F-1 Employment

Though employment is a benefit of the F-1 student status, numerous rules and restrictions apply and must be considered when making employment decisions.

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, whether paid or unpaid, in the United States should consult with International Student and Scholar Affairs (ISSA) prior to beginning work.

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. 

F-1 or J-1 students interested in entrepreneurship, either launching or participating in the launch of a for-profit or non-profit start up, should consult with ISSA for more information about eligibility as an F-1 or J-1 student. 

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. 

For more information about employment opportunities and resources, we recommend connecting with the Meruelo Family Center for Career Development.