Our office has reopened with limited in-person staff. Our hours are Monday - Friday, 8:00am - 12:00pm and 1:00pm - 5:00pm. Most advising appointments are continuing via Zoom. Information about COVID-19 and returning to campus for Fall 2021 .

The new Multidisciplinary Research Building on Thursday, Dec. 20, 2018.

Employment and Taxes

Employment

  • General Employment Information- F-1 Students

    If you are interested in working in the U.S., it is important to learn the different types of work authorization available to you as an F-1 student. There are special immigration regulations and application processes for on-campus or off-campus internship/employment which will be covered in this section including:

    • On-campus Employment
    • Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
    • Optional Practical Training (OPT)

    Please keep in mind that you must receive proper work authorization before you begin working as unauthorized employment can have serious consequences on your F-1 student status.

    To find out more information:

    Make an appointment with an International Student Advisor by contacting the ISS office

    Phone:  (951)827-4113

    Email: internationalstudents@ucr.edu


    Resources:

    Visit Study in the States page, “Working in the United States”

    Visit Student and Exchange Visitor Program page, “Employment”

    Visit USCIS page, Students and Employment 

  • On-campus Employment/Internship - F-1 Students

    F-1 international students, who are maintaining their F-1 student status, are eligible to work on-campus at UC Riverside. F-1 undergraduate and graduate students may begin on-campus employment at the beginning of their first quarter at UCR.

    F-1 students are not required to receive written authorization from the ISS office to work on-campus as long as the following requirements are met:

    On-Campus Employment/ Internship Requirements

    • You must continue to maintain full-time F-1 status when engaging in on-campus employment/internship
    • You may work part-time (20 hours per week) while class is in session
    • You may work full-time (up to 40 hours per week) during academic breaks if you are returning to UCR the following term

     

    To find out more information:

    Make an appointment with an International Student Advisor by contacting the ISS office

    Phone:  (951)827-4113

    Email: internationalstudents@ucr.edu

    You can review on campus employment opportunities on Handshake

     

    Resources:

    Visit Student and Exchange Visitor Program page, “Employment”

  • Off-campus Employment/Internship –F-1 Students

    Curricular Practical Training (CPT):

    During the program of study at UCR, F-1 students may choose to work or intern off-campus by obtaining temporary work authorization called Curricular Practical Training (CPT) from the ISS office. The CPT employment/internship position (paid or unpaid) must be an integral part of an established curriculum for the program of study.

     

    CPT Eligibility:

    • Must be in valid F-1 status
    • Must have completed one academic year as a full-time student (with the exception of certain programs)
    • Must currently be enrolled in a full-course load of study (with the exception of the summer)
    • Must be enrolled in the internship course assigned by your Academic Advisor (Undergraduate) or your Graduate Advisor (Graduate)

     

    Types of CPT:

    • Degree Requirement CPT: It is when a degree program requires the student to complete an internship in order to graduate. 
      • Only certain UCR programs requires an internship to graduate.
    • Non-Required Course Credit CPT: It is when an internship is not a required part of the program but, the internship or work experience is integral to the student’s program and is required to enroll in an approved internship course during CPT.

     

    CPT Requirements:

    • Position must be related to your field of study
    • Must receive CPT authorization before starting any employment/internship
    • 12 months or more of full-time CPT will make you ineligible for Optional Practical Training (OPT)

    -Details on CPT Eligibility and Requirements can be found here 

    https://www.ice.gov/sevis/practical-training

     

    Part-Time CPT

    During the academic term (Fall, Spring, Winter quarters), all F-1 students may only work part-time CPT which is 20 hours or less per week. PHD students who have advanced to candidacy may be eligible to work full time in certain circumstances.

     

    Full-Time CPT

    During Summer quarter and school breaks, students may work full-time CPT which is more than 20 hours per week.

     

    Applying for CPT

    1. Obtain official offer letter from your prospective employer

    2. Complete CPT Request Form (for graduate studentsfor undergraduate students)

    • Must be signed by you and your Academic Advisor (Undergraduate students) or Graduate Advisor (Graduate Students)

    3. Submit the offer letter and CPT Request Form to ISS Office

    4. Enroll in internship course and receive new CPT I-20 from ISS office

    • Please contact your academic advisor with regards to internship course enrollment. 

     

    To find out more information:

    Make an appointment with an International Student Advisor by contacting the ISS office:

    Phone: (951)827-4113

    Email: internationalstudents@ucr.edu


    Resources:

  • Optional Practical Training (OPT) - F-1 Students

    OPT Application Process

    Important OPT & STEM OPT Application Updates:

    On July 29, 2021, USCIS announced an extension for the 2/26/21 flexibilities for OPT/STEM OPT Extension applications that have been affected by delayed I-765 receipt notices. Please note that these flexibilities will only apply to applications received on or after October 1, 2020 to October 31, 2021. You can visit the USCIS website to read the full announcement

    On April 12, 2021, USCIS announced that F-1 students seeking Optional Practical Training can now file the Form I-765 online for OPT and STEM OPT applications. Students may choose to file online or continue file by paper mail. To read the full announcement, please visit the USCIS website.

    Using the chart below, please make sure that you are using the correct I-765 version, fee amount, and you are mailing to the correct USCIS location. Please note that these are subject to change. For updated information, please visit USCIS I-765 website.

    I-765 Edition I-765 Fee Mailing Location
    August 25, 2020 (08/25/20) $410  USCIS Chicago Lockbox

     

    Application Window
    USCIS can accept your application as early as 90 days before your program completion date (not graduation date) and no later than 60 days after your program completion date. 

     

    To apply for OPT, please follow these steps:

    F-1 students now have the option to apply for OPT/STEM OPT  (I-765 Application) by paper mail or online. Please note that the online method is still a new process and we are still learning more information about the online filing method. 

    Please see below OPT Application Checklists:

    Step One: Apply for an OPT I-20 from the ISS Office

    Before applying for OPT, please review the OPT Tutorial or attend an OPT Workshop. In order to obtain an OPT I-20, you need to submit the following documents to the ISS office (internationalstudents@ucr.edu). Please allow 3-5 business days. 

    1. OPT Request Form

    - Signed by the student’s Academic Advisor (Undergraduate Students) or Graduate Advisor (Graduate Students)

    2.  Form I-765 

    - To access a Sample I-765 (08/25/20 Edition), please click here 

    3.  Form G-1145

    4. Copy of valid passport and most recent F-1 visa stamp

    5. Copy of most recent I-94

    6.  (If related) Copies of EAD cards, OPT I-20, CPT I-20, I-20 with different SEVIS number, or any other documents needed.

     

    Useful OPT Resources:


    Step Two: Assemble the Required OPT Documents to Submit to USCIS

    Paper Application:
    After receiving your OPT I-20, please assemble the application documents (including the USCIS fee and passport photos)  in order as listed below to mail to USCIS. Please double-check if the documents have accurate information and are signed. Please note: OPT Applications must be submitted within 30 days of the OPT I-20 issue date. For more information, please check out the OPT Tutorial.

    1.  USCIS Application Fee (Please see USCIS I-765 website for the updated filing fee amount) 

    2.  Two Passport-style (2 x 2 inches) photos (Gently write your name and SEVIS ID or I-94 on the back of each photo) 

    3. Form G-1145

    4.  Form I-765 (Hand-signed in black ink) 

    5. Copy of OPT I-20 (signed by you and DSO) 

    6.  Copy of valid passport and most recent F-1 visa stamp 

    7. Copy of most recent I-94

    8 . (If related) Previous copies of EAD cards, OPT I-20, CPT I-20, I-20 with different SEVIS number, or any other documents needed.

     

    Online Application:
    Before filing your OPT application online, please set up a USCIS Online Account:
    Step One: Go to the I-765 Website 
    Step Two: Scroll down the I-765 page and click ‘File Online’  
    Step Three: Create USCIS Online Account. For online help guides for filing online, please refer to https://www.uscis.gov/file-online.  

    After receiving your OPT I-20, please assemble the application documents to upload to your OPT application. Please double-check if the documents have accurate information and are signed. Please note: OPT Applications must be submitted within 30 days of the OPT I-20 issue date. For more information, please check out the OPT Tutorial.

    1.  Digital copy of 1 passport-style (2 x 2 inches) photo (see the U.S. Department of State Passport Photo Guidelines for details)

    2.  Digital copy of OPT I-20 (signed by you and the DSO)

    • Important note: The OPT I-20 will expire in 30 days from the I-20 issue date and must be submitted before it expires. 

    3. Digital copy of most recent Form I-94

    4.  (If related) Previous copies of EAD cards, OPT I-20, CPT I-20 with different SEVIS number, or any other documents needed.

    5. $410 USCIS I-765 Fee (Credit Card Only)

    • Application fee amounts may change. The most current amount can be found on the USCIS I-765 website.
    • Important note: Once you make your payment, your application will automatically be submitted, and you cannot make corrections. 

    Format of digital documents: 
    -  Photos: JPG, JPEG, or PNG
    -  Documents: JPG, JPEG, PDF, TIF, or TIFF
    -  Foreign language documents must have English translation
    -  Maximum size: 6 MB per file
    -  Do not use special characters for the file name 


    Step Three: Submit OPT Application Documents to USCIS 

    Paper Application
    We recommend choosing a mailing option that offers a tracking number (i.e. UPS, FedEx, USPS). Your completed application packet must be mailed within 30 days of your OPT I-20 issue date and within the OPT application window. USCIS may update the I-765 mailing address. For the updated mailing address, please visit I-765 Address page and check under ‘Foreign Students.’

    USCIS will mail your I-797 paper receipt notice to your mailing address. Once received, please create an online USCIS account and add your paper-filed OPT application using your Receipt Number to track your case. Notices and updates (including biometrics notice, Request for Evidence (RFE), decision letter)  will be posted to your account.  Generally, USCIS will take around 3-5 months to review your case. USCIS will mail the final decision to your mailing address and to your online USCIS account if it has been set up. 

     

    Online Application
    Once you submit the payment online, your I-765 application will automatically be submitted. You will receive confirmation (including your receipt notice) that your form was submitted. Notices and updates (including biometrics notice, Request for Evidence (RFE), decision letter)  will be posted to your account.  Generally, USCIS will take around 3-5 months to review your case. USCIS will mail the final decision to your mailing address and to your online USCIS account. 

     

    Useful OPT Resources:


    OPT Reporting Requirements
     

    Once you are approved for Post-Completion OPT, you are required to register and report your information through the SEVP OPT Portal or to the UCR ISS office to maintain legal F-1 I-20 status. Failure to report any changes during the OPT period may result in a loss of F-1 status. If any changes occur, it will be the student’s responsibility to report any changes within 10 days including:

    • Personal Information 
    • Employer Information

     If reporting beyond 10 days of the position start date, please contact the ISS office (internationalstudents@ucr.edu).  

    When reporting your employment information in the SEVP OPT Portal, you must provide a detailed description on how your employment position is directly related to your field of study. The description should clearly demonstrate a clear connection between your employment position and your field of study by including your position title, job duties/responsibilities, employment start date, and company information. 

    Please see below for examples of a direct relationship per the 2019 SEVP Guidance on Practical Training: 

    • Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering: 

    I work full time as an Electrical Engineer at ABC Corp., a government contractor. In my job, I analyze client requirements for electrical systems and provide them with cost estimates of such systems. My work requires understanding of electrical circuit theory, which I studied in-depth at the University of ABC. dissertation.

    • Master's degree in Kinesiology: 

    I am working 25 hours a week in a health food store as a consultant for Self-Made Inc., designing and teaching exercise classes that are incorporated into a customer's overall nutrition and exercise plan. My designs and customer instruction draw upon my studies and classwork in exercise therapy and physical reconditioning.

    • PhD in Computer Science: 

    I am employed as a full-time Computer and Information Research Scientist at ABC Research Institute. I work as part of a team of scientists and engineers that designs experiments to test the operation of various software systems. My work builds on research in complex algorithms and machine learning, which I studied as part of my dissertation.

     

    SEVP OPT Portal

    The SEVP OPT Portal is an important and convenient tool to fulfill the legal OPT reporting requirements during the OPT period. This portal is only available for students approved for OPT. Around the start date of the EAD card, SEVIS will email an SEVP OPT Portal link to the student’s UCR email address. If the SEVP OPT portal link has expired or has locked, students should contact the ISS office (internationalstudents@ucr.edu) to reset the link. If the link cannot be located, students should check their spam mail. For technical issues, please contact the SEVIS Help Desk 1-800-892-4829.

     

    Unemployment Rule

    Unemployment days are counted from the start date on your EAD card. For Post-Completion OPT students, the maximum period of unemployment is 90 days. Students are required to report their employment in the SEVP OPT Portal within 10 days of the position start date. If there is no employment information listed in the SEVP OPT Portal, it will be seen as unemployment. Please note that exceeding 90 days of unemployment will result in the violation of your F-1 status and may result in a loss of your F-1 status. If you are at risk of exceeding the 90 days of unemployment time, please contact the ISS office (internationalstudents@ucr.edu).

     

    Allowable OPT Employment during Post-Completion OPT

    Please make sure to have a copy of your employment offer letter in the case that the Department of Homeland Security requests that you provide evidence of your employment at the company/institution. 

    Employment positions must meet the following criteria for the 12-month Post-Completion OPT: 

    • Must be directly related to your field of study
    • Part-Time (20 hrs. per week) or Full-time (more than 20 hrs. per week)
    • Allowable Employment Types include:
      • Paid, Unpaid, or Volunteer
      • Self-Employed Business Owner
      • Multiple Positions 
      • Short-term Positions
      • Work for Hire
      • Through an Agency  

     

    Useful OPT Resources:

  • 24-Month STEM OPT Extension- F-1 Students

    STEM OPT Application Process

    1. The 24-Month STEM OPT Extension Application Checklist includes information on the application process and the required documents. 


    2.  Important OPT & STEM OPT Application Updates:

    On April 12, 2021, USCIS announced that F-1 students seeking Optional Practical Training can now file the Form I-765 online for OPT and STEM OPT applications. Please be advised that those filing online may be required to make a Biometrics appointment. Students may choose to file online or continue file by paper mail. However, until we have more information about how the online process works, ISS recommends filing by paper mail for the time being.

    If you have questions about this, please schedule an appointment to speak with an advisor.
    To view the announcement, please click here.

    Using the chart below, please make sure that you are using the correct I-765 version, fee amount, and you are mailing to the correct USCIS location. Please note that these are subject to change. For updated information, please visit USCIS I-765 website.

    I-765 Edition I-765 Fee Mailing Location
    August 25, 2020 (08/25/20) $410

    USCIS Chicago Lockbox


    3. Students can also access the online STEM OPT Tutorial.

    • To access a Sample STEM OPT Form I-765 (08/25/20 Edition), please click here.
    • To access a Sample STEM OPT Form I-983 , please click here.

    STEM OPT Reporting Requirements

    In order to maintain legal F-1 status during STEM OPT, F-1 students must submit a report every six months and update any changes (including personal information & employment information) within 10 days. All STEM OPT reports must be submitted to ISS office (internationalstudents@ucr.edu) ahead of time. Once received, an ISS Advisor will review and submit the report in SEVIS system.

     

    Here is a chart of the STEM OPT Reporting Requirements:

    Report Deadline Report Due
    6 Months on STEM OPT

    Validation Report Due:

    1. STEM OPT Reporting Form
    12 Months on STEM OPT

    Annual Evaluation Report Due:

    1. STEM OPT Reporting Form
    2. Evaluation on Student Progress (1st portion of page 5 in I-983 Training Plan)
    18 Months on STEM OPT

    Validation Report Due:

    1. STEM OPT Reporting Form
    24 Months on STEM OPT

    Final Annual Evaluation Report Due:

    1. STEM OPT Reporting Form
    2. Final Evaluation (2nd portion of page 5 in I-983 Training Plan)
    Changes in STEM OPT

    Change of Address or Contact Information:

    1. Update in SEVP OPT Portal

    Change of Employer:

    1. STEM OPT Reporting Form
    2. Final Evaluation of I-983 for previous employer
    3.  New I-983 for new employer

     

    • General Employment Information- J-1 Students

      If you are interested in working in the U.S., it is important to learn the different types of work authorization available to you as a J-1 student. There are special immigration regulations and application processes for on-campus or off-campus internship/employment which will be covered in this section including: On-campus Employment and J-1 Academic Training

      On-campus Employment:

      • J-1 students must receive written authorization from the ISS office to work on-campus
      • You may work part-time (20 hours per week) while class is in session
      • You may work full-time (up to 40 hours per week) during academic breaks if you are returning to UCR the following term
      • You must continue to maintain full-time F-1 status when engaging in on-campus employment/internship

       

      Academic Training (AT)

      • Academic Training is a period of off-campus work authorization in a J-1 student's field of study
      • Academic training must be authorized by a responsible officer in ISS before you begin working and you must have a job offer before applying. You can engage in Academic Training both before and after the completion of your studies as long as you meet the eligibility requirements. Academic training is generally used after the completion of an academic program. For post completion academic training; you must apply before your DS-2019 or Academic program expires-whichever is earlier
      • Undergraduate and Graduate students are eligible for 18 months of academic training. PHD students are eligible for up to 36 months of AT.
      • Undergraduate or Graduate students in a program that is less than eighteen months old are eligible for a period of AT equal to the time that they have been in J status.

      Please review our Academic Training Request Form for eligibility requirements and additional information.

       

    • How to apply for a Social Security Number

      A Social Security Number (SSN) is assigned to individuals who are authorized to work in the United States. The SSN is a way to report wages to the U.S. government.

      Obtaining an SSN

      Obtaining an SSN Applying for an SSN is free. You must apply in person. You are eligible for an SSN only if you are employed or have the appropriate work authorization. If you do not meet one of these criteria, you will not qualify for a SSN.

      1. Gather the Required Documents:

      • Social Security Application Form SS-5
      • Valid passport  
      • I-94 Record
      • Employee Offer Letter
      • Signed I-20 or DS-2019
      • If you are working on-campus, please provide the completed F-1 or J-1 Social Security Verification Form
      • If you are authorized for CPT, please provide a CPT I-20 
      • If you are on OPT, please provide EAD card.

       

      2. Visit the Social Security Administration Office. To locate your local Social Security Administration Office, please click here.

       

      To access important resources, please see below:

      Social Security Administration, International Students and Social Security Numbers guide [pdf] 

      Study in the States page, Obtaining a Social Security Number

    Taxes

    • Do I have to file tax related forms?
    • Who is considered Resident or Nonresident for Federal Tax Purposes?

      Generally, most international students and scholars who are on F or J visas are considered nonresidents for tax purposes. International students on J-1 and F-1 visas are automatically considered nonresident for their first five calendar years in the U.S., whilst Scholars/Researchers on J visas are automatically considered nonresidents for two out of the last six calendar years in the U.S. If you've been in the U.S. for longer than the five or two year periods, you can use GLACIER Tax Prep (GTP) or the Substantial Presence Test to determine your tax residency status. 

    • What forms am I required to complete?

      Even if you did not earn income, if you are in F or J status and were present in the U.S. in the previous calendar year, you are required to file a Form 8843. Form 8843 is not an income tax form. It is an informational statement required by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for nonresidents for tax purposes (including spouses or dependents of nonresidents). 

      If you received a U.S. salary, a fellowship, scholarship or grant in excess of university tuition and fees in the previous year, you may need to file a federal tax form with the IRS and a state tax form with your state franchise tax board. The forms you are required to complete may vary due to your individual tax circumstances and the amount of time you have been in the United States. We recommend that you use GLACIER Tax Prep (GTP) and/or Sprintax to complete the appropriate tax forms.

      Resources:

      2020 Introduction to Nonresident Taxes Presentation
      2020 California State Tax Workshop Presentation

    • Can the International Student and Scholars office help me file my tax forms?

      Since we are not tax experts, we cannot provide you with specific tax advice; however, we do provide you with the listed resources to assist you with filing tax related reports. If you have specific tax questions, we recommend that you contact the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or a certified tax professional. 

    • What U.S. tax forms am I expected to receive?

      Before completing the appropriate tax documents, it is important to collect the necessary tax forms. Depending on your tax circumstance from the year prior, you may receive any of the following forms. 

      Form W-2 (Wage and Tax Statement): This form will be issued to those who had U.S. employment in the previous year. The Form W-2 shows the amount of taxes that were withheld from the paycheck for the year. This will be used to file federal and state taxes. The IRS requires employers to issue the W-2 no later than January 31. For international students or scholars who were employed by UCR, the W-2 may be located in the UCPath Portal

      Form 1042-S (Foreign Person’s U.S. Source Income Subject to Withholding): This form will be issued to nonresidents for tax purposes who had taxable scholarships, stipends, or fellowships. It is also for those who had wage/salary payments that are exempt from federal tax withholding due to a tax treaty. If this applies to you, UC Riverside will issue the 1042-S on February 12 and will notify you by email indicating that it is ready in your GLACIER account.

      Form 1095-B (Health Coverage): This form reports the type of health insurance coverage you have, any dependents covered, and to verify that the plan has the minimum qualifying health insurance coverage. Nonresidents for tax purposes can disregard this form. 

      Form 1098-T (Tuition Statement): This form is issued by eligible educational institutions in the United States to document educational expenses for each tax year. Nonresidents for tax purposes can disregard this form.

    • How do I file taxes?

      Filing U.S. Federal Taxes

      GLACIER Tax Prep (GTP)

      • GLACIER Tax Prep (GTP) is a user-friendly online federal income tax filing program designed for international students and scholars who are considered nonresidents for tax filing purposes. UCR provides free access to GTP for our UCR international students, scholars, and dependents.
        • To request for a free GTP access code and set up your GTP account for the 2020 tax year, please contact Heidi Nam (heidi.nam@ucr.edu). 
           
      • Am I eligible to use GTP? You are eligible to use GTP if you are considered a nonresident for tax purposes and meet the following eligibility requirements.
        • F-1 and J-1 students enrolled at UCR in the previous calendar year
        • F-1 students on Optional Practical Training in the previous calendar year
        • UCR J-1 students on Academic Training in the previous calendar year
        • Current J-1 visiting scholars associated with UCR in the previous calendar year
        • F-2 and J-2 dependents of the above

      UCR Tax Workshops 

      • Introduction to Federal Tax Workshops are designed to provide you with general information on tax filing in the U.S. and also provide an overview of the GLACIER Tax Prep (GTP) software (typically from February to April). If this is your first time filing taxes in the United States, we recommend that you attend one of these workshops before accessing GTP.
         
      • To sign up for upcoming tax workshops, please go to our Events Calendar

       

      Filing State Taxes

      UCR Tax Workshops

      • CA State Tax Workshop is presented by the California State Franchise Tax Board to guide you on filing any required State tax forms. This workshop is held during the tax season (typically between February to April). We recommend that you complete your federal taxes before attending this workshop.
         
      • To sign up for upcoming tax workshops, please go to our Events Calendar

      Sprintax 

      • Sprintax is a user-friendly online federal and state tax program designed for international students, scholars and their dependents who are considered nonresident for tax purposes. 
      • To use Sprintax to complete your state tax forms, please go to the UCR Sprintax login page.

       

      *Important Note: The resources listed are provided to help you gather information about filing taxes in the United States and are not a substitute for legal tax advice. If you have specific tax questions, we recommend that you contact the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)  or a certified tax professional.

      Resources:

    • How do I apply for an ITIN?

      The Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) is a 9-digit identification number that is issued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for U.S. tax processing purposes. This number is only available for residents and nonresidents for tax filing purposes who are not eligible to receive a Social Security Number (SSN) and need to file taxes.

      To learn how to apply for an ITIN, please visit the IRS - ITIN webpage. The IRS also provides detailed instructions on the ITIN application process on their Instructions for Form W-7 page.

      If you need assistance applying for ITIN, please make an appointment with an ITIN specialist at your local H&R Block office or other tax preparation office offering this service.

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