Work

J-1 Work

The J-1 student has less opportunity, as a non-degree seeking student, to work. Currently, at Bellarmine, we offer the opportunity to work on campus.

On-Campus Employment

  • On-campus employment is defined as work done on the premises of the school.
  • A J-1 student may be authorized to work up to 8 hours per week during the academic year and 25 hours a week during summer and official University holiday breaks for on-campus employment. Students who already have assistantships considered to be equivalent to 20 hours a week are not eligible for additional on-campus employment.
  • Contact Cheryl Love, in the Vice President for Administration and Finance Office, for on-campus employment opportunities. clove@bellarmine.edu or 502.272.8263.
  • Once you complete your academic program, you are no longer eligible for on-campus employment unless you have obtained employment authorization based on academic training.

F-1 Work

If you are an F-1 student, you have four categories of employment available to you. You may start on-campus employment as soon as you wish after arriving and finding a job. For CPT and OPT work, you must be in a program for one year prior to seeking employment and prior to starting work, and it must be approved by International Student and Scholar Services. When requesting work due to Severe Economic Hardship, please come to the International Student and Scholar Services (IS) office.

On-campus employment

Many international students make money by working on campus. On-campus employment refers to any job you perform on campus, paid by Bellarmine, or a third-party if your work is in direct support of the student body.

Contact Cheryl Love, in the Vice President for Administration and Finance Office, for open jobs on campus. You may be authorized to work up to 9 hours per week during the academic year and 25 hours a week during summer and official University holiday breaks for on-campus employment. Students who already have assistantships considered to be equivalent to 20 hours a week are not eligible for additional on-campus employment.

Authorization for work is obtained by filling out the Request for On-campus Employment Form and scheduling an appointment with the International Services.

Curricular Practical Training

Under the regulations for F-1 students, you have the opportunity to gain practical experience in your field of study before you graduate. This type of employment is called Curricular Practical Training (CPT).

CPT must be an integral part of your curriculum (a course or part of a course for which you receive credit), such as a required clinical, practicum, or internship. It can be paid or unpaid.

You must receive permission from the IS before beginning employment. This will be given once all documents have been supplied by you and are approved. The process steps are:

  • Fill out the Request for CPT Form.
  • Meet with your academic advisor, and ask them to certify (at the bottom of the request form) the work is integral to your studies.
  • Obtain an offer letter from your prospective employer. It must be on company letterhead and contain:
    • The specific start and end dates of employment
    • The number of hours per week of work
    • The physical address of where the work will be performed
    • A specific description of the work to be done
  • Review the offer of employment letter with your advisor  
  • Register for the appropriate course, and
  • Schedule an appointment with the International Student and Scholar Services.

Optional Practical Training

As an F-1 student, you will normally be eligible for 12 months of OPT. This employment must relate to your field of study (your major). You are eligible for 12 months of OPT for every level of higher education completed. If your major was in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM), you may be eligible for an extension of OPT.

Once you have determined you will seek OPT, you should submit your application to the USCIS with the help of the International Services. This can be done up to 90 days before your expected program completion date and up to 60 days after. Currently, it takes approximately 90 to 120 days for the USCIS to process your application. It is your responsibility to plan accordingly. Note: it is difficult to travel outside the United States during the period when you are awaiting your Employment Authorization Document (EAD) and you cannot work before you receive it. 

Recommended Steps:

  • Fill out the application for OPT and receive a recommendation from the International Services
  • Receive a new Form I-20 from the IS that shows the DSO recommendation
  • Apply for work authorization by filling out the on-line form I-765 with the USCIS and pay the fee
  • USCIS will send you an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) when approved
  • YOU MAY NOT START WORK UNTIL YOU RECEIVE THE EAD

As an F-1 student authorized for OPT, you are required to report any of the following to the IS within 10 days of the occurrence:

  • If your name or address has changed
  • If your immigration status has changed.
  • If you have an interruption of employment
  • If your employment has changed

Please note, if you plan on traveling outside the United States while you are on post-completion OPT, you are required to have a Travel Authorization Signature on your I-20 that is not more than 6 months old. Submit the Travel Endorsement Request Form to IS at least two (2) weeks prior to your planned travel in order to process a new I-20.

Severe economic hardship

On rare occasions, work is authorized due to an unforeseen change in financial conditions. It is generally difficult to obtain this authorization. To learn more, schedule an appointment with the IS.

IMPORTANT: One question, which is difficult to answer, involves traveling while awaiting your Employment Authorization Document (EAD)–while the request for OPT is pending. The regulations are unclear on this issue, therefore, until further clarification is made, Bellarmine strongly recommends you do not travel outside the United States while your request is pending and you have not yet received your EAD.