Employment & Taxes
International Students are permitted to work on campus up to 20 hours per week during the academic year and full time (40 hours per week) during a vacation semester and during breaks between semesters. Students must maintain legal status as set forth in USCIS regulations in order to be eligible for on campus work. Make sure to check with the International Student Services office before seeking employment.
Keep up your full-time student status and make sure your I-20 does not expire. The Human Resources Department will check on your status several times a year; if you are not maintaining full-time student status, your employer will terminate your employment.
Curricular Practical Training
Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is temporary authorization for practical training directly related to your major field of study. Your major field of study is listed on your I-20.
“Practical training” can include employment, internship experience (paid or unpaid), cooperative (co-op) education experience, etc. CPT is authorized by the ISS office in accordance with the F-1 regulations. You can apply for CPT during the regular academic year (you must remain registered full-time) and during your annual vacation quarter.
CPT may be part-time (20 hours per week or less) or full-time (more than 20 hours per week). If you accumulate 12 months (365 or more days) of full-time CPT authorization, you lose your eligibility for Optional Practical Training (OPT), another type of employment authorization for F-1 students. Part-time CPT and fewer than 12 months of full-time CPT authorization does not affect your OPT eligibility.
You may be eligible for CPT if you:
- Are currently in valid F-1 status.
- Have been enrolled at a college or university in the U.S. on a full-time basis for at least one full academic year.(“One academic year” at DSU is defined as two full-time consecutive semesters. )
- Are in a major (Premajor students, who are not yet admitted into a major, are not eligible for CPT. CPT cannot be authorized based on a minor or certificate program).
Optional Practical Training
OPT authorization that begins after completion of your academic program is called “post-completion” OPT. This is the most common type of OPT. Post-completion OPT is full-time, and it can begin:
- after you complete your degree or educational level (Associates or Bachelors but it needs to be stated on your I-20)
* You must apply for OPT based on your last registered semester.
U.S. tax laws can be complex and confusing–we all get headaches during tax season–and the laws that apply to internationals are not the same as those that apply to U.S. citizens. This page is meant to be a general introduction. We in ISS are not tax professionals, so this cannot be considered legal tax advice. You are advised to review the information from the IRS specifically addressed to foreign students and scholars.
Moreover, Free Tax Preparation services for Federal and State Tax Returns is sponsored by Dixie State University, the IRS’ volunteer income tax assistance program, and the Five-County Association of Governments every year from February 3 till March 5. For more information go to the DSU Vita page.