Delta College logoDelta College: Serving Bay, Midland, and Saginaw counties since 1961

International Students


On Campus

F-1 students are generally permitted to work part-time on campus while they are attending school and maintaining their F-1 status. They are limited to 20 hours per week Fall/Winter semesters however, may work up to 38 hours per week Spring/Summer semesters and during semester breaks. Prior to beginning on campus employment, a Social Security card must be obtained from the U.S. Social Security Administration. International students interested in on-campus employment should contact the Career Services office located in D102 on Delta's main campus.

Off Campus

Employment Due to Economic Hardship - A student may be authorized for off-campus employment due to severe, unforeseen economic necessity beyond the student's control that occurred after obtaining F-1 status. These forms of off-campus employment must be recommended by the Designated School Official (DSO). If employment is authorized the U. S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), will issue the student an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) valid for one year at a time or until the program end-date, whichever is shorter. International students who receive an EAD must continue to maintain a full course of study in F-1 status during the period of employment. An international student who wishes to apply for an EAD should contact a DSO in D-102 or phone (989) 686-9785 for an appointment.

Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is defined as "alternate work/study, internship, cooperative education, or any other type of required internship or practicum which is offered by sponsoring employers through cooperative agreements with the school." It is available to F-1 students after they have been enrolled on a full-time basis for one full academic year before becoming eligible for CPT. F-1 students may participate in employment which is an integral part of an established curriculum, in the student's course of study; no EAD is required. CPT employment authorization is granted only for a specific employer, location and period as approved by the DSO . Contact Delta College Academic Career Experience and Service Learning (ACE) located on the West Courtyard Level (A009) by phone (989) 686-9474 or email: for information on enrollment requirements in ACE classes and application procedures. You must have an offer of employment from an employer offering work that qualifies as curricular practical training. An international student who would like more information about CPT should contact a DSO in D-102 or phone (989) 686-9785 for an appointment.

Optional Practical Training (OPT)

Optional Practical Training (OPT) - F-1 students must have been enrolled on a full-time basis for one full academic year before becoming eligible for OPT. Available both before and after completion of the educational objective, but different rules apply to pre- and post- completion OPT. Students may engage in OPT for any employer for the duration of OPT authorization, as long as the employment qualifies under OPT standards. The cumulative maximum is a total of 12 months during any uninterrupted stay in F-1 status. Part-time OPT is deducted from the 12 month limit at 50%.

  • 20 hours/week limit for pre-completion OPT done while school is in session and student still has coursework to complete. Over 20 hours/week can be requested for pre-completion OPT done during official school breaks or after student has completed all coursework required for the degree. For post-completion OPT, only full-time OPT can be requested.
  • Must be directly related to and commensurate with the level of the student's course of study.
  • No offer of employment is required, but the student is expected to work or be seeking employment.  You cannot accrue more than 90 days of unemployment while on post-completion OPT.  If you are close to 90 days, consult with your DSO. You must provide the DSO with the name and address of your employer in addition to address changes and changes in employment while on post-completion OPT.
  • Prior use of full-time Curricular Practical Training for one year or more eliminates eligibility for Optional Practical Training.
  • Must apply for and receive an EAD from USCIS with assistance of DSO before work begins. Student must apply to DSO for OPT recommendation sufficiently in advance to allow the DSO to update the SEVIS record with the recommendation prior to the student's program completion date.

Optional practical training is defined in the regulations as "temporary employment for practical training directly related to the student's major area of study."

  • During the student's annual vacation and at other times when school is not in session if the student is currently enrolled and eligible, and intends, to register for the next term or session;
  • While school is in session, provided that it does not exceed 20 hours per week while school is in session;
  • After completion of all course requirements for the degree, excluding thesis or equivalent, if the student is in a bachelor's, master's, or doctoral degree program; or
  • After completion of the course of study.

Degree candidates who have completed all course requirements for the degree can apply for full-time Optional Practical Training. Remember, however, that there are only 12 total months available, and that training done before a degree is completed will count against that 12-month total and reduce time available after the degree is awarded. Optional Practical Training after completion of the course of study will only be granted for full-time use. As of January 1, 2003, students must apply for post-completion Optional Practical Training before the completion date of their course of study. A student cannot begin employment until the Employment Authorization Document (EAD) is actually received, and the start date on the card has been reached.

Optional Practical Training can be authorized for a maximum aggregate period of 12 months per educational level. A student becomes eligible for another 12 months of practical training when he or she changes to a higher educational level. Although students may engage in Optional Practical Training both before and after completion of studies, the maximum amount of time that can be granted is 12 months per educational level. Optional Practical Training done after completion of the course of study must be completed within a 14-month period following the completion of study. The regulations state that "authorization to engage in practical training employment is automatically terminated when the student transfers to another school or begins study at another educational level."

An international student who would like more information about OPT should contact a DSO in D-102 or phone (989) 686-9785 for an appointment.

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