As an international student, how do I find part-time work? – Employers prefer to hire college students whether they are studying in a college town or a metropolitan area.
Many students work part-time at local restaurants, retail stores, and boutiques to supplement their income or to assist with academic and living expenses.
However, for international students studying in the United States, there is a little more to it than simply applying for any job, you can also apply for part-time work
To keep your F1 visa status, you must follow the rules of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
It is critical that you follow USCIS rules because breaking them can result in serious consequences such as deportation. Check out the information in this blog to ensure that you go about getting a part-time job in accordance with USCIS rules!
On-Campus Part-time work
If you’re looking for a part-time job, one of the first places you should look is on-campus. Colleges and universities in the United States frequently have online portals that allow you to easily view job listings for on-campus work.
There are two types of on-campus employment, according to Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) guidelines. The first is working at a location on campus that provides a service to other students. This means that jobs that do not directly involve other students are not permitted (Example: construction).
Working at an off-campus location affiliated with the college or university where the student is enrolled is another type of work that qualifies as on-campus employment.
For example, if a student attends New York University (NYU) and the NYU bookstore is located a few blocks off-campus, the student would be permitted to work there because the bookstore is affiliated with the institution. According to SEVIS, working for any employer off-campus who is contractually affiliated with the school qualifies as on-campus employment.
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As an F1 student, you may begin working as early as 30 days before the start of your program; however, you must notify your Designated School Official (DSO) before beginning work in case you want part-time work.
Your DSO will be your primary point of contact and will be in charge of your employment. If you have any specific questions about on-campus employment, we recommend that you speak with your DSO. In general, the following are the basic guidelines for on-campus employment:
- You are eligible to work at any qualifying on-campus job that does not require you to replace a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident.
- You may work up to 20 hours per week while enrolled in classes, as well as full-time during the summer and other periods when school is not in session.
- You should notify your DSO of your employment and obtain a social security number.
Examples of possible on-campus employment opportunities For part-time work include:
- Bookstore cashier/sales associate
- Library assistant
- IT support
- Coffee shop barista
- Campus ambassador/tour guide
- Research assistant
- Trainer at on-campus gym
- Resident assistant
- Event coordination
- Teaching assistant
- Mail room work
- Social media assistant
- Food court or restaurant
- Administrative assistant
- Lifeguard at on-campus pool
- Marketing assistant
Off-Campus Part-time work
Working off-campus imposes additional constraints. For starters, first-year students are not allowed to work off campus. Students may apply for one of three types of off-campus employment after their first academic year:
- Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
- Optional Practical Training (OPT)
- Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Optional Practical Training Extension
Let us now define each of these. Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is an off-campus work option for F1 students that allows them to gain professional experience in work related to their coursework. CPT work is defined as “alternative work/study, internship, cooperative education, or any other type of required internship or practicum offered by sponsoring employers through cooperative agreements with the school.
” Work experience or academic credit must be required for your degree in order to qualify. Furthermore, CPT work must be completed while the student is enrolled in classes. And, yes, you can be compensated.
Optional Practical Training (OPT) is a work option available to F1 students both during and after they complete their coursework. OPT work, like CPT work, must be directly related to your major field of study.
If you are eligible, you may be granted up to 12 months of OPT employment before and/or after completing your degree program. Pre-completion OPT is when you work as part of your OPT program before finishing your degree program. You may only work part-time (20 hours or less per week) while enrolled in courses if you have pre-completion OPT.
It is referred to as post-completion OPT if you participate in OPT employment after completing your degree program. In terms of post-completion OPT employment, you have the option of working part-time or full-time.
STEM majors are eligible to apply for a 24-month extension of their post-completion employment OPT. To be eligible, you must have earned a degree from a STEM Designated Degree Program List, be employed by a company that is enrolled in and using E-Verify, and have received an initial authorization for post-completion OPT employment.
That’s all you need to know about your options for working part-time as an international student in the United States.
We hope this information is useful to those of you who are looking for work, and we wish you the best of luck in your search!