Employment and Taxes
If you work with a professor at Cornell Tech or Weill Cornell, it is considered on-campus employment. F-1 students do not need special authorization to work on campus.
While classes are in session, you can legally work a maximum of 20 hours per week. (Please be advised that Cornell limits Masters students to work a maximum of 10 hours per week.)
Before beginning any work, please reach out to our team for the required paperwork so you can be hired.
F-1 CPT (For Off-Campus Work Before Graduation)
Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is temporary employment authorization that makes it possible for an F-1 international student to work off-campus in their field of study only.
CPT could be full-time (over 20 hours a week) during the summer and the winter semester break, or part-time (limited to 20 hours of total employment per week, including any on-campus positions) during the academic year. If you’re a master’s student, you must get permission from your program director to work more than 10 hours per week.
Eligibility: You’re an F-1 student with an active SEVIS record at the time of application, and you’ve been in full-time student status for at least one academic year (two full semesters) preceding the CPT application.
Master’s students in 1-year degree programs may not take on CPT during the first semester.
For more details, please visit the Office of Global Learning’s webpage on CPT. The current CPT application form can be found here. Please complete the 1st page and then have your Program Director sign off for approval on the 2nd page. Completed forms must be submitted to Student & Academic Affairs (in-person or via e-mail)!
F-1 OPT (For Off-Campus Work After Graduation)
Optional Practical Training (OPT) is a benefit and extension of F-1 student status. It lets you apply what you learned in your degree program to off-campus work in your field of study.
For more information, please visit the Office of Global Learning’s webpage on OPT.
Visas After Graduation
Offered once each semester, Visas After Graduation for international students provides an overview of options for working long-term in the U.S. after graduation and eventually becoming a permanent resident (green card holder) if you desire.
Visas After Graduation is presented in collaboration with the law firm of Miller Mayer. You can find the most recent video recording in this folder.
Social Security Number (SSN)
To be eligible for a social security number, F-1 students must either
- work on campus OR
- have obtained off-campus work authorization.
Please contact Student & Academic Affairs as we can provide you your hiring department letter and your SSN eligibility verification letter (STEP 1). Once you receive these letters, you can proceed to follow Steps 2-4 on the Office of Global Learning page.
U.S. Income Tax
All international students are required to file at least one tax form with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS)–form 8843. For detailed information on U.S. Income Tax Basics, please visit the Office of Global Learning’s website here.
Cornell provides tax software for international students, and the software will determine which forms you need to file based on how you answer certain questions. International students should not use Turbo Tax to file taxes.
Volunteering & Unpaid Internships
Students interested in volunteering and unpaid internships should carefully review the OGL webpage: Volunteers & Unpaid Interns.