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International students wishing to study at U.S. colleges and universities may be eligible for F-1 visas. 

  • Students work directly through U.S. post-secondary institutions and students obtain the visas through consular interviews at U.S. embassy or consulate abroad.  
  • During their course of study, F-1 students may be eligible for internship with a U.S. employer, and will work with their Designated School Official at their university to obtain permission. 
  • F-1 students are eligible to work during the summers and vacations and part time after completing a school year of full time study with permission from the Designated School Official. 
  • After graduation, F-1 students are eligible for up to one year of practical training work authorization.
    • They must work with their Designated Student Official and apply for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD before graduation.
    • STEM degree holders may be eligible for another 17 months of F-1 work authorization if they work for an employer who participates in E-Verify.


Employers may use the F-1 student’s EAD to complete an I-9 employment verification form.  A government receipt notice showing that an EAD card is in process is not sufficient.   Employers may use a student’s properly endorsed I-20 Form from a Designated School Official for an internship.

  • Employers must remember to re-verify the I-9 before the EAD will expire.
  • Employers should be mindful if they want to hire the F-1 holder on a longer term basis, and consider options and timing such as the H-1B visa.
  • Employers who participate in E-Verify may allow a STEM degree holder to obtain a 17 month extension of OPT.

F-1 FAQs

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