Find out what you need to do to legally work in the US—at RISD and off campus, before and after graduation.
If you are a RISD student on an F-1 visa, you are eligible to work on campus. To do so, you must:
- obtain a US government-issued social security number (SSN). See our F-1 need to knows if you have SSN questions.
- meet with Student Employment to complete all necessary employment paperwork.
Note that 20 hours is the maximum number of hours you can work on campus while school is in session. There are no restrictions on the number of hours you can work during academic-year breaks.
RISD students on an F-1 visa may work off campus as long as you obtain employment authorization before legally beginning work. There are two types of off-campus employment authorization: curricular practical training (CPT) and optional practical training (OPT), including the 24-month STEM OPT extension.
Curricular practical training (CPT): CPT provides international students on an F-1 visa with temporary authorization to work while enrolled as a full-time student in the US. You only need to apply for CPT if you are working in an internship while physically in the US. Note that you may only work 20 hours or fewer while school is in session. (You may work more than 20 hours during school breaks.)
Please plan ahead when applying for CPT. The process can take up to two weeks. See below for more details.
Optional practical training (OPT): OPT grants international students on an F-1 visa one year’s eligibility to work in a job or internship related to their studies. Read below for eligibility requirements and application instructions.
STEM OPT extension: Students who hold degrees in a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)-designated field may be eligible to apply for an additional 24 months of OPT, for a total of 36 months of post-completion OPT.