain circumstances, time spent in full-time study in another immigration status may count toward satisfaction of the 9-month rule.

Students remain in F-1 status during the period of OPT, and must continue to report any change of address or employer within 10 days to USCIS via the SEVP Portal


Application Procedure

  1. Completed Form, I-765, Application for Employment Authorization. In item #27 Eligibility Category, enter ( c  )( 3 )( B ) This indicates to the USCIS that you are applying for Post-Completion Optional Practical Training.
  2. Copies of Passport Biographic Page and Visa Page.
  3. Print the most recent Form I-194, Arrival/Departure Record
  4. Two passport sized photos – Need to be on a white background with a picture that shows your entire face.
    Your photo must not have been more than 30 days prior to the submission of your application and not previously used.
  5. OPT Recommendation Request and Acknowledgement Forms
  6. Form G-1145, E-Notification of Application/Petition Acceptance
  7. Filing Fee of $410 check or money order made payable to: United States Department of Homeland Security
  8. Copy of last EAD (Employment Authorization Document) if available/applicable
  9. At this point in the process, please see the ISS office to review your documents.
  10. Upon review of application, ISS will generate a new Form I-20 of which you will send a copy with your application.

Reporting Requirements While on OPT

You are required to update your OPT employer information to ensure your SEVIS record is accurate at all times. It is your responsibility to maintain and report updates to your employment and address. However, ISS will continue to support you during this process. Report any address changes (within 10 days of it changing) or changes of employer by emailing iss@drury.edu and by logging into your SEVP Portal and updating your profile there. If you are having trouble logging in to your SEVP portal account, email ISS for assistance.

Read more about your OPT reporting requirements.

Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) makes it possible for F-1 students to gain specific practical work experience required or optional in an established degree program. Such training must be an integral part of the curriculum (the student must be receiving academic credit if the training is not a required part of the degree program). CPT provides legal authorization for the F-1 student to be in a work environment whether or not payment of wages is involved. Internships and other work requirements listed in the Drury University catalogs are examples of such programs. Questions concerning the appropriateness of CPT in specific situations should be addressed to an International Support Services (ISS) at 873-7885.

A student must have been in F-1 status for one academic year (9 months) to be eligible for CPT.

CPT is authorized by the ISS office with an endorsement on your I-20 form. No application to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is required. The I-20 endorsement provides specific dates for beginning and ending authorization and specifies the employer and site of work. The endorsement must be obtained before work begins. When you have reviewed the instructions and completed the forms, please make an appointment in ISS to process your CPT application.

CPT can be either full-time, which does require at least a minimal enrollment, or part-time (up to 20 hours per week of work), which requires full-time enrollment. Full-time CPT of 12 months or more makes F-1 students ineligible for subsequent Optional Practical Training.

Application Procedures:

  1. Obtain an advisor’s recommendation on the form in the CPT packet, providing required CPT information. Required information includes:
    1. A description of the work experience,
    2. Name of employer,
    3. Beginning and ending dates of employment, and
    4. Explanation of how the experience will be monitored and graded. Upon request, a advisor recommendation form can be e-mailed to adviser from the ISS
  2. An employment offer letter from the employer on company letterhead, indicating the following:
    1. Student’s job duties
    2. Start and end date of employment
    3. Number of hours per week 
    4. Name, title, telephone, and email of employer contact person (supervisor or HR contact)
    5. Physical address where employment will occur


    At this point in the process, please see the ISS office to review your documents.

  3. Upon review and approval of the application, ISS will generate a new Form I-20 with the CPT Authorization.

STEM OPT Extension Information

If you are enrolled in a STEM eligible degree program, this means that you are now eligible for up to 3 years of work authorization in the United States as long as your employment is based on your field of study. A STEM eligible degree means that your degree is in Science, Technology, Engineering, or Math, and that your degree is listed here.

  • The earliest your STEM Extension OPT application can reach USCIS is 90 days before the end of your post-completion OPT.
  • The latest your application can reach USCIS is the last day of your post-completion OPT.
  • USCIS must receive your STEM Extension application before your post-completion OPT ends.
  • Your employer must be registered in the E-Verify program.
  • Your employment must be paid.
  • You cannot have more than 150 days of unemployment total (combined with your post-completion OPT) while on STEM Extension OPT.
  • You must have a bonafide employer-employee relationship with the company providing the training, and this company must complete the Form I-983. If you are getting paid through a staffing agency, the staffing agency cannot complete your Form I-983. For more information, see Study in the States’ explanation. The USCIS website also has information about Terms and Conditions for Employer Participation.
  • You must work at least 20 hours per week. 

Application Procedure

Student will compile their application as listed in steps 1-9 below and see the ISS Office for review.

  1. Completed Form, I-765, Application for Employment Authorization: https://www.uscis.gov/i-765
    In item #27 Eligibility Category, enter ( c )( 3 )( c )
    This indicates to the USCIS that you are applying for Post-Completion Optional Practical Training. 
  2. Form I-983 completed by you and your employer
    Make sure you carefully read Guidance for Completing Form I-983 as you complete this form. You do not have to complete page 5 upon the initial submission of your STEM OPT application. Keep in mind that you must have a bonafide employer-employee relationship with the person who completes this I-983 with you. If you are employed by a staffing company, then the staffing company cannot complete the Form I-983. The company where you physically receive the training must complete the Form I-983. For more information, see Study in the States’ explanation. The USCIS website also has information about Terms and Conditions for Employer Participation.
  3. G-1145
  4. Copy of EAD
  5. Copy of post-completion OPT I-20
  6. Copy of Passport Photo Page
  7. Copy of F-1 visa
  8. I-94 Print-out
  9. Official Transcripts (They do not have to be sealed and can be in electronic form) 
  10. Copy of Diploma
  11. Check or Money Order for $410 made out to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security
  12. Two Passport Photos

    Once you have gathered these documents, get in touch with the ISS office to review.

  13. Upon review of application materials, ISS will generate a new Form I-20 of which you will send a copy with your application.

Send all documents to https://www.uscis.gov/i-765 – see Where to File information 

USCIS
PO Box 21281
Phoenix, AZ 85036

For FedEx, UPS, and DHL deliveries: 

USCIS
Attn: NFB AOS
1820 E. Skyharbor Circle S
Suite 100
Phoenix, AZ 85034

Reporting Requirements While on STEM OPT

You are required to periodically maintain (even if nothing has changed) or update your STEM OPT Activity. The responsibility to report this information regarding your STEM OPT extension is you and your employer’s responsibility. However, ISS will continue to support you during this process. Report any address changes or changes of employer by emailing iss@drury.edu and by logging into your SEVP Portal and updating your profile there. If you are having trouble logging in to your SEVP portal account, email ISS for assistance.

You can read more about your reporting requirements here: https://studyinthestates.dhs.gov/students-stem-opt-reporting-requirements