Employer Resources

Employment Regulations

CPT allows F-1 students to complete an internship, co-op, or practicum for the purpose of gaining practical experience directly related to their major field of study.  Students may only be employed by a specific employer, at a specific location, and for specific dates, as approved by International Programs – Immigration.  Students may work as much as is required by their academic program, provided labor laws and other relevant laws are followed.  USCIS regulations state that an F-1 student may be authorized by the DSO to participate in a CPT program.  To grant authorization for a student to engage in CPT, a DSO at a SEVIS school will update the student’s SEVIS record as being authorized for CPT that is directly related to their major area of study.  Students may begin working with their CPT employer once they have received their updated I-20 reflecting the CPT work authorization and the start date has begun.

I-9 Requirements

Option 1:

  • Unexpired Foreign Passport,
  • Form I-20 (with DSO’s employment authorization), and
  • Form I-94 indicating F-1 nonimmigrant status.  The “Admit Until Date” must show D/S.

Option 2:

  • US Driver’s License that contains all the information stated in List B, Item 1;
  • Form I-20 (with DSO’s employment authorization); and
  • Form I-94 indicating F-1 nonimmigrant status.  The “Admit Until Date” must show D/S.

The passport/US driver’s license establishes identity.  The I-20 states at which college or university the student is enrolled and their CPT employment dates, while the I-94 verifies that the student entered the US in F-1 status.

Social Security Number

F-1 students must receive an internship offer before they can receive CPT authorization from their DSO.  If your student’s internship will be paid, they will need to apply for a social security number.  Please refer to the Social Security Number Issuance Guides for Course Credit or Department Head Approval, depending on how your student received CPT authorization, for more information if your student needs to apply for a social security number.

Employment Regulations

F-1 students are generally permitted to work part-time at any of Tarleton’s campuses while they are attending Tarleton and maintaining their F-1 status, and their I-20/SEVIS records are valid.

Full-Time Enrollment.  Students must be enrolled full-time while employed.  See “Full-Time Enrollment Requirements” under the Currently Enrolled Students section of Tarleton’s International Policies & Guidelines website for details.

On-Campus Location.  On-campus employment must either be performed on one of Tarleton’s campuses, (including on-location commercial firms which provide services for students on campus, such as the school bookstore or cafeteria), or at an off-campus location that is educationally affiliated with the school.  Employment with on-site commercial firms, such as a construction company building a school building, which does not provide direct student services is not deemed on-campus employment.  In the case of off-campus locations, the educational affiliation must be associated with the school’s established curriculum or related to contractually funded research projects at the post-graduate level.

Part-Time.  Employment must not exceed 20 hours a week while school is in session (i.e., part-time)However, F-1 students may work on campus full time (i.e., more than 20 hours per week) when school is not in session during the school year (e.g., Christmas or spring break).

  • F-1 students who have received special student relief on-campus employment authorization may work more than 20 hours per week while school is in session.  These students will have remarks on their I-20s indicating such.

Summer Employment.  Students whose first or final semester at Tarleton is NOT summer may work full-time during the summer.  However, students whose first or final semester at Tarleton IS summer may only work part-time during their first or final summer semester.

Spring Tarleton Graduates.  F-1 students who complete one program at Tarleton in May and will start another program at Tarleton in the next available summer or fall semester may continue working at their on-campus job IF:

  • They have received a new I-20 for their new program AND
  • They intend to enroll in the next available semester.

Students who have not received their new I-20 yet must stop working on their previous I-20’s end date and may not start working again until they have received their new I-20.

Start Date.  Students who will be in their first semester at Tarleton may not begin working on campus before the first day of their semester of admission, per Employee Services.

Valid Immigration Status.  F-1students with completed or terminated SEVIS records are not eligible to work on campus.  Please email [email protected] or call x9632 if you have any questions about whether your student worker’s immigration status is currently valid.

I-9 Requirements

  • Option 1:
  • Unexpired Foreign Passport,
  • Form I-20, and
  • Form I-94 indicating F-1 nonimmigrant status.  The “Admit Until Date” must show D/S.
  • Option 2:
  • US Driver’s License that contains all the information stated in List B, Item 1;
  • Form I-20; and
  • Form I-94 indicating F-1 nonimmigrant status.  The “Admit Until Date” must show D/S.

The passport/US driver’s license establishes identity.  The I-20 states at which college or university the student may work and for how long they may work, while the I-94 verifies that the student entered the US in F-1 status.

Social Security Number

Students are not required to have a job in order to be given work authorization.  However, once a job is found, the student will have to immediately apply for a social security number, which requires a letter from the employer and a letter from International Programs – Immigration.  Please review the Social Security Number Issuance Guide for Graduate Assistantships for more information if your student worker needs to apply for a social security number.

TAMUS Graduate Assistantship (GA) Health Insurance

If your GA position is benefits-eligible, one of your student’s tasks will be to either opt in to or opt-out of the Graduate Student Employee Health Insurance Plan.

Opting in allows your student to receive a waiver of their student health insurance fee on their Texan Bill Pay.

However, to receive this waiver, your student’s employee insurance must be effective either January 31 for spring enrollees or September 1 for fall enrollees.

To ensure that your student’s insurance takes effect in time for them to receive the fee waiver, your student must complete their insurance onboarding task in Workday within the time frame given to them by Employee Services during their Benefits Orientation.

Not completing the insurance onboarding task in Workday in a timely manner could result in your student being “double covered” and having to pay the student health insurance fee for the first semester of their assistantship.

If your student wants to opt out of the Graduate Student Employee Health Insurance Plan, they must decline the insurance in Workday.  If your student does not decline the insurance, they will be enrolled by default.

Employment Regulations

Please refer to “H-1B Cap-Gap Extensions”  under the Currently Enrolled Students section of Tarleton’s International Policies & Guidelines website for information about eligibility, filing procedures, and working while the H-1B petition is pending.

I-9 Requirements

  • Expired EAD and
  • Form I-797C Notice of Action showing a timely filed Form I-539 application to change to H-1B with a start date of October 1 of the year that the application was filed

F-1 students are generally permitted to work part-time at any of Tarleton’s campuses while they are attending Tarleton and maintaining their F-1 status, and their I-20/SEVIS records are valid.

Employment Regulations

Full-Time Enrollment.  Students must be enrolled full-time while employed.  See “Full-Time Enrollment Requirements” under the Currently Enrolled Students section of Tarleton’s International Policies & Guidelines website for details.

On-Campus Location.  On-campus employment must either be performed on one of Tarleton’s campuses, (including on-location commercial firms which provide services for students on campus, such as the school bookstore or cafeteria) or at an off-campus location that is educationally affiliated with the school.  Employment with on-site commercial firms, such as a construction company that is building a school building, which does not provide direct student services is not deemed on-campus employment.  In the case of off-campus locations, the educational affiliation must be associated with the school’s established curriculum or related to contractually funded research projects at the post-graduate level.

Part-Time.  Employment must not exceed 20 hours a week while school is in session (i.e., part-time)However, F-1 students may work on campus full time (i.e., more than 20 hours per week) when school is not in session during the school year (e.g., Christmas or spring break).

  • F-1 students who have received special student relief on-campus employment authorization may work more than 20 hours per week while school is in session.  These students will have remarks on their I-20s indicating such.

Summer Employment.  Students whose first or final semester at Tarleton is NOT summer may work full-time during the summer.  However, students whose first or final semester at Tarleton IS summer may only work part-time during their first or final summer semester.

Spring Tarleton Graduates.  F-1 students who complete one program at Tarleton in May and will start another program at Tarleton in the next available summer or fall semester may continue working at their on-campus job IF:

  • They have received a new I-20 for their new program AND
  • They intend to enroll in the next available semester.

Students who have not received their new I-20 yet must stop working on their previous I-20’s end date and may not start working again until they have received their new I-20.

Start Date.  Students who will be in their first semester at Tarleton may not begin working on campus before the first day of their semester of admission, per Employee Services.

Valid Immigration Status.  F-1students with completed or terminated SEVIS records are not eligible to work on campus.  Please email [email protected] or call x9632 if you have any questions about whether your student worker’s immigration status is currently valid.

I-9 Requirements

Option 1:

  • Unexpired Foreign Passport,
  • Form I-20, and
  • Form I-94 indicating F-1 nonimmigrant status.  The “Admit Until Date” must show D/S.

Option 2:

  • US Driver’s License that contains all the information stated in List B, Item 1;
  • Form I-20; and
  • Form I-94 indicating F-1 nonimmigrant status.  The “Admit Until Date” must show D/S.

The passport/US driver’s license establishes identity.  The I-20 states at which college or university the student may work and for how long they may work, while the I-94 verifies that the student entered the US in F-1 status.

Social Security Number

Students are not required to have a job in order to be given work authorization.  However, once a job is found, the student will have to immediately apply for a social security number, which requires a letter from the employer and a letter from International Programs – Immigration.  Please review the Social Security Number Issuance Guide for On-Campus Employment for more information if your student worker needs to apply for a social security number.

Employment Regulations

Optional practical training (OPT) is defined in the regulations as “temporary employment for practical training directly related to the student’s major area of study.”  Students may engage in OPT for any employer in any location for the duration of OPT authorization, provided the employment qualifies under OPT standards.  Participating in OPT during one’s studies is called pre-completion OPT while participating after program completion is called post-completion OPT.  Most students choose to do post-completion OPT, especially those with STEM majors.  OPT has a limit of 12 months per educational level.

Tarleton sponsors our F-1 students’ stay in the US, meaning that they DO NOT require employer sponsorship to participate in OPT.

Students apply for and receive employment authorization through United States Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS).  A job offer is not required to apply for post-completion OPT.  However, a student is limited to an aggregate of 90 days of unemployment during post-completion OPT, and any unemployment time counts as part of the 12-month limit.  Once the student gains employment, it is his or her responsibility to submit this information to International Programs – Immigration.  Additionally, all employees must be full-time (i.e., at least 21 hours per week).  Students may begin working once they receive their Employment Authorization Documents (EAD) from USCIS, and the start date that is listed on their EAD has arrived.

I-9 Requirements

  • EAD or
  • I-797 Receipt Notice for replacement EAD (if original EAD never arrived)

Social Security Number

Students are not required to have a job to receive OPT employment authorization.  However, once they find a job, they will need to apply for a social security number.  Please refer to the Social Security Number Issuance Guide for OPT if your employee needs to apply for a social security number.

Employment Regulations

F-1 students in certain STEM majors are eligible to apply for an additional 24 months of OPT employment authorization, known as STEM OPT.  Although STEM OPT DOES NOT require employer sponsorship, STEM OPT employers do have some training obligations.

Students on STEM OPT have reporting requirements that did not have while on post-completion OPT – some of which require employer participation.  International Programs – Immigration strongly encourages potential STEM OPT employers to review the following websites for additional information about their requirements and responsibilities: Study in the States: STEM OPT Extension Overview and USCIS: Optional Practical Training for STEM Students (STEM OPT).

Students must have a job offer to apply for STEM OPT.  To qualify for STEM OPT, the employer must meet the following requirements:

  • The employer must be registered with E-Verify.
  • Employment must be full-time (i.e., at least 21 hours per week).
  • Employees must receive compensation.
  • Employment must include a true employer-employee relationship.  Staffing and temporary agencies may hire students on STEM OPT.  However, the agency must be the entity that provides the practical training experience to the student at its place of business.  It CAN NOT outsource the student’s training to a third-party client.
  • Employment is not volunteer work or self-employment.
  • Employment must be directly related to the STEM degree field upon which the application for work authorization was based.
  • Students may work for multiple employers while on STEM OPT.  However, each employer and employment opportunity must meet ALL the above-mentioned requirements.

Working While STEM OPT Application Is Pending

Per federal regulation 8 CFR 214.2(f)(11)(i)(C), students who have timely filed their Form I-765 Application for Employment Authorization with USCIS to apply for STEM OPT will automatically receive a 180-day extension of their post-completion OPT work authorization.  They may continue to work while their Form I-765 is pending, even if their EAD expires.  Timely filing means that the student has filed their Form I-765 within the 90-day window before their post-completion OPT expires AND within the 60-day window after their DSO recommends them for STEM OPT in SEVIS.

Form I-983

While on STEM OPT, students and their employers must maintain an up-to-date Form I-983 Training Plan.  USCIS has provided employers with instructions explaining how to accurately complete this form.  Each employer requires a separate Form I-983.

Initial Submission.  As part of the STEM OPT application process, students must submit Form I-983 to International Programs – Immigration before their DSO enters their recommendation in SEVIS.  This initial submission requires that the students and their employers fill out and sign pages 1-4 of Form I-983.

12-Month Check-In.  F-1 students are required to check in with their DSO once they complete 12 months of STEM OPT training.  As part of their required check-in, students must complete a self-evaluation and submit it to their DSO.  The self-evaluation is on page 5 of their Form I-983 and requires them to obtain their supervisor’s signature.

24-Month (or Final) Check-In.  F-1 students are required to check in with their DSO once they complete 24 months of STEM OPT training.  As part of their required check-in, students must complete a final self-evaluation and submit it to their DSO.  The final self-evaluation is on page 5 of their Form I-983 and requires them to obtain their supervisor’s signature.

This final self-evaluation is also required of students whose employment ends prematurely due to a job change, layoff, or termination.

Making Substantial Changes to the I-983 After Employment Has Begun.  If there are any significant changes to a student’s employment, the student and their employer must complete a new Form I-983 and submit it to International Programs – Immigration.  Changes that require submitting an updated Form I-983 include (but are not limited to):

  • Any change of Employer Identification Number resulting from a corporate restructuring.
  • Any reduction in compensation from the amount previously stated on Form I-983 is not tied to a reduction in hours worked.
  • Any significant decrease in the number of hours per week in which the student engages in a STEM training opportunity.

I-9 Requirements

Option 1:

  • Unexpired EAD

Option 2:

  • Expired EAD (must be less than 180 days since the EAD expired) and
  • Form I-20 with DSO’s employment authorization for STEM Extension

Contact Immigration

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 254-968-9632