Work Authorization Rules for F-1 Students

On-campus employment:   international students are allowed to work on campus in various departments. The only requirement is that the student is in F-1 status. F-1 students can only work at Diablo Valley College and they must have a form filled out by the Designated School Official (DSO) from the International Students Admissions and Services (ISAS) office indicating they are in status before they can begin employment.

Students must also have a Social Security number, with the correct spelling of your name (please refer to Social Security section).

Student jobs are limited in availability, and there is no way to apply in advance. The jobs are very popular among our international students, as this is the only type of work for which they are eligible.  Of the jobs available each semester, the hours that are assigned to each student cannot exceed a maximum of twenty (20) hours per week. Students are eligible, however, to work up to forty (40) hours per week during the summer.

Off-campus employment: F-1 students must come see a DSO in order to apply for any of the employment types listed below.

Curricular practical training (CPT): is an 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.

Requirements: two semesters in F-1 status in an academic (non-ESL) program.

Must be required for program completion or offered as an optional course through Cooperative Education.

The work must be in the student's area of study as indicated on the I-20 form.  Student can be approved for a total of 4 semesters only while taking Cooperative Education 170 class.

CPT does not take the place of Optional Practical Training when the work done is on a part-time basis only or if full-time work does NOT equal or exceed 12 months.

Approval is granted by the DSO in the ISAS office.

CPT workshop ppt

Optional practical training (OPT): is temporary employment for practical training directly related to the students' majors upon completion of programs.

Requirements: two semesters in F-1 status in an academic (non-ESL) program with the educational goal of an associate degree or a certificate. Students completing a transfer program at DVC are not eligible for OPT while at DVC and must wait until they complete a Bachelor's degree before applying. Students at DVC completing a transfer program are eligible for CPT.

Types of optional practical training:

  • Vacation Period Practical Training. A student may work up to 40 hours per week during the summer vacation or during the break between semesters;
  • While school is in session (pre-completion practical training). A student may work up to 20 hours per week while attending a program of study;
  • Post-Completion Practical Training. A student may work up to 40 hours per week after the completion of an associate degree or certificate only. Student must apply through the DSO before the end of his or her program or request will be denied by USCIS.  A student is allowed to submit an application for OPT 90 days before the end of the academic program.

A student is limited to 12 months full-time practical training per educational level.

Approval is granted by USCIS.

International students with F1 status who believe they are eligible for practical training or work based on economic hardship must see the DSO at the ISAS office for approval of employment request and for information on how to complete the appropriate paperwork.

You cannot work on or off campus without approval.

DVC Career and Employment Center can help!

Whether you are looking for a job now or wanting to explore your future career options, the Career and Employment Center can help. Our staff and services can help you research career and major options, update your resume, search for a job, get college units for work, find an internship or volunteer position, and decide what your calling is in life.

Other helpful links from the Career and Employment Center