Employment Regulations



Employment based on economic hardship
F-1 visa students encountering financial difficulties due to unforeseen circumstances may be eligible to apply for a part-time, off-campus work permit. Students must be able to clearly demonstrate a financial hardship exists and arose as a result of unforeseen circumstances. In addition, applicants for this work permit must have been in F-1 status for at least one academic year, be in good academic standing, and be able to demonstrate that the employment will not negatively impact their academic performance. Applications for economic hardship are submitted to the USCIS and processing takes an average of 3 months. Should you meet these conditions and wish to pursue an application for this work permit, contact your IPGE advisor for more information.

Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
During their studies, F-1 visa international students enrolled in an internship, practicum, or cooperative education program at Sacramento State (and receiving academic credit for the experience) may be permitted to accept off-campus employment.

In order to be eligible to apply for a curricular practical training permit, a Sacramento State F-1 visa student must have been in status as a full-time F-1 visa student for a minimum of one academic year and must be receiving academic credit for a university supervised internship, practicum or cooperative education program.
Curricular practical training may be part-time (up to 20 hours /week) or full-time, depending on the requirements of the internship or coop. Students who participate more than twelve months of full-time curricular practical training, however, will not be able to participate in optional practical training.

Application procedures for Curricular Practical Training are as follows:

  1. Locate a suitable internship position.
  2. Receive departmental approval for the internship.
  3. Register for an internship, practicum, or coop through your school/major department or the co-op program at the Career Center. You will be issued a written contract when you finalize these arrangements.
  4. Bring a copy of your internship, practicum, or coop contract to your international student advisor at the IPGE.

The international student advisor will review your application package, verify departmental approval, and issue a new SEVIS I-20 for curricular practical training so that you may begin your training experience.

Pre-Completion Optional Practical Training
Although most students seeking opportunities off-campus during their studies apply for Curricular Practical Training (see above), F-1 visa students may undergo periods of optional practical training prior to graduation. Optional practical training is limited to a total of 12 months. Part-time (20 hours or less) pre-completion optional practical training before graduation is deducted from the available 12 months at the full-time rate. Time used for Pre-Completion OPT counts against your period of Post-Completion OPT, thereby reducing your one year of Post-completion OPT. Students must have maintained F-1 status for one academic year before being allowed to apply. Please see your IPGE advisor for additional information