Employment - SUNY Cortland


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I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification Process

The Immigration Reform and Control Act requires all U.S. employers to verify the identity and employment eligibility of all new employees, citizens and non-citizens alike. By law, I-9 verification must be completed within the first 3 days of employment. Accordingly, all employers must keep I-9 files for each of their new employees. Even if you already have a Social Security Number (SSN), you must still complete the I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification process. Additional information regarding the Form I-9 is available on the USCIS website at http://www.uscis.gov/i-9

I-9 Verification for On-Campus Student Employment
Working on-campus in the U.S. is not permitted without proper authorization.

Step 1: Be enrolled full-time at the start of the upcoming semester if the semester has not yet begun. You must be registered for classes in order to work on SUNY Cortland Campus.

Step 2: Receive a job offer. You may not begin on-campus employment until you have completed the I-9 process and your information has been entered into the university system.  Please check Student Employment for recent job postings.

Step 3: You will need to apply for a Social Security Card if you do not already have a SSN.

Step 4: Complete the I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification process at the Career Services Office, Van Hoesen Hall, Room B-5.



CPT is designed to provide work experience directly related and integral to a student's degree of study.CPT can be part-time (fewer than 20 hours a week) or full-time (20+ hours a week). Generally any internships, even if it's unpaid, requires CPT authorization. 

A student must be in valid F-1-status and have been a full-time student for one academic year (Fall and Spring semesters) before participating in CPT.

An exception may be made for programs that require an internship from graduate students in their first year of study. This first year requirement must be documented by the academic department.

A student must have a written job/internship offer on company letterhead before applying for CPT. The job offer must indicate the position, the exact dates of employment, the number of hours per week and the company's address.

*Please see the International Programs Office for the CPT application packet and further processing details.


Optional Practical Training is a 12 month (364 days) employment authorization that provides an opportunity for F-1 students to apply knowledge acquired from their academic program to a work experience in their major field of study.

OPT must be recommended by the International Programs Office and approved by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). USCIS OPT work authorization is issued in the form of an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) commonly referred to as an EAD card. The EAD is a photo identity card similar to a university ID or driver's license. It indicates the date an authorized F-1 student may begin employment and the date the student must end employment.
If you are applying for OPT based on completion of your degree, you can submit your application for OPT as early as 90 days prior to your program end date (e.g. if your graduation date is May 17 you may apply for your OPT as early as February 17). Please be aware that your application must be received by USCIS by no later than 60 days after the day you complete your program or the program end date indicated on your I-20, whichever occurs first.

*Please see the International Programs Office for the OPT application packet and further processing details.