What are your work options on a F-1 visa?

F-1 students do have the option of working on campus subject to certain requirements. They may not work off-campus during the first academic year. After the first academic year, F-1 students can pursue three types of off-campus employment and obtain work authorization (EAD):

  • Curricular Practical Training (CPT);
  • Optional Practical Training (OPT)  (pre-completion or post-completion); and 
  • Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Optional Practical Training (OPT) Extension.

For F-1 students, any off-campus training employment must be related to the student’s area of study and must be authorized prior to starting any work by the Designated School Official (the person authorized to maintain the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS)) and USCIS. A F-1 visa does not automatically grant the student the option to pursue off-campus employment but instead the student must fall into one of the three above work authorization categories. 

You can learn more about F-1 visa work options and obtaining an EAD on the Student & Exchange Visitor Program, Immigration & Customs Enforcement and the Study in the States Training Opportunities in the United States pages.

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