- Employment Rules in the US
- In the US, immigration regulations are very strict with respect to working while carrying a student visa.
F-1 students may not work off-campus during the first academic year, but may accept on-campus employment subject to certain conditions and restrictions. On campus as well, immigration regulations permit international students to work only part-time ? up to 20 hours per week ? during their first year of study.
By working 10 to 15 hours a week, you could earn enough to pay for incidentals such as books, clothing, and personal expenses, but your campus job cannot pay your major expenses, such as tuition or room and board. Campus jobs may include working at the university?s cafeteria, bookstore, library, or health club, or within the university?s administrative offices.
After the first year, you can also apply for employment as a resident assistant (RA) in a university dormitory. RAs serve as the first point of contact for students needing assistance or who have queries regarding dorm life. In return, RAs receive free accommodation and sometimes a small salary and/or meal plan.
After the first academic year, there are various programs available for F-1 students to seek off-campus employment as well. F-1 students may engage in three types of off-campus employment, after they have been studying for one academic year. These three types of employment are:
• Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
• Optional Practical Training (OPT) (pre-completion or post-completion)
• Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Optional Practical Training Extension (OPT)
M-1 students may engage in practical training only after they have completed their studies.
For both F-1 and M-1 students any off-campus employment must be related to their area of study and must be authorized prior to starting any work by the Designated School Official (the person authorized to maintain the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS)) and USCIS.
You should always check with your International Student Adviser before considering any form of employment. For the latest updates and details, you should also check the ?Working in the US? section on the US Citizenship and Immigration Services website at http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis
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