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F-1 Employment Overview

Important Reminder: Employment Authorization Required

F-1 students should remember that they are limited to only certain types of employment, which are listed below. With the exception of on-campus employment, students must also receive written authorization in advance before accepting and starting any work. Working in the US without authorization is an extremely serious violation of immigration regulations, and may lead to termination of your visa and eligibility to remain in the US. In order to avoid unauthorized employment, read and follow the instructions described on this web site, or consult with an International Center advisor BEFORE starting any employment activity.

Pre-Completion and Post-Completion Employment Options

The table below lists employment options available to F-1 students. These options are divided into pre-completion and post-completion options.

(A) Pre-Completion Employment Options. Pre-completion employment refers to employment options available to you before you complete your degree requirements. Once you complete your degree requirements, you are no longer eligible to work under the pre-completion options listed below, but would need to obtain authorization under options listed in Section (B). Note: under US immigration regulations, the main distinction between pre- and post-completion is not your actual graduation date, but when you complete or satisfy the requirements for your degree, certificate, or other educational objective.

(B) Post-Completion Employment Options. Once you finish your degree requirements, only the following F-1 employment options are available.

Volunteering and Unpaid Internships

F-1 students may have questions about whether or not they can volunteer or engage in unpaid internships. Please refer to our Volunteering and Unpaid Internships page for more information.