It is the dream of every student to get a foreign degree with US employment when they hold an F1 Visa. But, it takes a lot of effort and dedication to get into a foreign university. There are several other things that you might face after getting admission. One of the key issues that you might face is managing your finances. Most of the time, the host country will not allow them to work. Countries like the UK enable international students to work 20 hours per week. The USA also allows international students to work. The prime focus of allowing students to work is to help them manage their finances. But, here is one important thing to note. There are several visa categories for international students. An F1 visa is one of them.
This article by a top academic help firm aims to discuss the employment rules for F1 visa-holder students. So let’s discuss them in detail:
Who are F1 Visa Holders?
It is a special visa category for international students. It is primarily for bright students from all over the world. It enables them to come to the USA and study. It will allow international students to study at the top universities in the USA. Apart from this, it will help them to explore the cultural values of the American nation. The fees of American universities are very expensive. A student has to pay around $60,000 per year as a university fee. So, it will be hard for international students to pay fees and manage their personal finances.
So, the F1 visa category allows students to do part-time work. As a result of this, it will help them to finance their education and living expenses. In this regard, there are several rules and regulations that you have to follow. If you fail to follow those, you might get yourself into hot waters.
USA Employment Rules for F1 Students:
Most of the students who are studying in the USA hold an F1 category visa. It is the type of visa for non-immigrant students. As mentioned earlier, it will enable them to work in the USA. But, there are several rules and conditions that follow complex guidelines. United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued these guidelines. Apart from this, it will keep a close eye on F1 visa holders. Even if you are an F1 visa holder, you need work permission from other departments too.
It will include your university and Immigration and Customs Enforcement. As a student, you need permission from these departments. If you fail to get approval, it might result in cancelling your F1 visa. Apart from this, you won’t be able to find a job until you have permission. There are several other restrictions for international students too. There are always fixed working hours for them.
It is important to note that your employment will depend upon the terms and restrictions of your F1 visa. The F1 type of visa also includes different types of employment. There are two major types of employment under an F1 Visa. Those are on-campus and off-campus employment. Off-campus employment further has four types, and those are:
- Optional Practical Training
- Curricular Practical Training
- Economic Hardship
- International Institutions
A student can get on-campus employment in a much easy way. But, he has to struggle for off-campus employment. Let’s discuss these two major types and sub-types in detail:
It is the most common type of employment that international students can avail of. USCIS authorities allow them to enjoy an on-campus employment facility. In this regard, students do not need any permission from USCIS. Under this privilege, international students can enjoy on-campus job opportunities. But, it is important to note that there are always limited facilities. If you are lucky enough to avail of any such opportunity, you cannot entirely rely on that.
Such jobs will not be able to meet your finances for a year. Most interestingly, these jobs are quite different from your educational background. In most cases, students need permission from International Students Office. If you get the permit, only then the university will consider your job application. If you fail to get permission, you won’t be even able to apply for the position. There are chances that you won’t be able to meet your financial expectations.
Rules for On-Campus Employment:
There are several rules for on-campus employment. International students should follow these rules. It will help them to avail the on-campus facility. Some of the main rules are:
- A student must have valid F1 visa status.
- If the university is in session, you can only work for 20 hours per week.
- If your university is not in session, then you can work full-time.
- This employment facility will not deprive a US citizen. It means the university cannot give you a job opportunity after taking away from a US citizen.
Your job status in this category depends upon the support of the university. You should seek guidance from International Student Office before applying for the job. You can seek their help if you are facing any issues too. Apart from this, your university will guide you about all the job requirements and papers.
It is the second type of employment. Also, allows F1 visa-holder students to work outside university premises. It is important to note that things might get wrong if you think about this type of employment. If you have made up your mind about this job category, there are special training programs. These programs will help you get a job under F1 visa status. As the name describes the nature of this job, you will work outside your university. It is your visa that can help you to get a job. But, there is a restriction even if you have active F1 visa status. The rule is you must have completed an academic year under an F1 visa. Apart from this, you might be facing economic hardship. It will help you qualify for this job category. The Department of Homeland Security will allow you under emergent circumstances.
Optional Practical Training (OPT):
It is your F1 visa that can help you to get an on-campus or off-campus job. But there are several restrictions for both categories. You can work only 20 hours per week if your university is in session. But, you can work full-time when it is not. Under OPT, you can work off-campus during your studies and after your studies. There are further rules by US Citizenship and Immigration Services. These will help them to implement the optional practical training. In this regard, a student will need permission from USCIS. Plus, he will seek permission from the university’s International Student Office.
Another restriction in this regard is, you have to complete nine months at the university. But you cannot start the job before you get Employment Authorization Document. The whole process will take almost a year. You can apply for a job document even if you do not have any job offer.
Optional Practical Training (OPT) Requirements:
There are several requirements for OPT too. As an international student, you need to follow those in order to get a job document. You need to submit a job document application as soon as possible. USCIS will take almost three months to process your application. There are several general requirements too, and those are:
- Your job must be related to your major subject.
- You have to maintain the status of F1.
- You need to apply for OPT even before completing degree work.
- OPT will allow you to work for a year as a full-time employee. If you choose to work part-time, it will reduce full-time OPT by half of part-time OPT.
- You need to work closely with International Student Office in this regard.
So, these are some of the general requirements of OPT. It is the responsibility of the student to fulfil them.
Curricular Practical Training (CPT):
Curricular practical training is an off-campus type of employment for international students. In this regard, a student must have a valid F1 visa. Apart from this, CPT is an integral part of this employment. It is either in the form of work/study or internship. There will be an agreement between the employers and the university management. There are several rules for this type of employment. Employers will need your degree to offer you a job. In return, the university will give you academic credit hours. Apart from this, you will get a salary from the employer too.
Curricular Practical Training (CPT) Requirements:
There are a few requirements to qualify for curricular practical training. If you are an international student, you need to fulfil them.
- You must attend university for one year.
- You must have a valid F1 visa status.
- There must be a link between your degree and CTP employment. There may be a course requirement that can give you academic credits.
- You should have a job offer before applying for a CTP employment request.
- Your job should be related to your major subject in the university.
Once you get approval from USCIS, you will get to know whether it is part-time or full-time.
Any international student facing a financial crisis is eligible for off-campus employment. According to this rule, he can work 20 hours per week even if the university is in session. Apart from this, he can work full-time when the university is not in session. The prime focus of this rule is to stabilize the students financially. If they are stable, they can pay their university fees. The USCIS allows students for off-campus employment on one condition. That condition is if there is no job on-campus employment opportunity. International students should communicate with International Student Office before going for this option.
Requirements for Economic Hardship:
Just like OPT and CPT, there are requirements for economic hardship too. Again, students have to follow these requirements. Otherwise, they won’t be able to enjoy this type of job facility. Let’s discuss these requirements:
- International students must have a valid F1 visa.
- You must have a one-year academic enrollment.
- You should provide enough proof of your economic hardships.
- These proofs can include any unforeseen conditions that you cannot control.
- You must provide proof regarding the unavailability of on-campus employment opportunities.
- You should also provide proof regarding the on-campus job search.
If you think you follow these requirements, you can apply for an Economic Hardship.
It is the fourth and final type of employment for international students in the USA. According to this employment category, they can work for recognized international organizations. A student must make sure that organization is on the official list of the State Department. Examples of such organizations are Red Cross and African and Asian Development banks. World Trade Organization and the World Health Organization also include in this list. This type of employment does not require the application of OPT and CPT. In this regard, a student must have a job offer from that organization. If a student has any sponsor from these organizations, he can avail of this opportunity.
Requirements for International Institution Job Facility:
This employment category also has some requirements. Let’s discuss those:
- A student must have a valid F1 visa status.
- He must have an internship offer from a recognized international organization.
- He must have an excellent academic record.
- He must have a one-year academic enrollment.
So, these are the few requirements that a student has to fulfil before applying for this category.
It is a fact that student life in a foreign country is not easy. During your stay, you have to pay fees and manage your personal finances. For this purpose, you have to work. But, some countries do not allow international students to work. In the case of the USA, there are several visa categories for international students. If you are a brilliant student, there are chances that you will get an F1 visa. It will allow you to work there and meet your expenses. There are two types of employment for international students. Those are on-campus and off-campus employment. Off-campus further have four categories. There are a lot of requirements that a student has to fulfil before applying for employment.
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