Though employment is a benefit of the F-1 student status, numerous rules and restrictions apply and must be considered when making employment decisions. While on campus employment does not require authorization from ISSA, all off campus employment must be authorized by ISSA or USCIS in advance of the employment start date.
Employment is considered to be the rendering of services for compensation. This includes financial compensation as well as other types of compensation, such as meals, housing, books or any type of reimbursement for transportation, lodging, etc. Working or accepting employment in the United States without proper authorization is considered a serious violation of immigration status, which can affect your ability to remain in the United States. F-1 students considering any type of employment in the United States should consult with International Student and Scholar Affairs (ISSA) prior to beginning work.
All students who plan to work in the U.S. and are paid by a U.S. based employer are eligible for and should obtain a U.S. Social Security Number (SSN) for employment and tax purposes.