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1.No Work Permit Needed for Working on Campus:

As an F-1 student visa holder, you can work on campus without a work permit.   There are some regulations that you must follow:

  • You can work on campus part-time (up to 20 hours) a week while your school is in session.
  • You can work on a full-time schedule (over 20 hours) during holidays or vacations.

On-campus jobs may be very limited for international students because American students have the priority to be hired.    If you are interested in working on campus, ask your school’s international office for further advice and details.

On-campus jobs for international students could be found at the following locations:

  • cafeteria
  • library
  • computer/lab room
  • administrative office
  • student housing (dorms or apartments)

Some campus jobs are only for those who are eligible for “work-study” positions.   As an international student, you can not apply for any “work study” positions because they are only for U.S. citizens and permanent residents.

2. Work Permit Needed for Working off campus:

According to USCIS, “F-1 students may not work off-campus during the first academic year.”   However, if a graduate student needs a practical training in the first semester for the studies, he or she may get one if permitted by the school.   After the first academic year, F-1 students can look for three types of off-campus employment: (orange links will be added soon)

  • Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
  • Optional Practical Training (OPT) (pre-completion or post-completion)
  • Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Optional Practical Training Extension (OPT)

Related reading:

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