F-1 Student Employment Information

On Campus Employment

F-1 students may work anywhere on the UNI campus for up to 20 hours per week during any fall or spring academic semester. A student can hold more than one job, as long as the total number of hours worked per week does not exceed 20.

During the summer between the spring and fall semesters (Early May to late August), students may work over 20 hours per week, or full-time. This is also an option during the break between the fall and spring semesters (Mid-December to mid-January), but work hours may be limited during this winter break. Multiple jobs are also permissible during these vacation periods. In some situations, UNI employment policies may limit students from working more than 40 hours per week.

Check out the UNI Student Employment page for more information.

Off Campus Employment

Severe Economic Hardship

If you have experienced an unexpected change in your financial support and you cannot earn enough income from on-campus employment sources to meet your financial needs, then you may apply to the U.S. Government for permission to work off-campus. You must be able to prove that off-campus employment is necessary due to the severe economic hardship caused by this change in your financial support.
To apply, you will need to work with the International Student Advisor. Before scheduling an appointment to meet with the Advisor, please prepare the following items:

  • USCIS form I-765
  • $380.00 filing fee
  • 2 passport sized photos of yourself taken at a full frontal view, with the subject looking straight at the camera. For more detailed guidelines
  • A letter addressed to “BCIS Officer” that explains your need for off-campus employment. You should include as much supporting information with this application as possible.
  • Passport, visa and I-94 card: Bring these to your advising appointment so that copies can be made to submit with your application.

Currcicular Practical Training If you are required to complete a paid internship or cooperative education experience as part of a class that you are taking, or as part of your program of study, then you can be authorized for this using Curricular Practical Training, also known as CPT. Eligibility requirements are the same, with the exception of graduate students whose programs require immediate participation in an internship/practical training, who may apply at any time.
To apply for CPT, please make an appointment to visit with the International Student Advisor.

Optional Practical Training

F-1 students in bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral programs may apply for Optional Practical Training, or OPT. This is a period of 12 months during which students can gain work experience in their fields of study upon completing a degree or while still completing that degree. OPT can be done on a part-time basis or full-time basis, but most students prefer to wait until completion of an academic program and use the 12 moth period at once. For more information, please read this list of frequently asked questions.


To apply, you will need to work with the International Student Advisor. Before scheduling an appointment to meet with the Advisor, please prepare the following items:

  • USCIS form I-765
  • $380.00 filing fee
  • 2 passport sized photos of yourself taken at a full frontal view, with the subject looking straight at the camera. For more detailed guidelines
  • Passport, visa and I-94 card: Bring these to your advising appointment so that copies can be made to submit with your application.

OPT Processing Time Normally, OPT applications take approximately 90 days to be processed. For the most current processing times at the Nebraska Service Center, where your OPT application will be processed, more info.. click here