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Employment Overview

International students, with an F-1 or J-1 visa, are allowed to work in United States. Here’s a brief introduction to working in the United States as an F-1 Student.

What options do I have?


Location
Options
Qualification
Working hours
On-campus
Student worker All students Part time
Graduate assistant Graduate students Part time
CPT All students before graduation Part time / Full time
Off-campus
CPT All students before graduation Part time / Full time
Pre-completion OPT All students before graduation Part time
Post-completion OPT All students after graduation Full time

Part time: maximum of 20 hours/ week
Full time: maximum of 40 hours/ week

Student workers and Graduate Assistants (GA) are part-time jobs and work with Staff, Faculty, or Professors on campus.

To find a Student Worker position on campus, use Handshake.

  • The way to check: MyLewis -> Resource: Handshake -> “Jobs” on the top -> On campus

To find a GA position on campus, these are a few ways to learn about hiring information:

  • On Human Resources Website -> Employment -> Employment Opportunities -> Search Jobs: Select Position type: Graduate Assistance

CAREER SERVICES FOR STUDENTS

Employment overview for International Students

Your Lewis experience will extend beyond your time on campus. You will carry your expertise in your chosen field of study along with the practical skills needed to adapt to an ever-changing world.

More than 300+ employers recruit Lewis students annually. With 40,000+ alumni, you will have great networking connections. For more information, please contact careerservices@lewisu.edu or go to the Career Services website.

WORK AUTHORIZATION

F-1 students may ONLY work on-campus. Any off-campus jobs MUST be authorized by a Designated School Official and be listed on your I-20 (CPT, OPT). Do not accept employment in any job that is off campus and is NOT listed on your I-20. Working without employment authorization is a serious violation of F-1 visa status and can have severe consequences.

Potential consequences of accepting a paid or unpaid practical training opportunity without proper authorization may include:

  • Termination of your I-20/SEVIS record and loss of your F-1 benefits, including on-campus employment and OPT.
  • Potential accrual of unlawful presence
  • Ineligibility for future visas that allow for work authorization, such as H-1B, O-1, TN, or permanent residency.
  • Denial of your USCIS application for OPT.

You should meet with an ISGSS advisor as soon as you become aware that you have violated your F-1 status.

TYPES OF EMPLOYMENT


CURRICULAR PRACTICAL TRAINING (CPT)

  • CPT is alternate work/study, internship, cooperative education, clerkship, or optional/required internship or practicum, available only while the student is in F-1 status before completion of the educational objective.

PRE-COMPLETION OPTIONAL PRACTICAL TRAINING (PRE-OPT)

  • Pre-completion OPT: Occurs before a student's program end date. This option is not common and requires consultation with International Student and Global Scholar Services before the application process.

POST-COMPLETION OPTIONAL PRACTICAL TRAINING (POST-OPT)

  • Pre-completion OPT: Occurs before a student's program end date.

OPT STEM EXTENSION

  • The STEM OPT extension is a 24-month period of temporary training that directly relates to an F-1 student's program of study in an approved STEM field.

EMPLOYMENT BASED ON ECONOMIC HARDSHIP

  • USCIS makes case-by-case decisions for off-campus employment for students who can show that new, unexpected circumstances beyond their control have created severe economic hardship.

SPECIAL STUDENT RELIEF (SSR) APPLICATION

  • SSR may be authorized for students whose home countries are impacted by natural disasters, wars and military conflicts, and national and international financial crises. SSR becomes possible when DHS issues a Federal Register Notice.

QUESTIONS? Email isgss@lewisu.edu.

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