International students seeking employment, either on-campus or off-campus, must follow both University and Federal regulations governing international student employment. For additional information on any of the topics below, please see the corresponding sections of our website and the employment section of the Forms page.
Do not participate in any type of off-campus employment unless authorized by the Office of International Services (OIS) and/or the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
As an F-1 or J-1 student, you may be eligible to engage in a temporary internship or off-campus employment to gain practical experience in your field of study, before or after the completion of your studies. If you are interested in off-campus employment, you should plan to attend an employment information session or make an appointment with an international student advisor before accepting an employment offer.
F-1 students who would like to complete an internship may be authorized for Curricular Practical Training (CPT) by OIS. To learn more about CPT, please complete the free CPT workshop available in Canvas prior to applying for CPT.
F-1 students who would like to gain practical work experience in their field of study, generally following the completion of their program, may be authorized for Optional Practical Training (OPT) by USCIS. To learn more about OPT, please sign up for a free OPT workshop or complete the online module in Canvas prior to applying for OPT.
J-1 students who would like to complete an internship or gain practical work experience in their field of study, either before or after the completion of their program, may be authorized for Academic Training by their program sponsor. To learn more about Academic Training, please make an appointment with an international student advisor by calling our office at (541) 737-6310.
J-2 visa holders (dependents of J-1s) are eligible to apply for employment authorization from US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
F-1 and J-1 students may be eligible to apply for off-campus employment authorization based on “unforeseen economic necessity” and financial hardship that arose after enrolling at Oregon State University. If you think you qualify, please make an appointment with an international student advisor to discuss your situation.
Many students may wish to participate in an unpaid or volunteer opportunity. Typically, even unpaid positions require authorization due to the broad definition of “employment” used by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The US Department of Labor provides guidance on whether a position can truly be considered a volunteer opportunity and thus not require authorization, however, please speak to an International Student Advisor before deciding to engage in ANY opportunity, paid or unpaid, for additional guidance.
F-1 and J-1 students must have a job offer (or an employment authorization document) and a letter of support from OIS in order to apply for a Social Security Number. International students applying for an original, replacement, or corrected social security card must apply in person at the Social Security office. The closest Social Security office is in Albany, Oregon, a city located 12 miles east of Corvallis.
The application for a social security number is available online or at the Social Security office. Upon submitting the application, be sure to request a receipt as it can take 4-8 weeks to receive your social security card by mail. The receipt will be helpful as you sign up with OSU payroll.