F-1 Students may be eligible to receive authorization for employment with a qualifying international organization. This type of employment is intended for work, such as an internship, within the meaning of the International Organization Immunities Act (59 Stat. 669). 

Note: not all international organizations qualify for this authorization per federal rules.  

Before applying review the Eligibility requirements as well as the Things to Consider below.

  • Eligibility
  • To be eligible for authorization to work 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: 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.

  • Things to Consider Before Applying
  • Types of Employment with an International Organization

    • Part-time or full-time during the school vacation periods or while school is in session.
    • You must still maintain a full course load and be making normal progress toward the degree. 
    • You must still be physically present on Penn campus attending classes.  
    • While there is no requirement that work experience be directly related to the your field of study, such employment offers are usually made to students with a particular academic or practical background.

    Reporting Requirements

    • You are required to report to ISSS any change of name or address within 10 days.

    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

    • 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

How to Apply

  1. Read and print the Application Instructions
  2. Use the printout to help you complete and submit the application to USCIS
  3. Review the Important Reminders below
  • 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 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.