If you are studying in the United States on an F-1 student visa, employment might be one of the things you are seeking when you aren’t attending classes. But it’s not as simple as driving to your local fast food joint and filling out a job application. If you are in the United States studying under a student visa, you are expected to be focusing your attention on your studies; while you can take some jobs, there are strict rules regarding F-1 student visa employment of foreign students.

How Does F-1 Student Visa Employment Work?

F-1 visas are issued to foreign students who want to study at an accredited seminary, college, or university in the United States with the purpose of obtaining a degree, diploma, or certificate. In order to be granted this visa, you must not only show your enrollment in a degree program or language training program, but you must also show you have a permanent foreign residence and sufficient funds for self-sustenance during your course of study.

While you must show you can support yourself without seeking additional employment during your course of study, there are limited opportunities for F-1 student visa employment. These opportunities are typically through your school and require you remain in good academic standing and maintain valid F-1 status.

Seeking On-Campus Employment Under an F-1 Student Visa

If you can show both good academic standing and a valid F-1 visa status, you do not need any additional approval to seek an on-campus job. Typically, you are limited to working a maximum of 20 hours per week during school hours and full-time during break periods as long as you are in your course of study. Examples of work you can do while on an F-1 visa include:

• Work in which you receive a paycheck from the school you are attending; examples include working with instructors as a teaching assistant, working in the library or student union, or working in a school-managed residence hall.
• Working for a commercial firm on school premises that provides direct services to students.
• Working at an off-campus location that is educationally affiliated with your school, with the work being an integral part of your curriculum and related to the department’s established curriculum.

Violations regarding F-1 Student Visa Employment

If you want to work while studying on an F-1 Student Visa, it’s important to contact the Designated Student Officer (DSO) for your school to find out what F-1 student visa employment options you have. The DSO will help you choose a job that will keep your F-1 visa in good status.

Working for an unauthorized employer will result in a violation being levied against you, throwing you out of good standing. When that happens, you will need to appeal to reinstate good standing. If the violation is severe enough, you could risk not only losing good standing but also could face severe repercussions from immigration authorities, including deportation.

Contact the Lee Law Firm now with your questions about F-1 student visa employment. Our team of legal professionals is here to answer your questions and provide the support you need.