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Employment with an International Organization

An eligible F-1 student may request off-campus employment work authorization for an internship with an international organization. This F-1 employment benefit allows F-1 students to work for recognized international organizations within the meaning of the International Organization Immunities Act [59 Stat. 669]. Work permission with an International Organization does not reduce the amount of curricular or optional practical training one can use. 


A student is eligible to apply as soon as they are in F-1 status; there is no academic-year waiting period or any requirement to be in the student’s field of study. The work authorization is available only while the student is in F-1 status and before completion of the educational objective. To be otherwise eligible for employment with an International Organization, you must:

  • Have a valid passport and valid I-20
  • Be enrolled in a full course of study during the Fall and Spring semesters
  • Have an employment offer from a recognized international organization such as the United Nations, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, etc.

Conditions of Employment:

  • Students may work part-time (20 hours per week) while school is in session and full-time during vacation periods, provided they will continue their studies in the following semester. 
  • Students cannot participate during the school year if they already have an assistantship or other on-campus employment equaling 20 hours per week.
  • The employment authorization is granted by USCIS in increments of no more than one year, or until expected date of employment completion or program completion, whichever is shorter

Please see the following link for a list of Recognized International Organizations

  • Obtain a written offer of employment from the international organization. The letter should be on the organization's letterhead and specify:
    • the start and end dates of employment
    • number of hours per week
    • address of the work place
    • who will supervise the student
    • amount of compensation
  • Gather all application documents (see The Application Packet section)
  • Bring all application documents with you to a scheduled appointment. At this visit, the advisor will review the paperwork, create a new I-20, sign documents, and put the application package together
  • Make photocopies of each item in the application packet for your records and mail the entire packet to the address specified for USCIS in category ( c)(3)(ii). The packet should be mailed within 30 days of the creation of the new I-20 endorsed by the DSO with the employment recommendation.
  • Expect an official USCIS receipt notice within a month of mailing. After receiving this receipt you may check on the status of your application on the Case Status Online section of the USCIS website
  • Employment authorization comes in the form of a card, the Employment Authorization Document (EAD), which will show the dates of your authorized employment.

The EAD application packet consists of the following:

  • A personal check or money order made out to “U.S. Department of Homeland Security” for $520.
  • Two color passport photos (2"x2", write name and SEVIS number on back of both photos; must be taken within 30 days)
  • The original Form I-765 filled out in blue ink. Question #27 = (c)(3)(ii)
  • Photocopy of your current I-20 with DSO employment with an international organization recommendation.
  • Photocopy of your passport number/photo/expiration date page(s)
  • I-94, electronic record or photocopy of the front and back of your hard copy I-94
  • Photocopy of F-1 visa stamp
  • The offer of employment from the international organization.

*Note: Photos that do not meet the specifications will be rejected and will result in delays. ISSS recommends Campus Photographic Services located on 5201 Paint Branch Parkway, Suite 1117 (in the Patapsco building near the College Park metro station). Their phone number is (301) 405-0577. Hint: Do not wear white.

You may begin working:

  • After you have received the EAD, OR
  • On the beginning date as noted on the EAD, whichever is the later
  • You are limited to 20 hours per week when school is in session.
  • You will need to file federal and state taxes. Please visit the IRS website (Publication 519) for more information.
  • The USCIS website states that generally you should not file for a renewal EAD more than 180 days before your original EAD expires.
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