Working on visa - F1
F1 Visa work permit
Persons pursuing a full course of study at a school in the United States may be eligible for a visa for the course of their study and, in certain instances, a period for practical training in their field.
International students who are maintaining a full-time course of study can work on campus part time (max. 20 hrs per week) during the academic year and full time during the summer months and any periods when school is not in session. On campus, employment assumes that the work will not interfere with your studies and that you are maintaining good academic standing. No special permission or document is needed to permit you to work on campus.
Training allows students to work for up to a total of twelve months in a job related to their field of study. For full details about Training, you should read the practical training handout prepared by the Office of International Education and Exchange. The maximum amount of time granted to work on F-1 OPT status is 12 months per degree level plus a possible H1B cap gap extension OR a 24-month extension for those who qualify (certain Degrees like Engineering/CS/sciences (STEM degrees) etc.).
Practical training can be granted at the following times:
- During the student's annual vacation period and at other times when school is not in session if you are currently enrolled and intend to register for the next term while school is in session, provided that the practical training does not exceed twenty hours per week.
- after completion of course requirements (but before completion of a course of study) excluding thesis or dissertation if the student is in a bachelor's, master's or doctoral degree program after graduation or last term of attendance.
- Applications for practical training are sent to the U.S. Immigration & Naturalization Service (INS). It takes the INS about three months to reply to a practical training application so students should plan well in advance for this kind of work permission.
- NEVER ENTER the U.S. in any VISA STATUS OTHER THAN F-1 (for example H1B) while on your OPT (it will invalidate your OPT!)