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On-Campus Employment

F-1 student are allowed to work on-campus as long as they are maintaining F-1 Status.

An "On campus" employer is defined as an employer located on campus that is providing direct services to students.

On-campus work may generally be divided into three types:

  1. Work on the school premises, employed by the I-20 issuing institution
  2. Work on the school premises, employed by on-campus commercial firms
  3. Work done at off-campus locations, but treated as on-campus

Summarized regulations for F-1 students on campus work:

  • You cannot work more than 20 hours while school is in session (fall and spring semesters).
  • You must be a full-time student (Undergraduate students 12 hours/Graduate students 9 hours) and in legal F-1 status.
  • You can work full-time (over 20 hours) when school is not in session (i.e., spring break) and during annual vacation (summer).
  • University Policy (not immigration) limits Graduate Assistants to working only 75% if taking classes during the summer and also working.
  • You may work on campus only at the school listed on your I-20.
  • You may not work after your graduation date or completion of studies.

Although no specific immigration related authorization for on-campus employment is required, you must remember that on-campus employment is contingent on maintaining your full-time student status. For example, if you drop below full-time hours without authorization from our office, your permission to work on-campus is immediately canceled. If you continue to work you are violating U.S. law and will become "unlawfully present" in the U.S. If you have any questions about this program, please make an appointment to see an International Student Advisor.

Quick-reference: Characteristics of F-1 On-Campus Employment

Characteristic Note
Preconditions Eligible immediately upon obtaining F-1 status; no waiting period. In transfer scenarios, can begin at the transfer-in school after the transfer release date, but no sooner than 30 days before the program start date on the transfer-in school's I-20.
Location Must be considered "on-campus"
Duration Can be used throughout period student is pursuing a full course of study. Cannot be used after a student completes the course of study.
Hours per week Limited to 20 hours per week while school is in session; can be full-time during official school breaks.
Field/level of work Can be in any on-campus position that does not displace a U.S. worker; does not have to be related to course of study.
Offer of employment Not required as a condition of eligibility.
Effect on other work on campus All 214.2(f)(9)(i) on-campus work is treated the same for the 20 hour per week limit; e.g., a teaching assistant working 15 hours per week can only work 5 additional hours per week in another on-campus job
Approval process Employment is "incident to status," and does not require DSO or DHS approval. But see 11.F.2 Social Security Numbers, for a discussion of SSA requirements for obtaining a Social Security Number
Miscellaneous Employment must not displace a U.S. resident [8 CFR 214.2(f)(9)(i)].
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  • Step-by-step Instructions for Working On-Campus