International Students Employment Topics
If you are an F-1 student, you are eligible to work part-time (20 hours or less per week), on-campus as long as you meet the following eligibility criteria:
- You must be a full-time student (enrolled in 12 or more credit hours).
- You must have a valid, activated SEVIS Form I-20 from Scottsdale Community College.
- You must have a valid, unexpired passport.
- You must have an I-94 card that is marked "F-1 D/S."
- You have obtained a Social Security Card (contact International Student Services for more information for more information).
If you are a new student, it is recommended that you do not have a job during your first semester so that you may focus on your studies and get accustomed to the American educational system and culture. Please note that there are limited jobs available on campus, generally in the library, cafeteria, or campus public safety office. The pay is usually about $10.75 per hour. To find a job, it is your responsibility to check with the individual departments, or in the Academic & Career Advisement Center where most departments post their job openings.
You may NOT engage in on-campus employment if any of the following applies:
- You are not registered as a full-time student (or, if working during the summer term, you have not registered for the upcoming fall semester)
- You have graduated and have not applied to begin a new program at SCC in the next available term.
- You do not have valid documents as listed above.
F-1 Economic Hardship work permission is a type of employment authorization for F-1 students who have suffered severe economic hardship due to unforeseen and unexpected economic problems. Below are a few of the eligibility criteria that students must meet to be possibly eligible to apply for work authorization due to severe economic hardship. For additional information and to see if you may be eligible to apply for this type of employment authorization, please make an appointment to see your International Student Advisor.
- You must receive authorization from the USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) before you can work!
- You must have been a full-time student at SCC for at least one full academic year.
- You have maintain lawful F-1 status for one full year.
- You must be able to document in detail that the circumstances which led to your economic situation were unexpected and beyond your control. Examples include evidence of unexpected currency fluctuations, or the unexpected loss of employment, or unexpected medical expenses incurred by you or your financial sponsor.
- You must be capable of continuing full-time studies and maintaining F-1 status while engaged in Economic Hardship work permission.
- You do NOT need a job offer to apply for Economic Need work permission.
Curricular Practical Training (CPT) allows you to accept paid, off-campus employment for an internship if that internship is a required course for your degree program. The internship course must be an integral part of the curriculum of your degree program.
- Internship: the employment is a mandatory part of a course that you are taking for degree credit. The course may be an elective, but the credit must count toward your degree.
- Practicum: this is a non-credit employment or fieldwork experience that your department requires of all degree candidates in your program.
CPT is available only if one of these categories is included in the curriculum of your degree program. As every program has different academic requirements, not every student at SCC will be eligible for CPT.
In order to qualify for Curricular Practical Training, you must meet the following criteria:
- You must have been a full-time student at SCC for at least one full academic year, and be in lawful F-1 status.
- You must be making normal progress toward degree completion, be in good academic standing, and otherwise maintaining F-1 status while engaged in CPT.
Please make an appointment to see your International Student Advisor if you think you may be eligible to apply for this type of employment authorization.
Optional Practical Training allows F-1 students to accept paid, professional-level employment that is directly related to their field of studies. You must receive authorization from the USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) before you can work!
At SCC, please set up a time to meet with your International Student Advisor for more information and to determine if you meet the eligibility criteria for Pre or Post Completion OPT.
Eligibility Criteria for Post-Completion OPT
- You must have been a full-time student at SCC for at least one academic year before you can engage in OPT.
- You must have graduated with your Associate Degree.
- You must currently be in lawful F-1 status.
- You must be in good academic standing at the time of application, and you must have made normal, full-time progress toward degree completion.
- You must not have used more than 12 months of pre-completion OPT in the past at your current degree level.
- You must not have been authorized for more than 12 months of full-time Curricular Practical Training.
- You do NOT need to have a job offer in order to apply for OPT, although once you are approved for OPT, the time is deducted from your 12 months regardless of whether you actually work.
- Your OPT job must be in your field of study as indicated on your SEVIS I-20.
IMPORTANT: YOU MUST APPLY FOR POST-COMPLETION OPT NO LATER THAN THREE WEEKS BEFORE YOU COMPLETE YOUR DEGREE REQUIREMENTS, TO ALLOW FOR ADEQUATE PROCESSING TIME.
- If you have been a full-time student in F-1 status for MORE than one academic year, you may apply for post-completion OPT up to 120 days before your desired OPT beginning date, although you must apply before you complete your degree requirements.
- If you have been a full-time student in F-1 status for LESS than one academic year, you may apply for post-completion OPT up to 90 days before the date that you will have completed one academic year. However, your application cannot be submitted any earlier than 120 days before your desired OPT beginning date. You must also apply for post-completion OPT before you complete your degree requirements, and you cannot begin your OPT period until you have completed one full academic year of study.
OPT requires an application to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The USCIS may take several months to process an application for OPT. Please plan accordingly - we recommend that you apply as early as possible.
Reminder: Do NOT accept any type of employment until you have been approved by your International Student Advisor AND received the appropriate authorization from the US federal government. Working illegally and without authorization is grounds for deportation!