F-1 employment overview
If you are interested in working while in the United States, view the F-1 Employment Options Chart for a quick reference as to eligibility requirements and documents needed for applying. A more comprehensive description of each employment option is provided in the text below.

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On-Campus employment
F-1 students are generally permitted to work part-time on the premises of the school that issued their currently valid I-20, while they are attending that school and maintaining their F-1 status, subject to the restrictions outlined here. This type of employment is "incident to status," and does not require DSO (your ISSS Advisor) authorization, nor does it require an update to the SEVIS record.

Characteristics of F-1 On-Campus Employment

Preconditions: Eligible immediately upon obtaining F-1 status; no waiting period

Location: Must be considered "on-campus"

Duration: Can be used throughout the period student is pursuing a full course of study

Hours per week: Limited to 20 hours per week while school is in session; can be full-time during official school breaks for students who are eligible and intend to register for the subsequent academic term

Field/level of work: Can be in any on-campus position that does not displace a U.S. worker; does not have to be related to course of study

Offer of employment: Not required as a condition of eligibility

Effect on other work: All on-campus work is treated the same for the 20 hours per week limit; e.g., a teaching assistant working 15 hours per week can only work 5 additional hours per week in another on-campus job

Approval process: Employment is "incident to status," and does not require DSO (your ISSS Advisor) or DHS approval

Miscellaneous: Employment must not displace a U.S. resident [8 C.F.R. 214.2(f)(9)(i)] This has been interpreted to mean that an on-campus employer may not remove a U.S. worker to hire an F-1 student.

Types of On-Campus Employment
  • Work on the school premises, employed by the I-20 issuing institution
On-campus employment includes work done as a teaching or research assistant as well as jobs in the school library, cafeteria, and administrative offices. If the school is the employer, the only general restriction on the type of work that can be done is that the work cannot "displace United States residents," which has been interpreted to mean that an on-campus employer may not remove a U.S. worker to hire an F-1 student.
  • Work on the school premises, employed by on-campus commercial firms
"On-campus" also includes employment with " ...on-location commercial firms which provide services for students on-campus, such as the school bookstore or cafeteria." Exception:On-campus employment does not include employment on the school's premises for a commercial firm that is not providing on-campus services for students, for example, at a construction site for a new school building.
  • Work done at off-campus locations, but treated as on-campus
"On-campus" may also include work "at an off-campus location which is educationally affiliated with the school…the educational affiliation must be associated with school's established curriculum or related to contractually funded research projects at the post-graduate level…[and] be an integral part of the student's educational program."

Limitations of On-Campus Employment:
  • Initial entry students cannot begin work more than 30 days before class start.
  • On-campus work is limited to no more than 20 total hours per week while school is in session. On-campus employment may be full-time during vacation periods for students who are eligible and intend to register for the subsequent academic term.
  • A student may not engage in on-campus employment during the 60-day grace period following the completion of a course of study or thereafter, except in the following situations:
The student has employment authorized for post-completion OPT and will work at UM. Although the services in fact are performed "on-campus," the source of the student's work authorization in this case is OPT.
The student wishes to work on-campus between academic levels at the same school.
When transferring schools, the student may engage in employment at the school having jurisdiction over the SEVIS record.
  • Students temporarily attending two institutions concurrently may work only on the campus of the institution that issued their Form I-20.
Eligibility for On-Campus Employment
Eligibility to engage in on-campus employment is "incident" to F-1 status. This means that anyone currently maintaining F-1 status may engage in on-campus employment at the institution that issued his or her current I-20, within the limitations outlined above and without requesting formal authorization from either a DSO (your ISSS Advisor) or USCIS, and without updating the student's SEVIS record. Employment eligibility ends whenever a student fails to maintain status.

Procedures for On-Campus Employment
No formal authorization is required for on-campus employment.

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Off-campus employment


The F-1 regulations are very clear on who qualifies for off-campus employment authorization and who does not. Students in exchange programs and students in special/executive programs (i.e. Global Executive MBA, Higher Education Leadership), do not qualify for any type of off-campus paid employment before or after their studies (with the exception of Internship with an International Organization Employment for exchange students) since they do not meet the eligibility requirements for these Immigration benefits.

Exchange program students: In order to qualify for Curricular Practical Training (CPT) and/or Optional Practical Training (OPT), a student must complete one full academic year (excluding time spent in F-1 status in Intensive English Programs) in F-1 status. In the case of CPT and pre-completion OPT, a student must be returning to study in the U.S. after employment. In the case of post-completion OPT, a student must receive a U.S. degree. Exchange Students are not eligible for employment at the end of their exchange year because they are neither returning to study in the U.S. after the employment, nor will they receive a U.S. degree.

Special/Executive program students: In order to qualify for off-campus employment, a student must complete one full academic year (excluding time spent in F-1 status in Intensive English Programs) in F-1 status. Special/Executive program students are not eligible for employment upon completion of their degree because they will not have completed one full academic year in F-1 status.


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Provided that other employment opportunities are not available or are otherwise insufficient, an eligible student may request off-campus employment work authorization based upon severe economic hardship caused by unforeseen circumstances beyond the student's control. These circumstances may include loss of financial support (i.e., assistantship or scholarship) or loss of on-campus employment without fault on part of the student, substantial fluctuations in the value of the currency or exchange rate, inordinate increases in tuition and/or living costs, unexpected changes in the financial condition of the student's source of support, medical bills, or other substantial and unexpected expenses.

Eligibility Requirements
An F-1 student who experiences unexpected financial difficulties of the sort described above may be authorized to work off-campus if the following conditions are met:
  1. The student has been in F-1 status for at least one full academic year;
  2. The student must be in good academic standing (i.e., G.P.A. of at least 2.0 for undergraduates, at least 3.0 for graduate students);
  3. The student must continue to carry a full course load (i.e., 12 credits per semester for undergraduates; 9 credits for graduate students); and
  4. The student has demonstrated that the employment is necessary to avoid economic hardship due to unforeseen circumstances beyond his/her control, and that on-campus employment is unavailable or otherwise insufficient to meet the needs that have arisen as a result of the unforeseen circumstances.
Application Procedures for Work Authorization Based on Severe Economic Hardship
If you are unable to find adequate employment on-campus, you may then request off-campus employment authorization based on severe economic hardship. Applicants must complete the online ISSS Employment Session (www.miami.edu/employmentsession) prior to submitting the application and supporting documents. The request is made to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and requires all the following items:
  1. Severe Economic Hardship Request Form
  2. Form G-1145, (Also available at ISSS); “E-Notification of Application/Petition Acceptance.”
  3. Form I-765 (Also available at ISSS); enter eligibility code (c)(3)(iii) in item #16)
  4. Two photos as specified in the instructions of the Form I-765 (with name and I-94 number written on back in pencil) (Please note that it is your responsibility to ensure that the photographs comply with the I-765 instructions, and that it is your decision and responsibility if the photographs are sent to USCIS as part of this application. ISSS does not assume any responsibility for USCIS' decision on whether your photographs meet the I-765 specifications.)
  5. Original SEVIS Form I-20 (signed by student on page 1)
  6. Original Form I-94
  7. Copies of passport biographical page, expiration date page, F-1 visa page, and page bearing stamp of last entry into the U.S.
  8. Money order for $380.00 made payable to the "Department of Homeland Security."
  9. Supporting materials. You need to provide strong evidence detailing the unforeseen circumstances as discussed on page 1 that require you to seek employment authorization based on severe economic hardship. You should include a budget showing your expenses (tuition, rent, food, utilities, etc.) and your sources of financial support.

Applications for employment authorization based on severe economic hardship must be submitted to ISSS for processing before they can be sent by ISSS to the USCIS Dallas Lockbox for adjudication.

IT IS ESTIMATED THAT IT WILL TAKE USCIS FROM 120 TO 150 BUSINESS DAYS TO ADJUDICATE THESE APPLICATIONS. YOU MAY NOT BEGIN EMPLOYMENT UNTIL YOU RECEIVE YOUR EMPLOYMENT AUTHORIZATION DOCUMENT. PLEASE NOTE THAT THE DECISION WHETHER YOU WILL BE GRANTED THIS TYPE OF EMPLOYMENT AUTHORIZATION RESTS ENTIRELY WITH USCIS. IN CASE YOUR APPLICATION IS DENIED, USCIS DOES NOT PROVIDE YOU WITH THE OPPORTUNITY TO APPEAL THE DECISION.

Duration of Work Authorization
The employment authorization may be granted in one-year intervals up to your expected date of graduation in your current program of study. It may be renewed by USCIS if you are maintaining status and good academic standing.

Please note: If your application is approved by USCIS, your employment authorization allows you to work on a part-time basis. Part-time off-campus employment is limited to no more than 20 hours a week while school is in session (i.e., during spring and fall semesters). A student who is granted off-campus employment authorization may work full-time during holidays or school vacation.


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An eligible F-1 student may request off-campus employment work authorization for an internship with an international organization. The employment offer must be extended by a recognized international organization such as the United Nations, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, etc.

Eligibility Requirements
An F-1 student who has received an employment offer from an international organization may be authorized to work off-campus if the following conditions are met:
  1. The student is in F-1 status at the time of application and continues to maintain F-1 status; and
  2. The student must continue to carry a full course load (i.e., 12 credits per semester for undergraduates; 9 credits per semester for graduate students).
Application Procedures for Work Authorization for Internship with an International Organization
If you meet the eligibility requirements listed above, you may then request off-campus employment authorization for an internship with an international organization. Applicants must complete the online ISSS Employment Session (www.miami.edu/employmentsession) prior to submitting the application and supporting documents. The request is made to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and requires all the following items:
  1. Internship with an International Organization Request Form
  2. Form G-1145, (Also available at ISSS); “E-Notification of Application/Petition Acceptance.”
  3. Form I-765 (Also available at ISSS); enter eligibility code (c)(3)(ii) in item #16).
  4. Two photos as specified in the instructions of the Form I-765 (with name and I-94 number written on back in pencil)
    (Please note that it is your responsibility to ensure that the photographs comply with the I-765 instructions, and that it is your decision and responsibility if the photographs are sent to USCIS as part of this application. ISSS does not assume any responsibility for USCIS’ decision on whether your photographs meet the I-765 specifications.).
  5. Copies of front and back of any previous employment authorization documents (if applicable).
  6. USCIS mailer in which previous employment authorization document was received (if applicable).
  7. Original SEVIS Form I-20 (signed by student on page 1).
  8. Copy of all previous Form I-20s.
  9. Original Form I-94.
  10. Copies of passport biographical page, expiration date page, F-1 visa page, and page bearing stamp of last entry into the U.S.
  11. Money order for $380.00 made payable to the "Department of Homeland Security."
  12. Offer of employment letter from a recognized international organization with specifics of employment.
Applications for employment authorization for an internship with an international organization must be submitted to ISSS for processing before they can be sent by ISSS to the USCIS Dallas Lockbox for adjudication.

IT IS ESTIMATED THAT IT WILL TAKE USCIS FROM 120 TO 150 BUSINESS DAYS TO ADJUDICATE THESE APPLICATIONS. YOU MAY NOT BEGIN EMPLOYMENT UNTIL YOU RECEIVE YOUR EMPLOYMENT AUTHORIZATION DOCUMENT. PLEASE NOTE THAT THE DECISION WHETHER YOU WILL BE GRANTED THIS TYPE OF EMPLOYMENT AUTHORIZATION RESTS ENTIRELY WITH USCIS. IN CASE YOUR APPLICATION IS DENIED, USCIS DOES NOT PROVIDE YOU WITH THE OPPORTUNITY TO APPEAL THE DECISION.

Duration of Work Authorization
The employment authorization may be granted for the requested duration of your internship with an international organization. It may be renewed by USCIS if you are maintaining F-1 status and have not yet completed your current program of study.

Please note: If your application is approved by USCIS, your employment authorization allows you to work on a part-time basis. Part-time off-campus employment is limited to no more than 20 hours a week while school is in session (i.e., during spring and fall semesters). A student who is granted off-campus employment authorization for an internship with an international organization may work full-time during holidays or school vacation.

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