Employment opportunities for foreign students are restricted in the U.S and therefore obtaining authorization to work in this country is often a difficult process. There are basically two types of employment: on-campus and off-campus employment. Foreign students are never allowed to work off-campus without prior authorization from the International Student Advisor and/or U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Please come to the International Student Advisor’s office located in the Advisement Center, C222 with any questions regarding on- or off-campus employment.
*It is your responsibility to comply with all immigration regulations which apply to you as F-1 students. If you fail to comply with these responsibilities you may lose your valid student status!
On Campus Employment
F-1 students are eligible to begin on-campus employment 30 days before initial start of classes and may work until their program completion while enrolled full-time. They are limited to 20 hours per week (part-time) while classes are in session, and can be full-time when school is not in session.
Off Campus Employment
Off-Campus employment is any type of work or services performed in exchange for money, tuition, fees, books, supplies, room, food or any other benefit. An Employment Authorization Document is required before any off-campus employment is allowed. Please review the information below or speak with the International Student Advisor for more information about employment opportunities.
Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
Curricular Practical Training is employment which is an integral part of an established curriculum. This is generally for those students who will participate in a paid internship as part of their Major. Download our CPT Information Packet to learn more about applying for CPT.
Optional Practical Training (OPT)
Optional Practical Training is off-campus employment authorization that permits F-1 students valuable work experience in their major field of study. You are permitted to work for a maximum of 12 months of full-time employment (over 20 hours per week) for each higher educational level you pursue in the United States. Download our OPT Information Packet to learn more about applying for OPT.
Severe Economic Hardship
This type of work authorization is only available if you have severe economic hardship because of some major event that you could not control. To be eligible, you must have been in F-1 Status for one full academic year, and you must be in good academic standing. Some possible reasons for economic hardship include: major increases in tuition and/or living costs, unexpected changes in the financial condition of your source of income, medical bills, natural disaster…etc. If you think you may qualify for this type of off-campus employment please see your International Student Advisor for more information.
Internship with an International Organization
An F-1 student who has been offered employment by a recognized international organization within the meaning of the International Organization Immunities Act (59 Stat. 669) may apply for employment authorization.