Employment in USA

There are a large number of International Students who are employed in the U.S as there are a lot of opportunities available here. The United States is known for its flourishing economic system and almost zero unemployment rates. Most of the employees in United States are qualified professionals and those who have an excellent job experience. Presently many of them especially Indians are recruited as they are known for their skilled behavior.

Employing Students in USA

The International Students with an F-1 visa are allowed to work in the U.S. but only under certain circumstances. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) has drafted some guidelines and restrictions based on which a student can work in America. The student employment also depends on the terms and restrictions of your F-1 visa. Many types of employment exist namely:

On Campus Employment in USA

The students are allowed to work in their respective schools who have issued their I - 20. The students who wish to work in the premises of their school should report to the International Student Services (ISS) advisor and apply for an "on-campus work permit stamp". They should carry their latest current I-20 and passport.

The duration of the on-campus work permit stamps is valid till the I - 20 expires. A new work permit stamp should be requested if the study period is extended and the student wishes to work in this extended period.

The ways in which the Students are employed on-campus

  • The students are employed by the institution issuing the I - 20 as a teaching assistant, tutor, library assistant, Laboratory assistant, in the administrative office.
  • Some jobs like research are done off-campus but are treated as on-campus.
  • Employment of students by some commercial firms located in the campus like working in a cafeteria.

Conditions and Restrictions in On-campus employment in USA

  • The student must have a valid F- 1 visa and I - 20 issued by the institution.
  • The student can work on-campus during the period of study in the institution.
  • The Student can work for a maximum of 20 hours per week while the school is on progress.
  • The students are not allowed to start work until they attend at least 30 days of their regular classes.
  • A student can teach for more than 20 hours per week provided there are official school breaks.
  • A job shouldn't be taken away from a U.S. citizen
  • If a student is attending 2 institutions concurrently, the student may be employed on-campus by the institution that has issued his/her I - 20 and also has legal rights over his/her Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) record.

Off Campus Employment in USA


Severe Economic Hardship

If employment opportunities are not available or if the benefits from the current on-campus job are not sufficient, this situation in a student's life is termed severe economic hardship. There are some unforeseen situations that occur beyond a student's control. These situations might be loss of financial aid or loss of an on-campus job, change is cost of living, medical bills or unexpected expenses. To work Off-campus a student:
  • Must have a valid F1-visa for at least 9 months.
  • Must have a good academic background
  • Must provide proof of economic hardship based on insufficiency of on-campus employment or emergency events.

Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

An employment which is a part of a student's curriculum. It includes alternate work/study, internship and cooperative education. This is sponsored by employers by making an agreement with the institution. This off-campus employment is made available only prior to the completion of the student's degree program and only if a student has a job offer.

Optional Practical Training (OPT)

A temporary employment related to a field which a student has chosen. At the end of the training the student receives an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) which is issued by the United States Citizenship and Immigration's Services (USCIS).

Employment with an International Organization

The students can be employed by some recognized and well-known international organizations provided the organizations are listed on the State Department list. As this employment does not have applications of OPT or CPT, it is often overlooked. The students with job offer and sponsorship from the organization are eligible.
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