Employment, Internships and Volunteer Work

There are strict F-1 regulations pertaining to all types of employment including on and off campus jobs, and paid and unpaid internships. International students must always receive permission from their SBCC Advisor before starting any employment or internships.

On-Campus Employment International students are eligible to apply for on-campus jobs after successful completion of one academic semester and must receive permission from their Advisor and the SBCC Human Resources Office before starting to work for each new hiring period.

Off-Campus Employment Minimum eligibility requirements for off-campus employment include successful completion of one academic year and at least one major class. Authorization for off-campus must be approved by your Advisor or USCIS before employment begins. Contact your Advisor to learn more about how to apply.

Internships (paid and unpaid) Minimum eligibility requirements for off-campus internships include, but are not limited to, successful completion of one academic year and at least one major class, and enrollment in the appropriate work experience class. Internship approval must be obtained before internship start date. Contact your Advisor to learn more about how to apply.

Volunteer Work International students are permitted to engage in community service for non-profit entities. Any volunteer work with a for-profit entity must be authorized by the Advisor.

Student working in cafeteria

On-campus Employment

International students may apply for on-campus jobs after successfully completing one academic semester.

Getting started
Students may log in to the "Job Connection" in Pipeline. Use the Advanced Search to filter for "On Campus Jobs - General Employment". You may also inquire in person at the department you are interested in working for.

After receiving a job offer
Go the Human Resources Office in the Student Services building (2nd floor) to pick up an employment packet. The Human Resources Office will verify your eligibility to work on campus with your Advisor in the International Office. If you do not have a U.S. Social Security Number, the Human Resources Office and your Advisor will provide you with instructions.

Do not work until you receive confirmation from the Human Resources Office that you may start working.

Optional Practical Training (OPT)

Optional Practical Training (OPT) is an employment benefit available to F-1 students who complete an associate degree at SBCC. OPT is a work permit valid for up to one year and can be used anywhere in the U.S. Students should apply for OPT during their last semester.

Recommended application deadlines: February 15 for Spring; September 15 for Fall; April 1 for Summer Session 1; May 15 for Summer Session II


  • You must complete at least one full academic year and be in good academic standing (at least 2.00 GPA)

  • You must be enrolled in your last semester to complete an associate degree. If you plan to transfer to a U.S. university, complete all transfer requirements before you graduate from SBCC!

  • A job offer is not required to apply.

  • You must apply for OPT before travelling to another country after graduation. Students who do not apply for OPT before travel are not eligible for OPT and cannot return to the U.S. using their SBCC I-20.


  • You may apply as early as 90 days before graduation and up to 60 days after graduation. Your application must be received no later than 30 days after your SBCC Advisor issues your OPT I-20.

  • Employment must be directly related to your field of major. OPT employment regulations and guidelines are strictly enforced.

  • The USCIS processing center takes approximately 3 months to process OPT employment applications. Apply early if you hope to start working soon after you graduate!

  • Travel to another country is not recommended while OPT is pending and/or if you do not have full-time employment. Travellers with a pending OPT application or who do not have proof of valid employment may be denied admission to the U.S.

  • You cannot begin working until you have successfully completed your degree requirements and received your Employment Authorization Card. Your SBCC Advisor will need a copy of your EAD card once you receive it.

  • Your OPT must begin within 60 days after you graduate. The expiration date on your Employment Authorization Document will be 12 months after the start date or less and will never exceed 14 months after you graduate.


    1) Degree Application Form - Meet with your Academic Counselor to apply.

    2) Form I-94 - Access your I-94 record at www.cbp.gov/I94/

    3) OPT Application (Form I-765) - Go to https://www.uscis.gov/i-765 to complete Form I-765 and Form G-1145 by typing your information onto the forms at the link. Then print the forms. Tips for filling out Form I-765:

    - Type or print legibly in black ink.

    - If extra space is needed to complete any item, attach a continuation sheet, write your name and I-94 number, at the top of a sheet of paper, indicate the Part and item number to which your answer refers, and include your signature and the date.

    - For question #3: Make sure your address will be valid for at least the next 120 days. This is the address where your Employment Authorization Card (EAD) will be delivered.

    - For question #10: type the number located on your I-94 form

    - For question #20: type (C) (3) (B)

    - Print the form. Do not sign your name until you meet with your Advisor. Your signature should be in black ink and it must fit within the lines on the form!

    4) OPT Federal Regulations Agreement form (see attached) – Read carefully and sign.

    5) Passport & F-1 Visa

    6) I-20 forms - Bring all of the original I-20’s you have been issued, even from previous schools.

    7) Two photographs taken no earlier than 30 days before submission of application.
    Lightly print your name on the back of each photo with a pencil. See attached sample for required measurements. You can have these taken at Sammy’s Camera, Costco, CVS, FedEx, or the Post Office.

    8) Application Fee $410 money order payable to: Department of Homeland Security. Money orders can be purchased from the Post Office, grocery and convenience stores, or your bank.

    Once you have completed your OPT paperwork, schedule an appointment with your Advisor by calling
    (805) 730-4040.

    Photo Dimensions OPT Federal Regulations Agreement form