5 Types of F1 Visa Jobs for International Students to Work

Can work on F1 Visa?

What options are there for F1 students to work part-time?

What about job options after after graduation?

F1 Visa students in USA have several options to work in USA while attending school or right after graduation.

F1 Visa Jobs

Students on F1 Visa can work in one of the following types of jobs.

  1. While Studying:
    1. On Campus Employment
    2. Off-Campus Employment (typically not allowed)
    3. Assistantship
      1. Research Assistant
      2. Teaching Assistant
    4. Internship via CPT
  2. After Graduation:
    1. Initial 12 Months OPT

Lets explore in detail about both On and Off Campus employment.

On-Campus and Off-Campus Employment

Students with an I-20, attending the University are eligible to work on the campus up to 20 hours per week while the semester is under progress.

How much does a part-time job in the US pay?

What are the number of hours that a student can work?

Is the earnings from a part time job enough to cover either tuition or living expenses?

Part Time Jobs for F1 Students

International students can work up to 20 hours per week. But that part-time job can be only within the college campus.

Recently, Avinash wrote this comment: “Students are not supposed to work off campus and they need to stay in the campus during their course.

Students are actually allowed to work only within campus. Under extreme financial hardship F1 students can get permission to work off campus, but they have to go through an approval process. Your DSO can provide additional information.

Part Time Job – Hourly Pay

Students are allowed to work up to 20 hours per week in part time jobs. Part time employment typically includes

  • Working in the campus library
  • Book store
  • Cafe as Barista
  • Computer Lab technician

It will pay around $7 to $10 per hour; sometimes up to $15 per hour. So this means part time jobs can only help you pay for your living expenses, not the tuition fees.

If you study in schools like USC, New York Univ., etc., the cost of living will be around $800 to $1500 per month. Apartment rents would run up to $1,800 per month (shared by 3 or 4 students) in these high cost areas.

Paying Tuition with Part Time Job

With part time income, if you study in Texas or other low cost places, you can save maybe around $200 per month. So part time job will not pay for college fees.

You will have to find assistantship that provides monthly stipend to pay for college tuition fees. Sometimes even RA and TA will not pay In-State fees. At UNC at Charlotte, not all RA positions are considered eligible for in-State fees.

At the University of Alabama at Birmingham, students used to get In-State fees even for part time jobs, but I’m not sure if they still do the same. RA and TA jobs will pay around $400 to $1,500 per month plus In-State fees.

Research and Teaching Assistantship

Research and Teaching Assistant position typically pays lot more than On-Campus part-time employment.

Student work up to 20 hours as Assistant.

Most students prefer Research Assistant as part of their Thesis work, since they get paid to do the work as part of the course requirements.

Teaching Assistant work is in addition to the student’s course work.

Most universities would consider these Research and Teaching assistant workers as employee of the university and offer In-State tuition fee and monthly stipend in the range of  $500 to $2000 for up to 20 hours of work per week.

You should be able to save some money from the monthly stipend to pay for your tuition fee for the following semester.

CPT Internship

In addition to Part-Time on campus jobs, F1 visa jobs include Internship via Curricular Practical Training (CPT).

  • Full-Time CPT (40 hours per week)
  • Part-Time CPT (upto 20 hours per week)

These work are typically from companies where student work as an intern. Check with you DSO to figure out what are the rules surrounding CPT. And type of employment should be related to the filed of study.

After Graduation: OPT Jobs

Student on F1 Visa can apply for 12 months of Initial OPT (Optional Practical Training).

Students have to apply for OPT with USCIS and receive Employment Work Authorization (EAD) before starting to work.

Work should be related to the filed of study. It should be at least 20 hours per week.

Once, 12 months of OPT is complete, students from STEM field have additional 24 months of work authorization.

4 Comments

  1. sonali on September 14, 2012 at 7:52 PM

    hello every1,
    can anyone please provide me some information about 2 years associate IT course in US??m 21 n basically m from India but living in Italy for many years.n how can i work on campus or how can i get any job for my tuition fee or living expenses.i know Hindi,English,Italian a bit of Spanish too.
    best regards,
    sonali

  2. ADJI OLIVIER on March 3, 2012 at 10:00 AM

    DEAR HSB

    i’m registered at d’youville college new york as international student in undergraduate education faculty but Ihave not received F1 . I WOULD COME IN USA on juneor september to study on january 2013. SO Iwould like to have a H4 VISAto work in usa Ihave got job in COMSAT COMPAGNY (GRAND RAPIDE,MICHIGAN USA) and others jobs in NEW YORK NEW JERSEY as sale manager . I CAN SEND MY RESUME and OTHER DOCUMENT ABOUT to job

    my office eployement is JOBMAMA IN NEW YORK
    SO I NEEDED MORE INFORMATION THANK YOU

  3. Varun Kumar on October 12, 2011 at 2:13 AM

    International students especially from India work at Motels, Indian restaurants, gas stations and convenience stores like 7 eleven. I have never seen anyone working at Wallmart though. Such students are able to cover their expenses but at the cost of the time which they could have devoted to study and they are badly exploited by the employers. It’s sad but true that Indians are exploited by Indians themselves abroad. Indian employers use such category of students maximum and they pay the least. They make them work free for the sake of TRAINING! They take their advantage and it’s beyond words to explain the miserable condition. You cannot go back but you don’t have enough money to cover your expenses. What else can you do? I know a girl who works as a stripper to cover her expenses. Can you believe that? I am in the US and I am an international student too. People like me are so excited to come to the US that they take risks which are not at all practical. I dropped out of college and I am out of status now because I could not pay my fees. I am not regretting but I just wanna say PLEASE DON’t COME IF U CANNOT AFFORD UR STUDIES AND YOU ARE RELYING ON working OFF CAMPUS. IT’s NOT WORTH IT.

  4. WellWisher on October 9, 2011 at 8:45 AM

    Dear HSB,

    thanks for enlighting every body.

    Please post some valuable information for those students who are working in Indian Resturants, Gas Stations, Walmart’s & etc which are considered as Illegal part time jobs.

    Thanks,

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