The F‐1 classification is for those foreign students who have applied for and have obtained a U.S. student visa. This visa is required for any foreign citizen wishing to attend school within the United States. The student must have a valid educational purpose for coming to the United States and must be a full time student. This student visa can be applied for and issued at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the student’s home country. This visa is valid as long as the student is enrolled in school and holds student status.
Optional Practical Training (OPT)
OPT is temporary employment authorization that gives F‐1 students an opportunity to apply knowledge gained in the classroom to a practical work experience off campus. You may use some or all of the available twelve months of practical training during your course of study or save the full twelve months to use after you complete your studies.
Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
CPT is an employment option available to F‐1 students where the practical training employment is considered to be an integral part of the curriculum or academic program. This employment may be an internship, cooperative education job, practicum, or any other work experience that is either required for a degree or for which academic credit is awarded.
H‐1B is an immigration classification that is used to hire a foreign national professional. In order to qualify for the H‐1B visa status, the student must first have a job offer with an employer and have an employer willing to file an H‐1B petition on their behalf. H‐1B visa status is reserved for specialty occupations requiring at least a bachelor’s degree. The H‐1B visa holder can stay in increments of up to three years, with a total stay limited to six years.
For more in‐depth information on visas be sure to visit the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ website or the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s website.
For visa and CPT help visit the International Student Services office, located at 1620 Melrose Avenue.
Email: international (at) utk.edu