F-1 Employment with an International Organization

This F-1 employment benefit allows F-1 students to work for recognized international organizations, as identified by the International Organization Immunities Act [59 Stat. 669]. Unlike other F-1 work authorization benefits, students are eligible to apply for Employment with an International Organization as soon as they enter the U.S. in F-1 status. Time approved by USCIS to work for an International Organization will not be deducted from your 12 month period of Optional Practical Training (OPT). Employment with an International Organization may be approved up until a student's commencement or graduation date.

Eligibility Criteria

  • The employment is for an internship with a recognized international organization and is within the scope of the organization's sponsorship.
  • The student is in good academic standing.
  • The employment may be up to 20 hours per week when classes are in session, or full-time during official school breaks.
  • Authorization is only available during a student’s program of study, before completion of the academic program.

Application Process

  • Obtain an offer letter from a recognized International Organization
  • Email the offer letter from the International Organization to your HIO Advisor as early as 90 days before you wish to begin employment. The letter needs to include the following details: (1) description of internship, (2) dates of employment, (3) place of employment and (4) number of hours per week.
  • The HIO will review your request and issue a new form I-20 with the recommendation for the employment.
  • Send your completed application to USCIS for review. The HIO will provide instructions on this application. Please note, processing times at USCIS may take 3 months or more. Until you receive an approved EAD card from USCIS, you are not yet authorized to begin work.

After Submitting Your Application

  • Upon receipt of application, USCIS will be send you a Receipt Notice. This notice will provide you with information to track the progress of your case on line on the USCIS website. It can take up to 90 days to process this application.
  • If approved, you will receive an employment authorization document (EAD card)
  • You may not begin employment, prior to the start date noted on your EAD card and may not work longer than through the end date.