All international students are eligible for on-campus employment at UWM for 20 hours per week during the Fall and Spring semesters and 40 hours per week during Winter and Summer breaks. On-campus employment is a benefit of F-1 and J-1 student status and requires no special authorization.
In order to work on campus, you must have a social security number. To apply for a social security number you must already have a job offer. Visit CIE (Garland 138) for information on applying for a social security card.
Curricular Practical Training
Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is authorization for employment that is required as part of UWM studies for F-1 students. CPT is work that is integral to your program of study. CPT eligibility depends on your individual situation and program of study. Meeting with a Immigration Coordinator is the best way to learn more. CPT may be authorized by CIE after recommendation by your faculty or academic advisor and a review by the CPT review committee.
The CPT application is here. Please turn in the completed paperwork at least two weeks prior to your projected start date to get your paperwork approved and the new I-20 issued.
Optional Practical Training
Optional Practical Training (OPT) is authorization for employment in your field of study either before or after completion of a degree. Most F-1 students do post-completion OPT after graduation. Post-completion OPT is 12 months of employment authorization. Students apply directly to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for OPT. During OPT, students are required by law to report information about their employment, contact information, and location to CIE and DHS.
Optional Practical Training STEM Extension
Some students are eligible to apply for an 18 month extension during their original 12 months of OPT. Students who have earned degrees in certain Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics fields *and* who are employed by companies that are registered with the USCIS e-verify program may be eligible for the extension. Students apply directly to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for the STEM extension of OPT. During OPT, students are required by law to report information about their employment, contact information, and location to CIE and DHS. The OPT STEM Extension form is here.
J-1 students are eligible for employment authorization called Academic Training. Academic Training is authorized by CIE and the duration of eligibility varies by your J-1 category and length of your program of studies. Meet with an Immigration Coordinator to learn more.
Economic Hardship is part-time off-campus employment authorization granted by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for F-1 students facing unforeseen economic hardship. You must have been in F-1 status for one year to be eligible to apply. Meet with an Immigration Coordinator to learn more.
Questions About Employment?
CIE’s International Student Immigration Coordinators are happy to talk with you about your employment authorization questions. Advising is available by appointment Monday-Thursday from 10am-12pm & 2-4pm in Garland 138. You can call 414-229-4846 to make an appointment.