It is no secret that tuition fees at universities in the US are super expensive. Fees and living costs at top US universities could add up to US $60,000 per year. Given this situation, many international students find themselves where they need to work part time jobs in order to finance their education and living expenses.
But you should bear in mind that the US Government takes illegal working illegally very seriously and breaking the rules could lead to possible deportation and cancellation of your student visa status.
What are your opportunities with an F1 student visa?
If you have been accepted for enrolment in a US university and completed all the necessary steps, you will be able to study in the US after your F1 has been approved.Note that th F1 is specifically reserved for students enrolled in US universities, colleges,high schools, language training programs, and other academic institutions.
When it comes to international students working in the US, there are restrictions. Students with the F1 are usually allowed to work on the campus of their university for up to 20 hours a week.
Always Talk to your Designated School Official(DSO)
If you would like to work during your study years,the first thing to do is to talk with your designated school official. As long as you are in good academic standing, the process should be fairly simple.
There are two main types of jobs a student can take:on campus and off campus. The second one does not usually work for international students coming to study in the USA.But we shall discuss the restrictions with each type in the paragraphs that will follow.
On Campus Employment with a US Student Visa
Your US student visa will allow you to work on campus up to 20 hours per week when school is in session and full time during school breaks(up to 40 hours).
On campus employment is defined as work that takes place on campus or at an off campus location that is affiliated with the school.That could mean working at the cafeteria, university book store or other facilities where students can help.
In order to secure this type of employment, you will be required to apply for it upto 30 days before the start of classes. Do talk to your designated school official and if approved, your DSO will issue you a letter of approval which will enable you to get a social security number.
Off Campus Employment with a US Student Visa
Things can get a bit complicated if you want to work off campus, but there are some training programs that F1 students can get permission to work under.
As you probably know, off campus employment is work that takes place outside of the school campus.It is not impossible to obtain, but its only available to F1 students who have completed at least one full academic year of their program of study and who have an economic hardship that qualifies for the Department of Homeland Security’s emergent circumstances.
There are two programs that are created for students who wish to gain experience in their fields of study:Optional practical training (OPT) and circular practical training(CPT). To check if you are eligible, discuss with your DSO.
As you can see, there are a number of opportunities for international students in the US but you need to make sure you follow all the rules and always check things out with your DSO.
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