information about f-1 students

what is f-1 status?

The F-1 status is a type of non-immigrant student status that allows international students to pursue education (academic studies and/or language training programs) in the United States. The immigration document for this type of status is called the I-20. The majority of international students at the University of Illinois hold this type of status.

F-1 students must show that they are able to support themselves during their stay in the U.S., as their opportunities for legal employment are quite limited. F-1 students may fund their education entirely on their own with personal or family funds, or may hold an assistantship, fellowship or some other kind of scholarship. The dependents of an F-1 visa holder are F-2s. F-2 visa-holders are prohibited from any form of employment or from studying in an institution of higher education. However, minor children on the F-2 visa may attend public schools.

On-campus Work Authorization

F-1 Employment

cpt for f-1 students

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) may be approved to allow students to work temporarily off-campus during their degree program. In most cases, CPT requires course registration during the semester the student is doing the CPT. Academic advisors must fill out the CPT form in order for students to apply for CPT.

OPT for f-1 students

Optional Practical Training (OPT) is a benefit of the F-1 status. Students who have been in valid F-1 status for at least two semesters (not including the summer) are eligible for 12 months of OPT after each degree they complete. For example, 12 months after Bachelor’s, 12 months after Master’s, etc. However, if the OPT is not used at that level, it is lost and does not carry over to the next degree.

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