To be authorized to work in the US as an international student, you must first meet certain eligibility requirements. These requirements vary depending on the type of visa you have, but some general requirements include:
- You must be enrolled full-time at an accredited US college or university.
- You must maintain a good academic standing.
- You must have sufficient financial support to cover your tuition, living expenses, and travel costs.
- You must have a valid passport and student visa.
Once you have met the eligibility requirements, you can apply for work authorization through the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The specific application process will vary depending on the type of work you want to do and your visa type.
F-1 students are authorized to work on campus without prior approval from USCIS. However, there are some restrictions on on-campus employment, such as the number of hours you can work per week.
To work on campus, you will need to find a job that is on the school’s premises or at a location operated commercially on campus for the benefit of students. You will also need to be paid at least the prevailing wage for the job.
Once you have found a job, you will need to complete a Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification Form, with your employer. You can present your passport and Form I-94 as proof of your identity and employment eligibility.
F-1 students are generally not authorized to work off campus during their first academic year. However, there are a few exceptions, such as if you have an economic hardship or if you are working for a US government agency or international organization.
If you are eligible for off-campus employment, you must first obtain permission from your Designated School Official (DSO). Your DSO will issue you a new Form I-20 with an endorsement for off-campus employment.
Once you have an endorsed Form I-20, you can apply for work authorization from USCIS by filing Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization. If your application is approved, you will receive an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). You can then begin working off campus.
Other types of work authorization
There are a few other types of work authorization that may be available to international students, such as:
- Curricular Practical Training (CPT): CPT is a type of work authorization that allows F-1 students to work off campus in a job that is directly related to their field of study.
- Optional Practical Training (OPT): OPT is a type of work authorization that allows F-1 students to work off campus for up to one year after they complete their degree program.
- H-1B visa: The H-1B visa is a nonimmigrant visa that allows US employers to temporarily employ foreign workers in specialty occupations.
For more information on work authorization for international students, please visit the USCIS website.
Tips for finding a job as an international student
Here are a few tips for finding a job as an international student:
- Start your job search early. The earlier you start looking for a job, the more time you will have to find one that is a good fit for you and your skills.
- Network with your classmates, professors, and other professionals in your field. Networking can be a great way to learn about job opportunities and get your foot in the door.
- Use online job boards and search engines to find job openings. There are a number of websites that specialize in job postings for international students.
- Attend career fairs and networking events. Career fairs and networking events can be a great way to meet potential employers and learn about job opportunities.
- Highlight your skills and experience in your resume and cover letter. Be sure to emphasize the skills and experience that are relevant to the jobs you are applying for.
- Be prepared to answer questions about your immigration status and visa type. Most employers are familiar with the different types of visas that allow international students to work in the US. However, it is important to be prepared to answer any questions they may have about your status.
Working as an international student can be a great way to gain valuable work experience, earn some extra money, and network with professionals in your field. By following the tips above, you can increase your chances of finding a job that is a good fit for you.