Can I Work In the United States With a Student Visa?

Can I Work In the United States With a Student Visa?

Foreign students are eligible to come to study in the United States on F-1 or M-1 visas. On these visas, there is an expectation that these students are prepared to support themselves the entire time they are enrolled in a program of study. Regardless of this expectation, there are some limited opportunities available for foreign students to work while attending school.

The type of limited employment you are able to hold depends on the visa you entered the country with. While both of these expect that you come prepared to be self-sufficient, certain visas each lend themselves differently to employment opportunities.

Job Opportunities for F-1 Visa Holders

On a F-1 visa, a student is able to work at any job available on the school’s campus without needing additional authorization. Working off-campus is prohibited without authorization from United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) or a Designated School Official (DSO).

Off-campus work that may be available on a F-1 visa is:

  • Off-campus employment: is allowed when suffering severe economic hardship, unless they have been enrolled in school for less than a year, do not have good standing, and are able to obtain on-campus work.
  • Curricular practical training: is work that is related to the curriculum and related to a major area of study, such as internships or cooperative education programs
  • International organization internship: with a specific organization that qualifies under the International Organizations Immunities Act

No matter what type of employment is sought with a F-1 visa, it must be addressed with the DSO and/or USCIS before it is valid. The type of employment obtained may have repercussions for a student’s ability to remain in the United States. All potential consequences should be addressed with an immigration attorney before taking any additional steps.

What if I have a M-1 visa?

Students with a M-1 visa find their ability for employment different than students with a F-1 visa. A M-1 visa holder is ineligible to work while completing their course of study. Following the completion of their education, however, they may be able to work for a period of six months on their visa. For every four months that they were involved in a full-time course of study, they have permission to work one month.

To apply for work training, an application for a practical training work permit must be sent no earlier than 60 days before the end of the program and 30 days after the program ends. This will be accompanied by a few forms that can be obtained online or from a local USCIS office.

Do you have questions about employment while in the United States on a student visa? The New York City immigration lawyers at Feiner & Lavy, P.C., Attorneys at Law can answer your questions when you call their offices today!