Unpaid internships/positions are considered employment and therefore require employment authorization. The only instance when working is not considered employment is humanitarian volunteering (e.g. cleaning up a road after a natural disaster). If you have any questions about whether a job requires employment authorization, please consult an advisor before engaging in the job/internship.
Reimbursements & Honoraria
For students who travel to locations away from UCSB for events such as conferences, they may be reimbursed for incidental expenses (e.g. food, travel, lodging, etc.) if there is a "net zero gain." Meaning the student is being reimbursed to cover the cost of their participation, rather than to profit from it. This may require a letter issued by OISS by the request of the organization. The student can contact their assigned OISS advisor to receive this letter.
For students receiving an honorarium, which will result in profit, a work authorization is required (CPT for F-1 students or Academic Training for J-1 students). For example, a student will be receiving an honorarium for being the keynote speaker at a virtual conference. The student does not have any travel expenses since the conference is virtual. Therefore, the honorarium will profit the student rather than resulting in a "net zero gain."