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International Office

F-1 Employment Options

F-1 students must have a work permit through ISSP to work on or off campus. Once you become a CSU, Fresno student, you can obtain further information regarding the following types of employment at the ISSP Online Adviser in Blackboard. Employment workshops are offered throughout the semester.

On-Campus Employment. On-campus employment must be performed on the school’s premises (including on-location commercial firms which provide services for students on campus, such as the school bookstore or cafeteria).

Employment must not exceed 20 hours per week while school is in session. An F-1 student may, however, work on campus more than 20 hours when school is not in session or during the annual vacation, such as Winter or Summer. Approval is granted by the ISSP International Student Advisor. An F-1 student may not engage in on-campus employment after completing his or her course of study. 

Curricular Practical Training.  Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is an employment option available to F-1 students before program completion where the employment is considered to be an integral part of the curriculum or academic program. According to the immigration regulations, this employment may be an internship, cooperative education job, a practicum, or any other work experience that is either required for your degree (as defined in the course catalog) or for an internship related class. To be eligible for CPT, you must have been lawfully enrolled on a full-time basis for one full academic year. Exceptions to the one academic year requirement are provided for students enrolled in graduate studies that require immediate participation in CPT. Authorization for CPT is granted by ISSP, and takes 5 business days to obtain. CPT workshops are available throughout the semester.

Optional Practical Training. Optional Practical Training (OPT) is an opportunity for students to work 12 months in their field, after program completion at CSU, Fresno. Students may apply 90 days prior to completion of their course work or 60 days after completion, but cannot apply after they complete their course work. It is possible to use some of your OPT during your course of study, but it is not advisable. To be eligible for OPT, you must have been lawfully enrolled on a full-time basis for one full academic year  Authorization for OPT is granted by the USCIS, and can take at least 90 days and frequently up to 120 days to obtain.  OPT workshops are available throughout the semester.

STEM Optional Practical Training: F-1 students who receive science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) degrees included on the STEM Designated Degree Program List, are employed by employers enrolled in E-Verify, and who have received an initial grant of post-completion OPT related to such a degree, may apply for a 24-month extension which extends OPT for another 24 months making a total of 3 years of OPT period. STEM OPT workshops are available throughout the semester.

Severe Economic Hardship.  A CSU, Fresno student must be in F-1 status for one full academic year before he or she is eligible to apply for a severe economic hardship authorization. If on-campus employment opportunities are not available or are otherwise insufficient, an eligible F-1 student may request off-campus employment work authorization based upon severe economic hardship. Circumstances beyond the student’s control that have occurred since the student enrolled at the university will be considered. The International Student Advisor at ISSP assists in processing the application for this work permit. If approved, authorization is granted by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

F-2 Guidelines.  The F-2 spouse and children of an F-1 student may not accept employment in any capacity.

For more information please go to ISSP website at: /cge/international/current/