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.
- While Studying:
- On Campus Employment
- Off-Campus Employment (typically not allowed)
- Research Assistant
- Teaching Assistant
- Internship via CPT
- After Graduation:
- 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.
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.