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International student work permit USA

International Student Work Permit for USA

by Anamika Sharma

International student work permit USA is an essential factor for students who wish to study in the USA. The international student work permit allows students of other countries to work on a part-time basis alongside their studies. Students get to earn some money which helps them support their stay in the country, which can be really expensive considering the accommodation, food, health and travel expenses of students. However, the international students need to apply for their student visa first and depending on the type of visa they get, the students can work on-campus or off-campus on a part-time basis.

In this article, we have covered the important facts pertaining to the international student work permit in the USA. Learn about the part-time job opportunities in the US, their importance, how to obtain the permit and how to utilise it. Before that, let’s read about the types of US student visas and their features.

International Student Work Permit USA – Student Visa

USA is the hub of quality education and top-notch educational institutions like Harvard, Stanford, MIT, Princeton, Yale and Columbia. Such prestigious names in the field of education attract thousands of students to the US resulting in an inflow of numerous applications to the US Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) for US student visa. USCIS grants three types of visas to international students.The details of these visas are given in the table hereunder.

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Types of US Student Visa

S.No. Type of Student Visa Features
1. F1 Visa Allows students to study on a full-time basis in an accredited US university/college
2. J1 Visa Applicable for students participating in an exchange program
3. M1 Visa Allows students to pursue vocational study or training in the US for a fixed time period

For more information, read ‘Study in USA

International Student Work Permit USA – Employment Opportunities

Working in the US along with continuing education helps lessen the financial burden on international students or allows them to earn a little pocket-money to take care of their everyday needs without putting pressure on their parents/guardians. But to work in the US, the candidates must make sure that they are legally allowed to earn money there. So, let’s explore the process on how to obtain an international student work permit in the US if the students wish to work on a part-time basis.

  • The candidates, first, need to make contact with their Designated School Official (DSO) who helps students to apply for a Social Security Number (SSN) in the US. International students who wish to earn money in the US need to obtain SSN.
  • Also, the international students must be an F1 Visa holder which allows students to work for 20 hours a week or less on a part-time basis. There are four types of employment that an F1 Visa holder is allowed to undertake – On-campus employment, Off-campus employment, Curricular Practical Training (CPT) and Optional Practical Training (OPT).
  • F1 visa holders are allowed to work on a part-time basis but only on campus. Off-campus work is allowed only in unexpected circumstances beyond the students’ control.
  • DSO or International Student Advisor helps students in the employment process. However, the international students also must check with the employer to find whether his/her workplace is on campus or off campus. This helps the students to make sure that they are not engaged in any sort of illegal employment.Study Abroad College Admissions Login

International Student Work Permit USA – Types of Employment

As you already know that international students holding F1 visa are allowed to work 20 hours a week on a part-time basis, let’s get to know the requirement for the four types of employment that student can undertake while holding a US student visa.

Types of Employment for International Students in the US

S.No. Employment Type Particulars
1. On-Campus Employment
  • Available to F1 student visa holders.
  • Students can work at a place which is inside the school campus such as a library, cafeteria or bookstore or at a place affiliated with the student’s school and considered on-campus.
  • Students can pursue such employment in their first academic year.
  • Also, students can start working 30 days before the commencement of their programs.
  • Students can work only 20 hours a week when their session is in progress.
  • In the case of vacation or holidays, students can work full-time at that time.
2. Off-Campus Employment
  • Available to F1 student visa holders.
  • It is allowed only in case of a student facing situations or economic problems beyond his/her control such as loss of financial aid or on-campus employment without the candidate being at fault, high rise in tuition fees or living cost, decrease in the value of currency used by student to pay expenses, financial condition at home, medical bill not covered under insurance and other circumstances.
3. Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
  • CPT is like an internship or practical section of the curriculum thus allowing students whose course involves CPT to undertake it on a full-time basis as required by the curriculum.
  • An international student having completed one academic year is qualified for CPT.
4. Optional Practical Training (OPT)
  • Referred to as temporary employment, an international student can opt for OPT, if it’s related to the student’s field of study.
  • The students are allowed to work for up to 12 months under OPT employment.
  • The candidates can opt for it after completing one year of study or after the full completion of the program.
  • The students need their DSO approval for Optional Practical Training. The DSO, in turn, helps students with their application submission to USCIS.

Also, read ‘Best Country to Study Abroad 

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