Student Employment

Students on F-1 or J-1 visas have the opportunity to engage in on-campus work or off-campus practical training opportunities. However, the appropriate work authorization must be obtained before starting to work. Students on visas other than F-1 or J-1 should consult an OISS advisor to learn about eligibility for employment authorization. Regardless of visa status, if you work even one day without authorization, you must leave the U.S. or face deportation.

Student Work On-Campus

On-campus work is defined as employment that is physically located at Rice and officially paid by Rice. For example, students are eligible to work at Rice Coffeehouse, Fondren Library, or as a research assistant in their academic department.

Note for PhD students: as a condition of your fellowship, you’re likely required to perform departmental service in the form of RA or TA positions. These would not be considered "work" for the purposes of immigration. But any additional RA or TA positions beyond the departmental service likely would.

F-1 Students

On-campus work is limited to part-time (20 hours or less per week) during the fall and spring semesters when school is in session. It may be full-time (more than 20 hours per week) during the summer and official school breaks. Click here to find available on-campus jobs. Remember to complete proper paperwork with HR and Payroll before starting any on-campus employment (see section "Important Steps for On-campus Work" below).

On-campus work does not require special authorization as long as you maintain your valid status.

Important Note: Weekly work hours cannot be averaged. For example, if you work 5 hours this week, you still cannot work 25 hours next week. Anything over 20 hours of work in any week will jeopardize your status.

J-1 Students

On-campus work is limited to part-time (20 hours or less per week) during the fall and spring semesters when school is in session. It may be full-time (more than 20 hours per week) during the summer and official school breaks. Click here to find available on-campus jobs. Remember to complete proper paperwork with HR and Payroll before starting any on-campus employment (see section "Important Steps for On-campus Work" below).

On-campus work does require prior authorization from an OISS advisor. Click here for the J-1 Student On-Campus Employment Authorization Form. Please call to set up an appointment with an OISS advisor if you have any questions.

Important Note: Weekly work hours cannot be averaged. For example, if you work 5 hours this week, you still cannot work 25 hours next week. Anything over 20 hours of work in any week will jeopardize your status.

Important Steps for On-campus Work

There are several important steps to be completed when starting on-campus employment at Rice:

1) Complete your I-9 with HR. The I-9 is used to verify the identity and employment authorization of all individuals hired for employment in the United States. It must be completed before or on your first day of work, and you will need to visit HR in person to do so. Check with your hiring department/office to confirm the appropriate time for completing your I-9. To learn more, please see https://www.uscis.gov/i-9.

2) Apply for Social Security Number. If you do not yet have a U.S. Social Security Number, you can apply for one based on your on-campus employment. Please see https://oiss.rice.edu/ssn for detailed instructions.

3) Set up FNIS account with Payroll. Visit Payroll to set up your Foreign National Information System (FNIS) account. This information enables the Payroll Office to determine your tax status and comply with U.S. withholding and reporting requirements. Payroll can also assist you with setting up your direct deposit in iO to receive your paychecks.

4) Update SSN information. If you did not have your U.S. Social Security Number at the time of completing the I-9, you must update it as soon as you receive the SSN. Visit HR in person, or email people@rice.edu for a link to update the information virtually. Please make sure to also update your SSN in your FNIS account.

5) File your taxes. For more information and resources, please see https://oiss.rice.edu/tax.

6) Do not work outside of permitted dates! Your eligibility for on-campus employment ends when you complete your degree.
For J-1 students, check with OISS to confirm your last date of on-campus work authorization.
For F-1 students, your on-campus eligibility will end on the Commencement or degree conferral date of your final registered semester (i.e., Saturday of May Commencement, August 31st, or December 30th). Even if your I-20 originally had a later end date, it will be shortened based on your graduation. Therefore you need to make sure to finish your on-campus employment before the Commencement/degree conferral date. If you receive a shortened I-20 from OISS during your studies, make sure to visit HR immediately to update your I-9 accordingly.

Student Work Off-Campus

F-1 Students

There are two types of off-campus work authorizations available for F-1 students: Curricular Practical Training (CPT) and Optional Practical Training (OPT). OPT is available Pre-Completion and Post-Completion, i.e., during your degree program or after completing your degree program.

F-1 Student Employment Authorization Comparison Chart

CPT
https://oiss.rice.edu/cpt

Pre-Completion OPT
https://oiss.rice.edu/precompletionOPT

Post-Completion OPT
https://oiss.rice.edu/opt

Authorization for off-campus internship/training/research, which is required for, or an integral part of, an F-1 student's major field(s) of study during their program.

Authorization for internship/training/research, which is related to an F-1 student's major field(s) of study during their program.

Authorization for internship/training/research, which is related to an F-1 student's major field(s) of study after their program completion.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Full-time enrollment in lawful status at SEVIS-approved school for at least one academic year.
  • Must be an integral part of an established curriculum.
  • Available only before student completes their degree program.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Full-time enrollment in lawful status at SEVIS-approved school for at least one academic year.
  • Must be directly related to major field(s) of study.
  • Available only before student completes their degree program.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Full-time enrollment in lawful status at SEVIS-approved school for at least one academic year.
  • Must be directly related to major field(s) of study.
  • Available only after student completes their degree program.

Job offer letter required as part of the application process.

Job offer not required for application process.

Job offer not required for application process.

Authorized on a per-semester basis based on specific internship/training. 12 months of full-time CPT will make you ineligible for OPT.

Available for 12 months maximum for all OPT.

Available for 12 months maximum for all OPT.

Part-time (up to 20 hours/week) only during the semester.

Full-time (over 20 hours/week) may be authorized over the summer & winter breaks.

Part-time (20 hours/week or fewer) only during the semester.

Full-time (over 20 hours/week) may be authorized over the summer & winter breaks.

Full-time (over 20 hours/week).

May combine multiple part-time jobs to reach minimum hours/week requirement.

CPT I-20 issued by OISS.

OPT I-20 issued by OISS.
EAD issued by USCIS.

OPT I-20 issued by OISS.
EAD issued by USCIS.

No application fee.

See https://www.uscis.gov/i-765 for current USCIS application fee.

See https://www.uscis.gov/i-765 for current USCIS application fee.

Processing time is 1 week.

Processing time is 1 week at OISS, ~90 days at USCIS.

Processing time is 1 week at OISS, ~90 days at USCIS.

Learn more at https://oiss.rice.edu/cpt.

Learn more at https://oiss.rice.edu/precompletionOPT.

Learn more at https://oiss.rice.edu/opt.

J-1 Students

J-1 Academic training (AT) is a type of work authorization available to J-1 academic students for training related to a student's field of study. The type of training will depend on field of study. Student eligible for academic training must be in good standing in their program and must be "primarily in the United States to study rather than engage in academic training." The AT must by authorized by the program sponsor (the institution issuing the DS-2019) prior to the start of the AT.

To learn more about Academic Training, please visit https://oiss.rice.edu/AT.

Owl Edge Externship Program

Rice University’s Center for Career Development (CCD) organizes the Owl Edge Externship program, a job shadowing experience that allows students to observe and learn from industry professionals.

This program is available to international students, and does not require work authorization; however, F-1 and J-1 students cannot render services! Students in visa status other than F-1 or J-1 should contact an OISS advisor to discuss their situation.

Participation in this externship program allows you to:
• Shadow a professional
• Attend meetings
• Observe day-to-day operations
• Take part in projects designated as learning opportunities specifically for externship participants

Anything in addition to these activities would require a work authorization such as CPT or Academic Training.

If you have questions about the specifics of your externship, please contact OISS (oiss@rice.edu) to discuss.


CPT/OPT Workshops for Spring 2023

Before attending a workshop, students are strongly encouraged to complete the CPT and/or OPT Tutorial Canvas Course. Links to the Tutorials are posted on the respective info pages:
CPT: https://oiss.rice.edu/cpt
OPT: https://oiss.rice.edu/opt

Zoom Workshops

Zoom Meeting ID: 913 6529 0156 | Passcode: F1work
01/04/2023 (Wednesday): 4-5PM
01/10/2023 (Tuesday): 11AM-12PM
01/18/2023 (Wednesday): 11AM-12PM
01/31/2023 (Tuesday): 4-5PM
02/03/2023 (Friday): 11AM-12PM
02/22/2023 (Wednesday): 1-2PM
03/09/2023 (Thursday): 1-2PM
03/29/2023 (Wednesday): 10-11AM
04/27/2023 (Thursday): 2-3PM

In-Person Snackchats

Brochstein Plaza outside of Sewall Hall & Lovett Hall
01/26/2023 (Thursday): 12-1PM
04/13/2023 (Thursday): 12-1PM

J-1 Academic Training Workshop for Spring 2023

We will discuss the basics of applying for off-campus work authorization for J-1 students. Before attending this workshops, students are encouraged to read the Academic Training Info Page at https://oiss.rice.edu/AT.

Zoom Workshop

01/11/2023 (Wednesday): 4:30-5PM
Join Zoom meeting: https://riceuniversity.zoom.us/j/94580248949?pwd=bHlmMG5UeHU1ek9GRkNPZzZKaEZrUT09
Zoom Meeting ID: 913 6529 0156 | Passcode: F1work

In-Person Workshop

03/07/2023 (Tuesday): 4-5PM
Brochstein Plaza outside of Sewall Hall & Lovett Hall


Additional Resources

Social Security Numbers

Please visit https://oiss.rice.edu/ssn to learn more about applying for SSN.

Taxes

Please visit https://oiss.rice.edu/tax.

Volunteering vs. Unpaid Work

Please visit https://oiss.rice.edu/volunteering.

Employer Responsibilities When Hiring Foreign Workers

Please visit http://www.ssa.gov/employer/hiring.htm.

Rice University Center for Career Development

Please visit http://ccd.rice.edu/.

Emergency Funding

Please visit https://oiss.rice.edu/emergency.

Reporting Requirements During OPT

While on F-1 OPT, students are required to report any changes of address, employer, or unemployment information through their SEVP Student Portal, and any changes in their status, or departure from the U.S. to OISS. For more information, please see https://oiss.rice.edu/OPTcompliance.

For more information and Frequently Asked Questions about the SEVP Student Portal, please visit https://oiss.rice.edu/sevpportal.

STEM OPT Extension Eligibility

A list of majors that currently qualify as a STEM major is available at https://studyinthestates.dhs.gov/stem-opt-hub/additional-resources/eligible-cip-codes-for-the-stem-opt-extension

To confirm if your major is eligible for the STEM OPT extension, please refer to the 6-digit CIP code for your major (format xx.xxxx) that is listed on the first page of your I-20 in the Program of Study section. If the CIP code on your I-20 is included on the DHS STEM Designated Degree Program List, it is eligible for the STEM OPT extension.

If you would like to check if a different program at Rice qualifies for the STEM OPT extension, you can find the assigned CIP code in the General Announcements: https://ga.rice.edu/programs-study/. Select the program you are interested in, and click on Codes at the top of the page to see the CIP code for each major.

Screenshot from Rice's General Announcements, Programs of Study section, showing tab options for Overview, Undergraduate, Graduate, Faculty, Courses, and Codes.