International OPT/CPT


  • On a student visa (F-1), you are entitled to work on campus up to 20 hours per week in the fall and spring semesters. However, you may work full time on campus during the summer, winter and spring breaks. If you choose to work during the summer months, you must be registered for classes in the following fall semester.
  • You must possess a valid passport, I-94, I-20, and social security card.
  • You may work on campus as long as you are enrolled full time at Woodbury University.
  • Once you find an on-campus employer, you and your employer must fill out the Campus
  • Employer Verification Form to start your Social Security number application process.
  • There are no residency requirements for on campus employment!


 On-campus employment options include
  1. Employment with Woodbury University (Examples: teaching assistant, research assistant, library student worker, etc.)
  2. Work performed at a campus location for a commercial firm providing direct services to students.
  3. Employment at an off-campus location that is educationally affiliated with Woodbury. The educational affiliation must be associated with your academic department’s established curriculum or related to contractually funded projects at the postgraduate level, and must be an integral part of your educational program.


Off-campus work permission prior to graduation may be granted under the following conditions:
  1. The student has maintained legal F-1 visa status for at least nine (9) months.
  2. The student wishes to complete a required internship.
  3. The student experiences severe unexpected financial hardship.

CPT Definition

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) defines Curricular Practical Training (CPT) as a
training program that is an integral part of an established curriculum…Such as alternate work/study, internship, cooperative education, or any other type of required internship or practicum which is offered by sponsoring employers through cooperative agreements with the school  (Manual Section
For example, if your major is Architecture, your program requires structured work experience. This work experience or internship is also included in the course catalog under major requirements. You will see that many other majors at Woodbury require an internship or curricular practical training.
CPT Requirements
  1. YOUR CPT MUST RELATE TO YOUR STUDIES! For example, if you are
  2. an Architecture major, you cannot work as a fashion designer, or vice versa.
  3. You must have completed nine (9) academic months in your current degree level.
  4. You must be in legal F-1 status.
  5. A formal job offer is required.

• If your major requires such experience, you should meet with your faculty advisor to discuss internship options.

• Once you establish who your CPT employer will be, you and your academic/faculty advisor must fill out the CPT Eligibility Form to start your Social Security number application process.

• Next, you should make an appointment to see the Office of Student Development’s International Student Advisor. Be sure to bring your program description detailing your employment contract approved by your department. CPT may be used at the part-time rate (20 hours or less a week) during the fall and spring semesters, and full-time (40 hours a week) during the summer, winter holiday and spring break. 


OPT provides international students with an opportunity to gain real-world practical training in their field of study after graduation. You may work up to 20 hours per week during the spring and fall semesters and full-time during vacation periods before completing your program (pre-completion OPT).You may also work full time if you have completed your program of study (post completion OPT).
OPT Requirements
• In order to qualify for Optional Practical Training (OPT) authorization, you must be in
lawful F-1 status for one full academic year (nine consecutive months).
• You must be in good academic standing.
• The employment opportunity must be directly related to your field of study.
Applying for OPT
You must apply for practical training authorization between 90 days prior to your program end date at the earliest and 60 days after your program end date at the latest.
•OPT is valid for a total of 12 months. There is a processing fee payable to the Department of Homeland Security
of $380.
• Animation and Media Technology majors have the opportunity to sign up for the 24-month
STEM extension in addition to their standard 12 months of OPT.
• Meet with your International Student Advisor to go over required documents for OPT.
• For exact requirements, please click here: OPT Requirements and Endorsement Form
• Schedule an appointment with your faculty advisor to complete the endorsement form and
authorize OPT.
•If approved, you will receive an EAD (Employment Authorization
Document) card, which should be presented to your employer at the time of hire.
You must obtain your EAD in order to begin working!! If you are interested in applying for OPT, you should schedule an appointment with an International Student Advisor for assistance. Be sure to bring your I-20, passport, and other documentation.
• Normal processing time is THREE MONTHS for OPT! Start applying early!
•Please take a look at an immigration attorney’s presentation on OPT & H1-B: Life after OPT 


Woodbury University requires all nonimmigrant F-1 international students to obtain a Social Security number to
work on and off campus for paid positions. Social Security numbers are used to report your wages to the government and to determine eligibility for Social Security benefits. The local Social Security office will not assign you a number just to enroll in a college or school. 
Woodbury’s International Student Advisor can tell you if you are eligible
to work on campus. Also, Woodbury may approve certain limited off-campus employment, as
permitted under Department of Homeland Security regulations. If you are authorized to work eithe
r on or off campus by Woodbury’s designated school official (DSO) and you meet Social Security’s eligibility requirements described in the next section, you can get a Social Security number.
To prove your immigration status, you must show the current U.S immigration document I-94 (Arrival/Departure Record) issued to you when you arrived in the United States. If you are an F-1student, you also must show your I-20(Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status).
If you are an F-1 student and eligible to work on campus, you must provide a letter from Woodbury’s International Student Advisor that identifies the employer and the type of work you will be doing. Also, please show evidence of that employment, such as a letter from your employer. The International Student Advisor will provide you with a specific format for the letter. Your supervisor must sign and date the letter and include the following:
  • Your job
  • Your employment start date
  • The number of hours you are or will be working
  • Contacting the Social Security Office
  • Your supervisor’s name and telephone number
If you are an F-1 student authorized to work in Curricular Practical Training, you must provide your Form I-20 with the employment page (page 3) completed and signed by Woodbury’s International Student Advisor. If you are an F-1 student and are authorized to work off campus, you must provide us with the Employment Authorization Document (EAD card) you received in the mail.
3. AGE
You must present your birth certificate if you have it or can easily obtain it. If not, we can consider other documents such as your passport.
We can accept only certain documents as proof of identity. An acceptable document must be current (not expired) and show your name, identifying information and preferably a recent photograph. Social Security will ask to see your current U.S. immigration documents. Acceptable immigration documents include your:
  • I-20
  • I-94
  • Passport
  • Work permit card (EAD card)
All documents must be either originals or copies certified by the issuing agency.
Photocopies or notarized copies of documents will NOT be accepted.
Receipts showing that you applied for the document will also NOT be accepted.
Students must provide at least two separate documents
Do I Need a Social Security Number Before I Start Working?
We do not require you to have a Social Security number before you start work. However, the Internal Revenue Service requires employers to report wages using a Social Security number. While you wait for your social Security number, your employer can use a letter from us stating that you applied for a number. Your employer may use your immigration documents as proof of your authorization to work in the United States. Employers can find more
information on the Internet at socialsecurity.gov/employer/hiring.htm.
How do I apply for a Social Security number?
2. Bring original documents proving the following information for you  (read more detail listed above):
  • IMMIGRATION STATUS (I-20 and I-94)
  • WORK ELIGIBILITY (certificate letters from the university)
  • AGE (passport and visa)
  • IDENTITY (passport and visa)

3. Take your completed application and original documents to your local Social Security office:

1420 S. Olive Ave.,
Burbank, CA 91506
1(800) 772-1213
(For the deaf or hard of hearing, call TTY number 1 (800) 325-0778 )
Monday through Friday: 9 a.m.–4 p.m. (except Wednesdays: 9 a.m.–12 p.m.)
Automated phone service 24 hours a day
All calls are confidential and may be monitored for quality control.
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