Working in the USA

Employment

First and foremost, never go to work for an employer without having permission! Always check with the Ivanhoe International Center prior to going to work. If you go to work for someone without having work permission, you are considered to be in violation of your F-1 status. If this happens, you lose all benefits associated with F-1 status, including permission to work on campus (assistantships, on-campus jobs). You are not eligible for reinstatement through the immigration service.

Time Limitations

F-1 students are limited in the number of hours they are allowed to work per week. You are limited to twenty hours per week when school is in session. This includes all types of employment. If you have two on-campus jobs, you may only work a TOTAL of 20 hours per week. For example, you have an assistantship in your department and you also work in the dining services. If your assistantship is ten hours per week, you may only work ten hours in dining services. If your assistantship is five hours per week, you may work fifteen hours per week in dining services.

Types of Employment

Students in F-1 status are very limited in the types of employment in which they may engage. There are several different types of employment that F-1 students may be eligible for.

On-Campus Employment

Any student who is in valid F-1 status is eligible for on-campus employment. This includes teaching or research assistantships and other on-campus work, such as working in dining services, the library, etc.

Off-Campus Employment

Employment off-campus is extremely difficult to obtain. Please contact the Ivanhoe International Center for information. Off-campus employment opportunities may be available through curricular practical training, optional practical training, or economic necessity. (Work permission for economic necessity must be authorized by the immigration service and is very difficult to obtain.)

For each of these you must be in F-1 student status for one academic year. Please contact the Ivanhoe International Center for further information.

Practical Training Options:


Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

      F-1 students are eligible to apply for curricular practical training (CPT) after being in F-1 status for one academic year. The student should confer closely with the international student advisor.
      CPT Information

Optional Practical Training (OPT)

      F-1 students are eligible to apply for optional practical training (OPT) after being in F-1 status for one academic year. Please confer with the international student advisor for more details.
      OPT Instructions    

OPT STEM Extension

     F-1 students who receive science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) degrees included on the STEM Designated Degree Program List, are employed by employers enrolled in E-Verify, and who have received an initial grant of post-completion OPT related to such a degree, may apply for a 17-month extension.

     STEM Instructions