The CSUN international Student's Office provides help and guidance in obtaining the necessary visa to qualified students.
International Student's Office
International and Exchange Student Center
18111 Nordhoff Street
Northridge, CA 91330-8445
Phone: (818) 677-3053
FAX: (818) 677-4191
The following is for general background information only and may not be up-to-date with current regulations. You should check with the International Student's Office for current rules and procedures.
Department of Homeland Security
The USCIS website has general information for international students studying and working in the United States.
Specific provisions related to international student employment is governed by Federal Regulation Sec. 214.2(f) paragraph (9). You can read the text of this regulation at the following USCIS webpage It is a long page! Once loaded, scroll down to paragraph (9) or search for "Employment ".
Getting I-20 Visa
The honors Co-Op program is classified as Curriculum Practical Training (CPT) by the Department of Homeland Security. Eligible international students must obtain an I-20 visa to work as a Co-Op intern. The I-20 visa is issued through the CSUN International students office.
Before requesting an I-20 you need to know the following:
- A job placement obtained through the Honors Co-Op program.
- Enrollment in CECS494HCX (See syllabus on how to get a permission number for enrolling).
- Have an offer of employment letter from the Co-Op Employer/Sponsor.
- A certificate from the Co-Op office stating that you are a CECS Co-Op intern (Visit the Co-Op office with offer of employment letter and proof of enrollment in ENGR494HCx or COMP494HCx to obtain this certificate).
Summer Employment or other part-time job
The Co-Op program is not set up to provide just summer employment or act as a clearing house for other part-time job/internship. If you are an international student with a student visa (e.g. F1) then you cannot enter the Co-Op program just to get an I-20 visa for a summer job. The Co-Op program is not set up for that. It is not an internship program nor an employment agency. The program does not accept any arbitrary job from any arbitrary employer as suitable for the Co-Op program. The job must be technical in nature and related to the student's field of study. Additionally, the sponsoring company must sign an agreement with the college.
International students generally work a maximum of 20 hours per week during spring and fall semesters and work full time during summer.
Optional Practical Training (OPT)
The Honors Co-Op program does not deal with Optional Practical Training (OPT). You need to see the CSUN International Student's Office and your Department Chair to obtain approval for OPT.