F1 Visa

F1 Visa – On Campus Employment Guide

Following guide should help F1 Visa students understand On Campus Employment rules.

This is the first post on F1 Visa student Employment series. Stay tuned for more article on same topic.

What qualifies as on-campus employment for F 1 students?

There are two components for qualified on-campus employment:

  • Limits on the type and location of the employment, and
  • Limited to jobs that do not displace a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident

What are the basic guidelines for on-campus employment?

F1 visa  students may work at any qualifying on-campus job that does not displace a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident (LPR).

You can work up to 20 hours per week while school is in session.

You may work full-time (40 hours) during those periods when school is not in session or during the student’s annual break. (Summer and Winter Break)

F-1 students should report their work to you and receive a certification letter to present to the Social Security Administration in order to be able to receive a social security number.

Not complying with these guidelines for on-campus employment may be a violation of status that could result in the student having to leave the United States.

When is on-campus employment allowed?

Working oncampus jobs will help you pay for living expenses, but you have to understand the rules of oncampus employment.

Talk to your International Students Office (ISO) to get additional details.

  • Counsel (ISO) the student concerning;
    • Number of hours they can work
    • Type of employment
    • Need to maintain F 1 status
    • Tax and social security implications
    • Reporting changes in employment and hours worked
  • Have a letter from each employer concerning the nature of the job and the work hours;
  • Give the student a letter for social security purposes certifying that the job qualifies as on-campus employment and that the student is in F 1 status;
  • Keep records on the student’s employment in the school files; and
  • Terminate the student’s SEVIS record if the student engages in any unauthorized employment or works hours in excess of those allowed.

When do F-1 students become eligible for on-campus employment?

F 1 students can begin working as much as 30 days before the start of classes. If an F-1 student finishes one program (such as a Bachelor’s Degree) and starts another program at the same campus, he or she may continue on-campus employment as long as he or she plans to enroll for the next term.

Where can on-campus jobs be located?

The job has to be physically located on the school’s campus or off-campus at the site of an educationally affiliated organization.

What qualifies as providing services for students?

Employment on-campus has to be for the school or for a company that contracts with the school to serve students directly.

For example, if your school contracts with a food service company, F 1 students can work for the company at school facilities. However, they cannot work for the same company at any off-campus locations.

F 1 students cannot work for a company:

  • Contracting with the school for something other than student services


  • That does not contract with the school, even if they are physically located on school property.

For example, they cannot work for a construction company even if the job site is on the campus.

F 1 students can work for an educationally affiliated company, such as a school bookstore, even if it is not located on campus.

How long can F 1 students continue to work on-campus?

As long as they are enrolled in school, maintaining their status, and following the guidelines for on-campus employment, F 1 students can continue to work. They should keep you informed of any changes in employer and hours.

F-1 students cannot work on-campus after graduation unless they are continuing their education at the next program level at your school.

Do students have to wait one academic year before they can start working on-campus?

No. (this is typical for getting CPT, not for on campus part-time jobs)

Can F 1 students work at more than one on-campus job?

Yes, however, their total work hours for all jobs cannot exceed 20 hours while school is in session. They may work full-time during those periods when school is not in session or during the student’s annual break.

Read this –  Can I work 2 part time jobs for total of 40 hours?

Can F 1 students work on-campus if they are participating in practical training (OPT or CPT)?

Yes, but only if it is pre-completion OPT or CPT and their total work hours for all work do not exceed 20 hours while school is in session. They may work full-time during those periods when school is not in session or during the student’s annual break.

F-1 students cannot work on-campus after graduation unless they are continuing their education at the next program level at your school.

Can F 1 students work on-campus during the grace period after their program end date?

No. The 60 day grace period after graduation or post-completion OPT is for the student to prepare to leave the United States.

What are the requirements for students who transfer?

When a student transfers to your school, you have the jurisdiction over on-campus employment after the records release date. The student cannot work at the prior school after that date.

You can authorize work starting within 30 days of the program start date.

Source of this FAQ’s – ice.gov.


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  1. My son is doing MS in US.He is in the second semester.during his first semester he performed very badly due to various reasons.He got only 1.8 CGPA In his first semester.Now I want to know whether he can continue the same university and get good grades or is it possible for him to change to some other university. He is basically a very bright student but I don’t know what went wrong during his first semester.I will be happy if u can clarify these doubts.While transferring whether the new university accepts his twelve credits?

  2. Hi, I am kind of anxious these days.
    I applied for MS in Electrical Engineering and got Interviewed at U.S Consulate in Melbourne as I am currently pursuing my Masters degree here and just got through the first semester with very good Grades!!

    I wanted to join the school in U.S due to the course content and career objectives..

    Any ways I appeared in an interview for the 1st time last week which was pretty straight forward and smooth.

    After regular greetings and all…
    VO: Asked me for how long you have been here in melbourne, where are you studying and what are you studying, now you want go to x university in U.S, then she asked how is it different then what you are studying here, I replied with proper justification!. Who is paying for your education, Do you have any relative in U.S, i said No… Did you applied at other university, I replied Yes the Uni Y. Then VO asked for my Marks Sheet both Bachelors and the current, I presented it to her.

    After that she said that we need to do further administrative processing and gave me a green 221g slip which is NOT asking any additional documents. VO officer Kept my Passport and I-20 letter.

    All I wana ask is how long does it take for further administrative processing and what are the chances for me to get the visa??? please comment Thanks

  3. Hi everyone! I graduated in Dec 2010 and is working on OPT which will expired this January 18th, 2012. I am admitted to the graduate program in the Summer 2012 in the same university that I got my bachelor degree. Am I eligible to work on-campus during the period after my OPT expired? Thank you so much!!

  4. when admitted for school can i get a social security number if i already had one upon an earlier visit to the united states during a student exchange program but got missing before i left the states.

  5. Dear HSB,

    I’ve got a Resident Assistance on-campus job after one semester. The payment is not in cash but in a form of compensation, getting living room for free. Am I eligible to apply for social security number? And how?

    Thanks in advance!

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