F-1/CPT or F-1/OPT Status

F-1 student status allows international students to attend a United States college or university and allows in certain circumstances to obtain curricular practical training (CPT) or optional practical training (OPT/STEM OPT). Case Western Reserve University regularly hires people on F1 status, both sponsored by Case Western Reserve University and those sponsored by other educational institutions.


Employment of individuals in F-1/CPT or F-1/OPT status is not employer-specific; however, the work experience gained must be degree-related. The student is required to file with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). A letter of appointment or offer letter is required from the employer (Case Western Reserve University).

These prospective employees must have Form I-766 Employment Authorization Document (EAD) in their possession before starting to work. The International Student Advisor at the F-1 holder’s degree-granting institution in the U.S. must recommend Practical Training to USCIS and reflect Case Western Reserve University as a site of employment on the I-20/SEVIS record.

Change of nonimmigrant status to Temporary Worker, H-1B, may occur after starting employment if the employment will exceed the period of Practical Training at the discretion of the department.

If the employer and employee choose to go ahead with this change of status (F-1/PT to H-1B), the Office of Immigration and Human Resource Services requests a minimum of four months advance notification enabling IHRS to file with USCIS in a timely manner. Failure to receive an approval from USCIS before the F-1 OPT expiration date means the employee must be removed from payroll until the Approval Notice for the H-1B is received.

Employment Authorization Application

If you are eligible to apply for Employment Authorization, you may fill out Form I-765 and mail it to the appropriate filing location. The current filing fee is $410.


The Office of Immigration and Human Resources is not responsible for filing EADs, I-20s, or filing and approval of I-983 action plans. These filings are the responsibility of the student and their sponsoring institution.

Case Western Reserve University students are required to work with the CWRU International Student Services (ISS) Department on matters regarding their I-20s, CPT and OPT/STEM OPT eligibility. For more information on CPT and OPT, please refer to the CWRU ISS website.

I-983 Forms must be completed by the hiring department and the student’s sponsoring institution. IHRS is able to provide common institutional information required in the I-983 form, but cannot complete the form on the department’s or student’s behalf.