Employment Opportunities for F-1 Visa Students in the USA - Arvian Immigration Law Firm

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Student Visa USA

Employment Opportunities for F-1 Visa Students in the USA

The F-1 Student Visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows foreigners to study in the United States. This visa/status is valid for the duration of the student’s study program. F1 holders can transfer between schools in the US and are allowed unrestricted travel within the country.

F-1 visa students have the right to work in the USA under certain conditions: during the academic year students have limits on working hours, and there are no limits during vacations.

There are several employment options for international students in the USA on an F-1 visa:

Pre-completion Optional Practical Training (OPT)

  • Allowed after completing the first full year of study
  • Employment must be related to the field of study
  • Students can work part-time during the academic year and full-time during vacations
  • Must apply for Pre-completion OPT at the university
  • OPT is valid until completion of the study program

Post-completion Optional Practical Training (OPT)

  • Work in one’s specialty after obtaining a bachelor’s/master’s degree
  • Employment term is up to 12 months, extendable to 24 months for STEM majors
  • Must apply for Post-completion OPT within 60 days of graduation
  • Allows full-time employment

Employment with international organizations

  • Option for internships and employment at international companies, government and educational institutions
  • Requires university authorization
  • Employment should not interfere with studies

Off-campus employment

  • Allowed if lack of on-campus jobs is proven
  • Requires special authorization from the university
  • Limitations on hours worked per week

In summary, F-1 visa students have several legal options for part-time work in the USA. The key is not to violate the rules of one’s status and terms of employment authorizations.


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