Before you Arrive - Useful Resources
NSU International Education Week
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Intl. Students and Scholars
Nova Southeastern University
Horvitz Admin. Bldg, 2nd Floor
3301 College Avenue
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33314
800-541-6682, ext. 27240
Fax (954) 262-3846
Monday - Friday
8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. EST
Categories of employment as an F-1 student:
Each category requires the student to maintain a current valid F-1 status. A student who is out of status is not eligible for F-1 benefits, including employment.
Each F-1 employment category has specific eligibility requirements, and most are also divided into subcategories, so be sure to review each category in detail.
On-campus employment is a benefit of your student visa status that allows you to work on-campus part-time (20 hours) while school is in session, and full-time (37.5 hours) during your approved vacations and breaks. There is no need for the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) or the Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS) to approve on-campus employment. However, you must obtain a social security card and report your wages to the Internal Revenue Service.
International students are eligible to work off-campus after official permission is granted. There are two primary types of off-campus employment for which international students may apply:
Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
F-1 students may be authorized to participate in a CPT program that is an integral part of their respective curriculum. Curricular practical training is defined as "alternate work/study, internship, cooperative education, or any other type of required internship or practicum which is offered by sponsoring employers through cooperative agreements with the school." The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) requests evidence of direct course relevance of students who want to engage in Curricular Practical Training and requests evidence that the CPT opportunity meet one of the following conditions:
Please contact the Office of International Students (firstname.lastname@example.org) or your program’s academic advisor for more information, or download and complete the CPT Application Form.
Optional Practical Training (OPT)
An F-1 student may apply for temporary employment involving practical training "directly related to the student's major area of study and commensurate with the student's educational level." The duration of this employment authorization is a total of 12 months per level. Students are eligible for another 12 months of OPT when they change levels (i.e. from Bachelor's to Master's).
For assistance with applying for OPT, schedule an appointment with the Office of International Affairs 90 days before your last day of class and download the OPT Instructions. Read these instructions carefully and bring the required documents to your appointment.
When you are employed in the United States, you will be required to obtain a Social Security Number.
To apply for a Social Security Number based upon on-campus employment, F-1 students are required to provide evidence of employment. The Social Security Administration requires students to submit both of the following as evidence:
The Social Security Administration does not require this evidence of employment from students engaging in or applying for optional practical training or curricular practical training programs.
When applying to the Social Security Office, please have the following:
Visit the U.S. Social Security site for detailed information about international students and social security numbers.
The Social Security Office closest to the main campus is located at:
8501 W Sunrise Blvd., Suite 100
Plantation, FL 33322
Hours of operation: 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday - Friday. Except Wednesdays: 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Map to Social Security Office