Â Students enrolledÂ full time,Â in good academic standing, whoÂ maintain the F and J statusÂ are eligible to work on campus up to 20 hours a week during the academic year and full time during university breaks, including summer, winter, and spring break.
Once a student completes a program of study (graduation), that student ais no longer eligible to be employed on-campus without special authorization (i.e. OPT).Â On-campus part-time employment opportunities are offered through departments.
Types of on-campus employment include:
- Teaching or research assistantship
- Donaghey Student Center (DSC) in the food court or the gym
- Ottenheimer Library
- Academic Success Center
Curriculum Practical or Academic Training
The Curricular Practical Training (CPT) and Academic Training (AT) programs were designed to allow students to gain knowledge while studying by allowing them to do an internship in their field of study. Â Student’s have three options when it comes to approval for CPT: Â Option 1) Is the student enrolled in a course that requires work experience? Â Option 2) Is this work experience requiredÂ by the student’s program of study, as demonstrated by publication in the UALR General Catalog or other departmental document?, or Option 3) Is the research or data necessary for a studentâ€™s thesis/dissertation collectedÂ onlyÂ through this work authorization? Â If one of these can be answered, you can show that you have been enrolled in courses for at least one academic year, and have the approval from your academic adviser, you may be authorized for CPT.Â YouÂ CANNOTÂ work before you obtain your employment authorization from the ISS, or continue to work after your authorization expires or you graduate. If you do, you will be engaged in unlawful employment (i.e., you will be â€śworking illegallyâ€ť) and thus you will no longer be maintaining your F-1 status (i.e., you will be an â€śillegal alienâ€ť).You do not need to apply to the USCIS. Only ISS can authorize CPT for UALR.
Optional Practical Training
Optional Practical Training (OPT) is a way for F-1 students to gain knowledge in their field of study and use the skills that they have obtained through their studies at the university. Students are allowed to apply for OPT as soon as they graduate, or have the option to start any time during the 60-day grace period allowed by USCIS. Students are allowed to work after the OPT petition has been granted.
If you are a graduate student writing a thesis or dissertation, the completion of study date will be the date that you submit your thesis or dissertation (provided that you have been making average progress towards your degree completion).
ISS strongly encourages students to apply for OPT early in order to ensure that the Employment Authorization Document (EAD)Â arrives by the time that a student has requested to begin employment (i.e. if you are currently on CPT and want to transition to OPT without an employment gap). Students do not have to have a job offer when applying for OPT. Changing OPT dates is a difficult process, therefore the process fee will be charged again if OPT is canceled because a student isn’t graduating in the determined semester.
- When you apply for OPT, your I-20 expiration date will be shortened to the graduation date for your last term. Your I-20 expiration date is the last date that you could work on-campus or on CPT until your OPT begins.
- Please note that OPT is different from CPT. For OPT, ISS will recommend you to USCIS, and USCIS decides whether to authorize your employment request.
- During your OPT, you must continue to report any changes in your residential address to ISS within 10 days of moving.