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F-1 Student

This information is for the University of Houston hiring departments who have hired or are interested in hiring a foreign national. This information does not constitute legal advice.

F-1 students that are maintaining status at UH may work on campus on a part-time basis not to exceed 20 hours per week while school is in session.  F-1 students may work on campus on a full-time basis while school is not in session or during the vacation break. On-campus employment during a summer session is limited to no more than 20 hours per week if taking a full course load.  Please direct inquiries regarding F-1 employment to the International Student and Scholar Services Office (ISSSO).

Curricular Practical Training (CPT)


F-1 students may be eligible for off-campus employment as integral part of the curriculum.  CPT is defined as "alternative work/study, internship, cooperative education, or any other type of required internship or practicum" (USCIS) and must be directly related to the student’s major.  CPT can be on a full-time or part-time basis.  CPT is authorized on page 3 of the I-20 form by a Designated School Official in ISSSO.  An Employment Authorization Card (EAD) is not issued for CPT employment, but instead is authorized by ISSSO on page 3 of the student’s I-20.

F-1 students may work for 11 months on full-time CPT with no penalty to post-completion OPT benefits.  F-1 students working on 12 months or more of full-time CPT lose post-completion OPT for that degree level.  Unlimited part-time CPT is permitted with no penalty to post-completion OPT benefits.

F-1 students must have been lawfully enrolled on a full-time basis at a DHS-approved school for one full academic year before being eligible for CPT (i.e. Fall and Spring semesters).  Students entering the United States under a new SEVIS ID number must wait to complete one full academic year as a full-time student before they are eligible to apply for CPT or OPT. CPT is only available for F-1 students who are in status and before completion of all degree requirements.  Once an F-1 student completes the degree, all CPT must cease.

F-1 students enrolled at other institutions may receive CPT approval for employment at UH from their home institution. Proof of CPT eligibility at UH would be recorded on the last page of Form I-20.

Graduating UH Students in F-1 Classification


The employment of graduating F-1 students in student positions (such as Academic Support Assistant, GA, RA, IA, TA, TF, or any other student position) needs to end no later than the date of Form I-20 expiration, which normally is the date of graduation. If the termination date has to be later than the graduation date for payroll purposes, the "Last Date Worked" must not exceed the expiration of Form I-20.