F-1 On-Campus Employment

What is “on-campus” employment?

F-1 students are generally permitted to work on the premises of the school that issued their currently valid I-20. Students should consult with an ISS advisor for a better understanding of the conditions and types of on-campus employment allowed if there is any question.

Types of On-Campus Employment

  • Work employed by the I-20 issuing institution (e.g., teaching assistant, library, administrative office)
  • Work employed by on-campus commercial firms that provide direct student services (e.g., cafeteria)
  • Work done at off-campus locations, but treated as on-campus (e.g., research projects)


  • Eligible immediately upon obtaining F-1 status
  • Must be considered “on-campus”
  • Can be used throughout period students is pursuing a full course of study
  • Limited to 20 hours per week while school is in session; can be over 20 hours during official school breaks
  • Can be done in any on-campus position that does not displace a US worker; does not have to be related to course of study
  • Offer of employment not required for eligibility
  • All on-campus work is treated the same for the 20 hour per week limit; for example, teaching assistants who work 20 hours per week are not allowed to work more hours unless on break


  • “Initial” entry students may not begin work more than 30 days before class start
  • Limited to 20 hours per week while school is in session; over 20 hours during official schools breaks for students who are eligible and intend to register for the subsequent academic term
  • May not engage in on-campus employment during the 60 day grace period following completion of study except in the following situations:
    • Employment authorized by Optional Practical Training
    • Between academic levels at same school
    • Between programs when transferring schools
  • Concurrently-enrolled students (students attending two institutions at the same time) may work only on the campus of the institution that issued their I-20 and has jurisdiction over the student’s SEVIS record.
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