Overview

An international student in valid F-1 status may apply to work in an internship for a qualified international organization, as defined by the International Organization Immunities Act [59 Stat. 669]. 

Students become eligible once they acquire valid F-1 status and employment with an international organization does not affect the student's OPT eligibility. Students must maintain full-time enrollment during the academic year. As per SEVP guidance, eligible students may work up to 20 hours per week while school is in session and full time during regular school vacation. 

While this type of employment does not have to be related to the student's major, international organizations usually hire students for positions in their field of study. Employment authorization may be granted by USCIS in increments of no more than one year and may be renewable, if all eligibility criteria are met and the application approved. Eligibility criteria and the application process are regulated by 8 CFR 214.2(f)(9)(iii)

In some situations, or based on the type and level of the position, some International Organizations may require applicants to change to a G nonimmigrant status in order to meet their hiring requirements. The ISSO strongly advises students to research in advance all requirements and qualification criteria set by the various International Organizations.

Eligibility Criteria

  • This provision is available only to F-1 students in valid status and before they complete their program of study.
  • Students must have a valid, unexpired passport and Form I-20.
  • Students must be able to maintain full-time enrollment and make normal progress toward their educational degree objective even while working for the organization.
  • Students must have a written internship offer from an international organization recognized by the International Organization Immunities Act (see under 8 CFR 316.20, subsection (c) for a comprehensive list).
  • Students must not accept employment until they have been authorized to do so by USCIS via receipt of an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) card.