F-1 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.

Be reminded that engaging in unauthorized/illegal employment is a deportable offense under U.S. immigration law.

The following is a basic overview of employment options for F-1.  Detailed information is provided in the F-1 Employment Online Workshop, which F-1 students are REQUIRED to view in its entirety if they wish to apply for an employment benefit.

Categories of F-1 Student Employment

  • On-Campus Employment
  • Off-Campus Employment
    • Curricular Practical Training
    •  Optional Practical Training
    •  Off-Campus Employment Due to Severe Economic Hardship

Eligibility Requirements

A fundamental eligibility requirement for all types of employment is that you must continuously maintain lawful F-1 status. Maintaining lawful F-1 status includes the following:

  • You must have a valid passport at all times.
  • You must hold a valid FIU I-20 properly processed either through ISSS or by travel and reentry.
  • You must be registered full-time each academic (Fall/Spring) semester.  SEVIS defines full-time enrollment as: at least 12 credits for undergraduate students and at least 9 credits for graduate students. (Students are not required to register during the Summer unless they are initially admitted/changed levels effective Summer term OR are graduating by end of Summer term.)
  • You must also be in good academic standing and making normal progress towards completion of current degree.
  • For any Practical Training employment, you must have been in valid status and enrolled full-time for at least two consecutive semesters prior to application.
  • For employment due to Severe Economic Hardship, you must have been in status at FIU for at least one full academic year prior to eligibility and application.

Depending on employment option, additional requirements may apply.  You are advised to view the F-1 Employment Online Workshop for detailed information for each employment option, including application procedures and documentation.

Should you still have further questions after viewing the online workshop, you are welcome to schedule an appointment to meet with an ISSS advisor or come in during Walk-In Wednesdays