Information for Academic Departments - F-1 Regulations

International students must abide by certain regulations when they are here on F-1 visas. Some of these regulations have an impact on a student’s academic work and their experience in the U.S.

Here are a few of the main things that are helpful to know when working with international students:

Full-time Course Load

  • International students must be enrolled in a full-time course load each semester
  • If they are struggling academically in their first year of study or they do not need a full-time course load in their last semester of study in order to graduate, they may be eligible for a Reduced Course Load

On-campus Work

  • International students are able to work on-campus for up to 20 hours per week during the semester
  • They can work up to 40 hours per week during breaks (winter break, spring break, summer break)
  • Students must be on the Wesleyan payroll for a position to qualify as on-campus employment (they may not work and be paid by a grant or a professor)
  • They need special authorization to work off-campus

Extension of Program

  • If a student will not complete their degree by the end date of their Form I-20, they must request an extension of their program before the end date listed on their I-20
  • A letter is required from their department chair explaining how long they need to extend their program for and why

Employing Wesleyan Students after Graduation

  • International students are required to have work authorization to work (even on-campus) after graduation
  • This authorization is called Optional Practical Training,” often referred to as OPT
  • Students who have graduated must show an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) as proof of work authorization this will be required to get them on payroll
  • Students are usually eligible for 12 months of OPT
  • Students who completed a degree in the STEM field may be eligible for up to an additional 24 months of employment authorization, called STEM OPT.One of the requirements of being on STEM OPT is that the employer must be an E-Verify employer.

    Note: Students who are on STEM OPT authorization are not able to work for Wesleyan because it is not an E-Verify employer.