The F-1 is a non-immigrant visa for foreign nationals wishing to pursue full-time academic studies and/or language training programs for a period of time in the United States.
Maintaining Legal Status
Students on an F-1 visa are required by immigration law and regulations to maintain their legal status in the United States at all times. To meet the requirement, F-1 students must:
- Keep their passport valid at all times. Information on how to renew the passport is available on your local embassy's website. Additional information can be found on the Online Resources page.
- Students must register as full-time during the academic year.
- Extensions of Stay must be applied for at least 30 days before the expiration date on the I-20.
- Off-campus employment must be approved by the International Office.
- Review Study in the States for more information
Employment and Practical Training
An F-1 student may work on-campus up to 20 hours per week when school is in session and full-time when school is not in session.
An F-1 student is permitted Curricular and/or Optional Practical training for a maximum of 12 months.
Curricular Practical Training (CPT): CPT is an employment option available to F-1 students where the practical training employment is considered to be an integral part of the curriculum or academic program. This employment may be an internship, cooperative education job, a practicum, or any other work experience that is either required for a student's degree or for which academic credit is awarded.
Optional Practical Training (OPT): Practical training is the opportunity to apply knowledge gained in the classroom to a practical work experience off campus. OPT is authorized by USCIS . This authorization can take up to 90 days to obtain. The maximum amount of time granted to work in OPT status is 12 months. A student may use some or all of the available 12 months of OPT during the course of study or save the full 12 months to use after graduating from the program.
Students will work with their faculty advisor and the International Office to request OPT. Please review these documents for more information on the process: Optional Practical Training (OPT) Checklist.pdf – Optional Practical Training Packet and OPT Checklist for Students
STEM OPT: Students who qualify for a 24-month STEM OPT Extension will work with the International Office to apply. Please review this document to read more about STEM OPT: STEM Optional Practical Training (OPT) 24 months.pdf – STEM OPT Extension Packet
If sufficient financial support is documented, UConn Health may sponsor the spouse and/or children (unmarried and under 21 years old) to accompany the visitor. Dependents are classified as F-2. The International Office must certify that sufficient funds are available to support the spouse and/or children for at least their first year in the U.S.
Employment is not permitted for F-2 visa holders. They can be enrolled in a part-time academic program.
For information on applying to one of UConn Health’s graduate programs, please see Graduate School Admissions.
For information on international travel as an F-1 student, please see our Travel section.