There are several types of employment available to international students in F-1 status, which are listed below. Students in other non-immigrant statuses may not work on or off-campus unless authorized to do so by U.S. immigration law. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website contains additional information on obtaining employment authorization in the U.S.
International Students in F-1 status are allowed by immigration law to work on campus a maximum of 20 hours per week during the Fall and Spring semesters. However, F-1 students may work full-time on-campus during the summer (annual vacation) or during other official university breaks.
Working on-campus more than 20 hours per week during the Fall and Spring semesters is prohibited by immigration law and will result in the termination of your F-1 visa status.
Optional Practical Training (OPT) is a type of work authorization granted to F-1 students by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to work in their field of study. F-1 students are eligible to apply
A maximum period of 12 months per degree level can be granted. Students can choose to use OPT while they are completing their program of study (Pre-completion OPT) or after graduation (Post-completion OPT). Students are eligible for an additional 12 months with each higher degree level.
Curricular Practical Training [CPT] is a form of employment authorization that allows F-1 students to work off- campus in practicum or internships, which are required for a course or the student’s major. The requirements of CPT are:
You must schedule an appointment with the Director of International Student Services two weeks before your internship or practicum is scheduled to begin.
Federal Immigration Regulations state, “If other employment opportunities are not available or are otherwise insufficient, an eligible F-1 student may request off campus employment work authorization based upon severe economic hardship caused by unforeseen circumstances beyond the student’s control.”
To qualify for Economic Hardship work authorization, a student must meet the following conditions:
Please contact the Office of International Student Services if you feel that you may qualify to apply for Severe Economic Hardship Work Authorization.
NOTE: Unauthorized off-campus employment is considered illegal employment. Students who participate in unauthorized employment of any kind are subject to the termination of their F-1 visa status.