F-1 Practical Training and Employment Options
Since you are in the U.S. with the principal purpose of pursuing a full course of study or academic program, your employment options are very limited. Before engaging in any type of employment–paid or non-paid; on-campus or off-campus–you must first be clearly informed on what are the options and eligibility requirements.
Important About Employment, Internships or Volunteer Activities-Paid or Unpaid
- Obtain proper authorization before engaging in any off-campus employment whether the employment is paid or non-paid. (Working without proper authorization constitutes illegal employment, an offense that can lead to deportation.)
- Refrain from any on-campus employment if/while you are out-of-status.
- ALWAYS check with the ISSS BEFORE you engage in anything resembling employment, internships, co-op experience, whether paid or unpaid. Avoid putting your immigration status at risk!
- If you register for a course that consists of an internship, any kind of employment on or off campus, co-op experience, paid or unpaid, or that it has the word “internship” in the name of the course, you MUST visit the ISSS Office IMMEDIATELY to obtain approval. Failure to do so may lead to very serious violations of immigration policies.
- If you are planning to engage in ANY volunteer activity, you MUST check with an ISSS Advisor BEFORE getting started.
Remember, when in doubt….check with ISSS!
The following is a basic overview of employment options for F-1.
A fundamental eligibility requirement for all types of practical training or employment is that you must continuously maintain lawful F-1 status. Maintaining lawful F-1 status includes the following:
More information is provided in the F-1 Employment Online Workshop, which all F-1 students are REQUIRED to view in its entirety if they wish to apply for an employment benefit.