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Working on a Student Visa

There are several options for working in the United States while on an F-1 student visa.

Even though F-1 students have the privilege to work on campus, job opportunities are often limited, provide only minimal financial support, and are not likely to provide practical training for you studies.

International students should consult with their DSO before applying for or accepting any employment on campus or off.

Working on Campus

The first option is to work on the campus of the university that you are attending. On-campus employment is permitted by the USCIS and does not require their approval.

Students with F-1 visa status and current I-20 forms may often work on campus up to 20 hours per week during the academic year or during the summer sessions if registered for a course.

Typical jobs pay $500-$1,000 per semester. Perhaps the most common on-campus jobs include working in the university cafeteria preparing and serving food.

Working off Campus 

The other option, working off campus, is also allowed but only under certain conditions. Off-campus employment for international students is more common for international graduate students who gain practical experience as part of their program of study through internships.

Off-campus employment for international undergraduate students is quite uncommon but is sometimes allowed if a student is experiencing unforeseen financial problems. Contact your DSO for further information about off-campus employment opportunities.

Current USCIS policy, forms, and updates, are available here.