Under certain circumstances, with an employment/internship offer from specific recognized international organizations, an F-1 student may apply to USCIS for authorization for Employment with an International Organization [8 CFR 214.2(f)(9)(iii)].
To obtain this employment authorization, an eligible student must submit an application, with fee, to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services with Form I-765 – Application for Employment Authorization. Processing time can be between 2.5 to 5 months.
Some International Organizations may have policies regarding internships/employment for F-1 visa holders, or may have requirements to change status to G nonimmigrant status. Students are advised to speak with their ISO Advisor before pursuing any visa application to pursue activity at an international organization.
Students can apply for work permits under this provision of F-1 status in increments of no more than one year and only prior to completion of degree.
Per SEVP guidance, work as an intern under this authorization can be for a maximum of 20 hours per week while school is in session, or full time during annual vacation period. Students must maintain their full-time student status, enrolled in a full course of study, and this internship authorization must not interfere in normal progress towards degree completion.
This authorization is not available to students for any post-degree authorization (F-1 students would need to seek F-1 Optional Practical Training authorization, if eligible, for post-degree authorization in their field of study, based on their student status). Please note that for post-degree opportunities with international organizations, a student can speak with the organization to see if other visa statuses may be available for employment/training experiences with that organization (such as A or G visa statuses).
How to Apply
Obtain written certification from the international organization on the organization’s letterhead that the proposed employment is within the scope of the organization’s sponsorship, including: dates of the internship; number of hours per week; address of location of activity; supervisor’s name, phone number, email address; summary of duties that will be performed.
- Submit the following documents to your ISO Advisor to request a new Form I-20 with recommendation:
- Organization’s letter
- Photocopy of Form I-94 record
- Photocopy of passport identity pages
- Photocopy of previous EAD card(s) that authorized internship with international organizations
- Documents to Mail to USCIS for Application for Employment Authorization
- Complete Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, marking at item 20 the code (c)(3)(ii). Make sure signature fits within signature box in Form I-765.
- Form I-765 filing fee (check, money order or credit card – see 16.A.2 USCIS filing fees)
- Two passport-sized photos (see 16.A.8 Photo guidelines for visas and immigration benefits). The instructions to Form I-765 state that the photos must have been taken no more than 30 days before filing the form.
- Photocopy of new Form I-20 with ISO recommendation for F-1 Internship with International Organization
- Letter from International Organizations with internship offer
- Photocopies of all previous Forms I-20 issued to student
- Photocopy of Form I-94 record
- Photocopies of passport identity pages (including full name, passport number, photo, date of birth, passport issue and expiration dates
- Photocopy of F-1 entry visa in passport issued by US Consulate (if applicable)
Where to Mail
Mail all documents above to the USCIS Lockbox Facility with jurisdiction over your physical address
Students may not begin their internship until they have received their Employment Authorization Document (EAD) card from USCIS and until the start/begin date listed on the EAD card.
Students interested in this authorization should consult the regulatory information below and consult with their ISO Advisor.
(iii) Internship with an international organization. A bona fide F-1 student who has been offered employment by a recognized international organization within the meaning of the International Organization Immunities Act (59 Stat. 669) must apply for employment authorization to the service center having jurisdiction over his or her place of residence. A student seeking employment authorization under this provision is required to present a written certification from the international organization that the proposed employment is within the scope of the organization’s sponsorship, Form I-20 ID or SEVIS Form I-20 with employment page completed by DSO certifying eligibility for employment, and a completed Form I-765, with required fee as contained in §103.7(b)(1) of this chapter.
Under 19 CFR 148.87(b), Designated public international organizations are defined as follows:
Designated public international organizations. The President, by virtue of the authority vested in him by section 1 of the International Organizations Immunities Act of December 29, 1945 (22 U.S.C. 288), has designated certain organizations as public international organizations entitled to the free entry privileges of that statute. The following is a list of the public international organizations currently entitled to such free entry privileges and the Executive orders by which they were designated:
- African Development Bank
- African Development Fund
- Asian Development Bank
- Border Environmental Cooperation Commission
- Caribbean Organization
- Commission for Environmental Cooperation
- Commission for Labor Cooperation
- Commission for the Study of Alternatives to the Panama Canal
- Customs Cooperation Council
- European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
- European Space Agency (formerly the European Space Research Organization (ESRO)
- Food and Agriculture Organization
- Great Lakes Fishery Commission
- Inter-American Defense Board
- Inter-American Development Bank
- Inter-American Institute of Agricultural Sciences
- Inter-American Investment Corporation
- Inter-American Statistical Institute
- Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission
- Intergovernmental Maritime Consultative Organization
- International Atomic Energy Agency
- International Bank for Reconstruction and Development
- International Boundary and Water Commission, United States & Mexico
- International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes
- International Civil Aviation Organization
- International Coffee Organization
- International Committee of the Red Cross
- International Cotton Advisory Committee
- International Cotton Institute
- International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL)
- International Development Association
- International Development Law Institute
- International Fertilizer Development Center
- International Finance Corporation
- International Food Policy Research Institute — Limited privileges only
- International Fund for Agricultural Development
- International Hydrographic Bureau
- International Joint Commission — United States and Canada
- International Labor Organization
- International Maritime Satellite Organization
- International Monetary Fund
- International Pacific Halibut Commission
- International Secretariat for Volunteer Service
- International Telecommunications Satellite Organization (INTELSAT)
- International Telecommunication Union
- International Wheat Advisory Committee (International Wheat Council)
- Investment Guarantee Agency
- Multinational Force and Observers
- North American Development Bank
- North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission
- North Pacific Marine Science Organization
- Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development [formerly Organization for European Economic Cooperation]
- Organization of African Unity (OAU)
- Organization of American States
- Organization of Eastern Caribbean States
- Pacific Salmon Commission
- Pan American Health Organization (includes the Pan American Sanitary Bureau
- Preparatory Commission of the International Atomic Energy Agency
- Provisional Intergovernmental Committee for the Movement of Migrants from Europe (now known as the Intergovernmental Committee for European Migration)
- South Pacific Commission
- United International Bureau for the Protection of Intellectual Property
- United Nations
- United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization
- United Nations Industrial Development Organization
- Universal Postal Union
- World Health Organization
- World Intellectual Property Organization
- World Meteorological Organization
- World Tourism Organization
*Please view the link at eCFR for 19 CFR 148.87(b) to be sure to view the most up-to-date list of designated organizations.