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F-1 Visas

Student Visas


Immigrations Laws that permit their legal entry into the U.S.

The immigration laws of the United States permit foreign students to come to the U.S. to go to school at all academic levels. U.S. schools can obtain authorization from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services to admit foreign students and to issue documentation allowing the students to obtain F-1 non-immigrant visa classification. Dependents are allowed to accompany students, and may be granted F-2 visa classification. A foreign student in the F-1 classification may stay in the U.S. for extended periods of time to complete degrees or other academic goals, and under certain circumstances, may be allowed to work in the United States.

What types of Employment are available for the F-1 students?

All categories of employment for F-1 students require the cooperation of the college or university's international student advisor.

Working allows students the opportunity to gain experience, interact with American business and, where necessary, supplement family support or personal resources due to changed financial need.

On-campus employment by F-1 students is permitted as long as the student works no more than 20 hours a week while school is in session. Students may be employed full time during vacations and recess periods as long as they intend to register for the next term.

On-campus employment means employment performed on the premises of the school or at an affiliated off-site location. It may mean employment of a type normally performed by students, such as work in the school library, cafeteria, or in a student store, or employment which is part of a student's scholarship, fellowship or assistantship.

Employment Authorization Based on Severe Economic Hardship

Where unforeseen circumstances lead to a change in the student's economic situation, the student can obtain permission to work off campus in any job of the student's choosing, 20 hours per week, full-time when school is not in session. Employment based on economic necessity is not deducted from time allowed for post-completion practical training, but the student must have completed one academic year in F-1 status to qualify.  Also, the student must be in good academic standing.

Optional Practical Training

Post-Completion Practical Training F-1 students are entitled to up to one year of post completion practical training.  However, as explained above, if the student has received one year or more of full-time curricular practical training, the student is ineligible for post-completion practical training. Note also that time spent in pre-completion practical training is deducted from the 12 month maximum.

Authorization for post-completion practical training may be granted for a maximum of 12 months and takes effect only after the student has graduated or completed a course of study. In any event, practical training must be completed within a 14-month period following the completion of studies. An F-1 student may be authorized to engage in post completion practical training only once for the duration of student status, regardless of the number of degrees pursued.