Employment for F-1 Student Visa Holders
A nonimmigrant who is permitted to engage in employment may engage only in such employment as has been authorized. Any unauthorized employment by a nonimmigrant constitutes a failure to maintain status.
Types of employment
There are four categories for types of employment available to F-1 students:
- On-campus Employment
- Employment authorized because of Severe Economic Hardship
- Employment sponsored by international organizations
- Practical Training - Curricular and Optional Practical Training
Qualifications for on-campus employment:
- Limited to 20 hours per week while school is in session; can be full-time during official school holidays. e.g. a graduate assistantship working for 10 hours per week and an additional 10 hours per week in the cafeteria = 20 hours.
- Employment does not have to be related to course of study.
- Maintaining F-1 status as a full-time student.
Types of on-campus employment:
- Work on the school premises, employed by OSU. Includes teaching or research, university library, cafeteria, and other student positions.
- Work on the school premises, employed by on-campus commercial firms. Commercial firm must provide services for students on-campus.
Procedures for on-campus employment:
Students must bring to ISS the following documents:
- Current I-20
- I-94 Departure Record card
If student is "in status" as an F-1 student, an OSU International Work Permit will be issued. In most cases the expiration date will be May 31. To renew the work permit you must be enrolled for the next semester. Bring your passport, current I-20 and I-94 Departure Record card each time.
Qualifications for Economic Hardship Employment:
- Must have been in F-1 status for one full academic year. Must prove to Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) that employment is necessary due to severe economic hardship caused by circumstances beyond his or her control that arose after obtaining F-1 status.
- Granted by CIS in increments of one year at a time.
- Limited to 20 hours per week while school is in session; can be full-time during official school holidays.
- Can be any type of employment.
- Must apply for Employment Authorization Document (EAD) from CIS.
Procedures for economic hardship employment:
Student must prepare an explanation about the circumstances that caused the economic hardship. CIS requires extensive documentation. Several CIS forms must be completed including photos and required fees payable to CIS. If approved an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) will be issued. If denied there is no appeal.
This F-1 employment benefit is rare. The student must be employed for a recognized international organization. CIS requires an application for an EAD before the employment begins. Many international organizations hiring F-1 students may require the student to change to "G" status, which is reserved for employees of International Organization, e.g. World Bank Practical Training. An F-1 student may wish to engage in temporary employment to gain practical experience in his or her of study.
For more information on Curricular Practical Training (CPT) and Optional Practical Training (OPT), please visit the following links: