Authorization for employment with a qualifying international organization for F-1 students is intended for employment, such as an internship, within the meaning of the International Organization Immunities Act (59 Stat. 669). Please note that not all international organizations qualify for this authorization per federal rules. 

  • Eligibility Requirements
  • To be eligible for authorization for employment with an international organization, you must:

    • currently be maintaining a full-time program of study and in valid F-1 status; and
    • have written certification from a recognized international organization on the organization's letterhead that the proposed employment is within the scope of the organization's sponsorship

    Please note that the following students are not eligible for this type of employment:

    • Students in the English Language Program
    • Students in J-1 immigration status

    If you are uncertain whether you meet the eligibility requirements, please meet with an ISSS advisor.

  • Types of Employment with an International Organization
    • Part-time or full-time during the school vacation periods or while school is in session.
    • Students must still maintain a full course load and be making normal progress toward the degree. Student must still be physically present on Penn campus attending classes.  
    • While there is no requirement that work experience be directly related to the student’s field of study, such employment offers are usually made to students with a particular academic or practical background.
  • Filing Window
  • The employment application should be filed at least 90 days before the proposed employment is to begin.

  • Selecting Employment Dates
  • List the dates you actually intend to work. Your start date should be the earliest date that you could possibly begin work. Your end date should be the latest day that you could possibly work.

  • Duration of employment authorization
    • Employment authorization will begin on the date requested or the date the employment authorization is adjudicated, whichever is later – refer to your EAD card once issued.
    • Do not begin employment (including orientation or training) without possessing the valid EAD card and the EAD start date is current. 
    • There is no limit to the total amount of time granted for this type of employment authorization
  • Application Process
  • Step One:

    • Submit the electronic request form in iPenn. After you log in with your Pennkey, you will find "Employment with International Organization" under Student Services in the left menu.
    • As part of your iPenn eform submission, scan and upload the following:
      • Job offer/ written certification from a recognized international organization on the organization's letterhead that the proposed employment is within the scope of the organization's sponsorship
      • Passport pages (biographical data, photo, and expiration date)
      • Photocopy of your I-94 card (front and back if issued paper I-94) or US entry/admission stamp in passport  (if issued electronic I-94)
        Refer to the automated I-94 process at http://global.upenn.edu/isss/travel
      • Any previous Employment Authorization Document (EAD) card(s) if applicable
    • After reviewing the material listed above, an ISSS advisor will prepare an I-20 recommending employment with an international organization on Page 3. 


    Step Two:

    Pick up the I-20 at the ISSS reception desk after 3-5 business days.  During the peak / high-volume period, processing may take longer.



    Step Three:

    Mail the following items to the USCIS Service Center which has jurisdiction over the address listed on Form I-765:

    • Completed Form I-765 – type or print legibly (NOTE: consult ISSS prior to e-filing I-765 via the USCIS website as the processes differ.)
      • Enter “c 3 ii ” under Item 16
      • Type or print legibly as USCIS uses optical character recognition (OCR) technology
      • Be sure to check off the purpose (“I am applying for:”) of the form
      • Sign in blue ink
      • Signature should be within the box
    • I-765 Application Fee, payable to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security
      • must be drawn at a financial institution that is physically located in the U.S.
    • Job offer/ written certification from a recognized international organization on the organization's letterhead that the proposed employment is within the scope of the organization's sponsorship
    • Photocopy of pages 1 and 3 of all previous and current I-20s, including a copy of the new I-20
    • Photocopy of current Form I-94 (front and back)
    • Photocopy of the visa used for last entry into the U.S. (except for citizens of Canada and Bermuda)
    • Photocopy of passport (photo page, renewal page if original has expired, and pages showing amendments such as name changes, corrections etc.)
    • Two U.S. passport-style photos (lightly print your name on the back of each photo with a pencil)
    • Photocopy of any previously issued employment authorization documents (EAD cards)
  • Mailing Your Application
    • Please consult ISSS prior to e-fling I-765 via the USCIS website.
    • Check all documents for completeness and accuracy.  
    • Be sure to sign Forms I-20 and I-765.
    • Make a complete copy of your application for your records. ISSS does not maintain copies of OPT applications.
    The USCIS “Dallas Lockbox” filing location is applicable to the following states and territories:
    Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, U.S. Virgin Islands, or West Virginia.  If the state you put on form I-765 in item 3 is not in this list, refer to the mailing instructions for F-1 OPT applications in the I-765 Instructions.
     
    People filing at the lockbox can sign up to receive an email and/or text message confirming that the application was accepted by adding Form G-1145 as the first page of the OPT application.
     
    U.S. Postal Service deliveries:
    USCIS
    P.O. Box 660867
    Dallas, TX 75266
     
    Express mail and courier deliveries:
    USCIS
    Attn: AOS
    2501 S. State Highway 121 Business
    Suite 400
    Lewisville, TX 75067
     
    We recommend that you mail your application by express mail such as Federal Express or UPS, or by Certified Mail, Return Receipt Requested, so you will have a record of its delivery.
  • Important Reminders
    • If you later decide not to mail your application (Form I-765 plus supporting documentation) to USCIS for any reason, you must notify an ISSS advisor immediately so that we may timely cancel your employment recommendation in SEVIS. Failure to inform an ISSS advisor that you are not applying can cause problems in the future.
    • Please meet with an ISSS advisor if you have not received an I-797 Receipt Notice with a case number from USCIS within 2-6 weeks from the date that your OPT application was received at USCIS.  Please bring a copy of delivery confirmation. 
    • Please e-mail (isss@pobox.upenn.edu) or fax (215/898-2622) a copy of your EAD card to ISSS immediately upon receipt.
    • While your application is pending, we strongly advise you against trying to change the address listed on Form 1-765 as USClS has not been able to process change of address notifications properly. Changing your address while the application is still pending may result in filing a new application with a new fee. We suggest to use the address of someone who can receive mail on your behalf – remember to put “c/o”, followed by the person’s name and address, on Line 3 of Form I-765. The US Postal Service will not forward USCIS mail. 
    • If you receive a Request for Evidence (RFE), please consult an ISSS advisor immediately. 
    •  If you find any errors by USCIS on your EAD card, please consult an ISSS advisor immediately. 
    • Immediately inform ISSS of any immigration status change.