International students who wish to start a business may only do so with proper employment authorization. See Study in the States – F-1 Students and Entrepreneurship for further information. While you are on an F-1 visa, you must have approved Optional Practical Training in order to start your own business. This means the work must be directly related to your field of study, and your work hours will be restricted to 20 hours per week (including any on-campus employment) during the academic semester.
The University also runs entrepreneurial programs related to the University’s curriculum. If you are an F-1 student who starts a business in the context of a UConn entrepreneurial program, you may qualify for CPT. Students on F-1 visas who participate in the following programs must apply for CPT prior to participation in the program:
- Third Bridge Grant Program
- Accelerate UConn
- Summer Fellowship
J-1 students participating in the above programs must apply for J-1 Academic Training authorization. J-1 students will not be authorized to start their own business outside of a UConn curricular program.
If you are interested to participate in a UConn entrepreneurial program not listed above, please check with your ISSS advisor to see if you require CPT/OPT.