F-1 students and working while at school

One of the reasons an individual from a foreign country may want to come to the U.S. is to further their education. There are visa pathways for foreign students who desire to study at a U.S. college or university. One of the main types of visas for foreign students is the F-1 visa.

Here in the U.S., many college and university students work while they are at school. Now, while it is possible for a foreign student who holds F-1 status to work while they are at a U.S. school, it is important to note that they face a plethora of restrictions and requirements that their U.S.-citizen classmates do not when it comes to employment.

For one, in their first academic year in the U.S., F-1 students generally cannot hold any off-campus employment. They can have on-campus employment during this time period if they meet certain conditions and requirements.

Following their first academic year, off-campus employment is a possibility for F-1 students, as long as they meet the requirements and properly apply. However, they are limited to jobs that are connected to their field of study and which are either Curricular Practical Training or Optional Practical Training (or a valid extension). Also, they may not have such off-campus employment without proper authorization.

Thus, a range of things can impact whether an F-1 student can work while at school. Immigration attorneys can help F-1 students who are looking into the possibility of during-school employment with understanding what needs to happen for them to be eligible for such employment and can work closely with them to help them pursue their goals related to immigration law issues.

Source: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, “Students and Employment,” Accessed Feb. 23, 2016