There are several ways by which an F-1 visa holder may work at UMass Lowell:
F-1 Curricular Practical Training (CPT) – The F-1 student employee must present proof of valid work authorization to Human Resources, which will include a Form I-20 with the respective UMass Lowell CPT authorization. The F-1 student will work with their respective international office (where at UMass Lowell or otherwise) to obtain CPT work authorization. A prospective employee working pursuant to approved CPT should contact the International Office at their current institution of higher education for more information on their CPT policies and practices.
F-1 Optional Practical Training – OPT (Pre or Post Completion) – The F-1 student employee must present proof of valid work authorization, which will include a valid Employment Authorization Document (EAD) to Human Resources. The F-1 student will need to work with their respective International Office to obtain OPT work authorization, and to confirm their respective institution’s OPT policies and practices. The EAD card will list the category of C03A for Pre Completion or C03B for Post Completion OPT.
F-1 STEM work authorization – A STEM OPT student employee will obtain an approved Form I-983 Training Plan from their UMass Lowell supervisor. The Training Plan must be reviewed and approved by Patrick Trouve, HR Immigration & Compliance Specialist (Patrick_Trouve@uml.edu) before they can submit it to their respective institution’s international office for STEM work authorization. General information on STEM OPT and the Form I-983 Training Plan, which includes detailed reporting requirements can be obtained from the Study in the States website as well as the student employee’s international office. The STEM EAD card, issued once the employee has filed his or her STEM OPT application with USCIS, will list the category of CO3C and will always need to be presented in combination with an I-983 Training Plan to complete an I-9.
Please note: STEM OPT employees are required to submit to HR an updated Form I-983 – should the information therein change during employment – as well as both 1-year Form I-983 evaluations (page 5 of the Form I-983) and a Form I-983 final evaluation upon the expiry of their authorized STEM OPT work authorization, change of status or termination of employment with UMass Lowell. They will need to provide the same to their respective institution’s international office.