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Employment for F-1 Students

On-campus Employment

Students in F-1 status may work up to 20 hours per week on campus while enrolled in a full course of study (12 credits for undergraduates, 9 credits for graduate students, 3 credits for dissertators) and otherwise maintaining status. You may only work on the campus having jurisdiction over your SEVIS record. "On-campus" jobs include work in the SHU university center, libraries, recreational centers, and in academic and administrative departments. As a full-time student, you do not need permission to work on-campus up to 20 hours per week. You will need to show your employer documents which establish your identification and employment eligibility, as listed on the I-9 form that all new employees must complete. There is no exception to the 20 hour per-week maximum, even if the employment is a teaching or project assistantship. On-campus employment may exceed 20 hours per week during vacation periods (winter, spring, and summer breaks) for students who have maintained full-time status before the vacation and intend to register for the following semester.

If you would like to search for on campus employment, please click here.

Off-campus Employment

If you have been in valid F-1 status for a full academic year, you have several options for working off-campus:

Curricular Practical Training (CPT): this program is defined as alternate work/study, internship, cooperative education, or any other type of required internship that sponsoring employers offer through cooperative agreements with the university. You will need authorization from OIP for this type of practical training. If you are authorized for one year or more of full-time Curricular Practical Training, you will not be eligible for post-degree Optional Practical Training.

Optional Practical Training (OPT): this program allows you to accept employment in your field of study, part or full-time. The total amount of time that you can work under optional practical training is 12 months, full-time. OPT may be done during specific times before you graduate, or after you graduate. Student jobs (PA, TA, or RA) do not qualify as jobs for Optional Practical Training. To be authorized for Optional Practical Training, OIP recommends you apply several months in advance of your proposed employment. USCIS must receive your application prior to your degree completion. You will need a recommendation from OIP and authorization from USCIS for OPT. Allow OIP at least ten working days to determine eligibility and prepare its recommendation and school certification portion, before sending your application to USCIS to obtain the Employment Authorization Document (EAD Card).

Off-campus work due to serious economic necessity: The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) can authorize this kind of work permission when a student has fully documented severe economic hardship arising after arrival in the US or changing to F-1 status.


Student is eligible as soon he or she is in F-1 status; no academic-year waiting period. Available only while student is in F-1 status, before completion of the educational objective.


Must be with a qualified international organization; See 16.C.2.1 List of International Organizations.


Granted by USCIS in increments of no more than one year, or until expected date of employment completion or program completion, whichever is shorter.


Students will need to submit an application to USCIS, similar to the OPT application, with an offer letter from this organization.

Please click here to view the listing of international organizations.