F-1 students: your status allows you to work on campus. During the fall and spring semester, you may work up to 20 hours per week. During the winter and summer break, you may work up to 40 hours.
J-1 students: you will need a special work authorization letter from the Office of International Programs before you begin an on-campus job. Please ask OIP for a request form and we will issue the letter for you.
Graduate students: A Graduate Teaching or Research assistantship is counted as 20 hours per week. If you are a graduate student with an assistantship you may not take on other employment.
Intensive English Students: Your breaks may fall outside the regularly scheduled winter and summer breaks. Be sure to check with an International Student Adviser at OIP if you plan to work full time (40 hours) during your break session.
Special permission from the Office of International Programs and in some cases the US Citizenship and Immigration Service is necessary for F-1 and J-1 students for off-campus employment. Some applications for work authorization take 2-3 months to approve so it is important to begin the process early.
F-1 Student Options
Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
Optional Practical Training (OPT)
OPT is temporary employment directly related to a student’s field of study usually done after graduation. During OPT, a student remains in F-1 status. Your application is made through OIP and forwarded on to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). USCIS will issue an Employment Authorization Document (EAD or OPT card) which grants authorization to accept relevant employment. OPT applications take 100 to 120 days to process at USCIS. Apply early to avoid loss of OPT time!
Attend an OPT workshop – Workshops held in 300 Stodder Hall unless otherwise noted:
Wednesday, January 29, 2020 12:00 pm held in 48 Stodder Hall (enter through patio door)
Tuesday, February 18, 2020, 4:00 pm held in 48 Stodder Hall (enter through patio door)
Wednesday, March 5, 2020 12:00 pm held in 48 Stodder Hall (enter through patio door)
Monday, March 30, 2020 4:00 pm held in 48 Stodder Hall (enter through patio door)
Tuesday, April 21, 2020 12:00 pm
Wednesday, May 27, 2020 12:00 pm
Tuesday, June 30, 2020 12:00 pm
STEM OPT may be available to students who have a STEM major.
Special Reporting Requirements for Students on OPT
Students who are on OPT must report certain information to OIP, such as current residential address, current employer name and address, dates of employment or unemployment, changes in name, and changes in immigration status.
J-1 Student Options
Academic Training (AT) may be granted to J-1 students (both degree and non-degree seeking) who would like to pursue a practical training experience in their field either during or after studies. Your academic adviser or Associate Dean (for non-degree) must recommend the training experience and provide documentation to the Office of International Programs regarding the employer, number of hours, suitability of employment, etc.
Attend an AT workshop – Workshop held in 300 Stodder Hall:
Thursday, March 26, 2020 4:00 pm
To explore employment opportunities on campus please visit the Student Employment website. Please note that international students are not eligible to accept any positions designated as “Work-Study”.
The University of Maine’s Career Center is an excellent place to search for jobs and internships. Be sure to check out Going Global, a search engine that offers access to international career resources including world-wide job openings, internship listings, industry profiles, and country-specific career information. The Career Center also has many other important resources such as career counseling, resume writing workshops, and programs to connect you with UMaine alumni working in your field.