F-1 Student Employment Options
F-1 students must understand the rules of their visa status before engaging in employment or work opportunities in the U.S.
F-1 students are eligible to work on and off-campus while in the U.S. with certain restrictions. Please note: All off-campus work authorization requires prior approval from ISS.
Employment is defined as “work performed in exchange for compensation.” Compensation can include money, room and board, or other significant benefits. Most employment opportunities require authorization. Working without authorization has serious consequences and can impact your ability to study, travel, or work in the U.S. throughout your life.
F-1 status allows the following categories of employment:
- On-Campus Employment
- Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
- Optional Practical Training (OPT) & STEM OPT Extension
- Severe Economic Hardship & International Organizations
Students interested in these opportunities must work with their DSO/PDSO prior to starting or being authorized for any form of employment. Details about work benefits and practical training can be found on the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Study in the States website.
Additional F-1 Student Employment Resources
- InternationalStudent.com: Working in the USA
- Study in the States: F-1 Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
- Study in the States: F-1 Optional Practical Training (OPT)
- Study in the States: STEM OPT Hub
- Study in the States: F-1 Off Campus Employment and International Organization Internship
- USCIS Form I-765, Application for Employment
- USCIS Form I-765 Instructions
If you are interested in or have questions about your eligibility for employment or the processes for each type, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.