General Information Regarding Work & Study

The United States has very strict rules regarding the ability of foreign nationals to work in the United tates. International students in valid F-1 status may work on-campus at the school which they are authorized to attend for up to 20 hours per week during the academic year and full-time during vacation and holiday breaks.

Students in valid F-1 status cannot be
employed off-campus without meeting eligibility requirements and obtaining prior written authorization. Students in J-2 status and G status as well as spouses in E-2 or L-2 status must have a work authorization card issued by the U.S. Immigration Service before they can be employed on or off-campus. Students in other statuses are generally prohibited from any kind of employment, either on or off-campus.

New federal regulations that implemented the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) exact heavy penalties for those students in F status who work off-campus without authorization. ISP reminds all F-1 students that all off-campus employment must be authorized before it can begin. This includes internships, practicum, and other types of off-campus experiences, whether or not you are receiving college credit for it.

Working off-campus without the appropriate authorization is considered illegal employment according to federal immigration law and is a potentially deportable offense. SEVIS regulations require that all unauthorized employment be reported. So, now more than ever, it's essential for international students to understand the off-campus employment rules that pertain to them.

Employment On Campus

F-1 students are permitted to work up to 20 hours per week on campus while school is in session, and up to 40 hours per week during vacation periods. For on-campus work, you do not have to obtain permission through USCIS. However, it is
required that you notify ISP before the work starts.

Employment Off Campus

F-1 students are allowed to work off-campus if, after one academic year of study, they have a proven severe unforeseen economic need. This work authorization, called F-1 Economic Hardship, must be obtained from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) by submitting documented proof of the change in financial circumstances, as well as filing an application and paying the required fee. For more information, please make an appointment with your ISP advisor.

Practical Training

F-1 students may engage in Practical Training or work experience related to the field of study either during or after your studies at CSUB. You must have been in status with one full academic year prior to being eligible for Practical Training. There are two types of practical training: curricular and optional.

Curricular Practical Training can only be used when an internship is an integral part of the curriculum during a course of study. A student is eligible for 12 months of practical training for EACH change to a higher educational level. For example, a student in F-1 status who enters as a Bachelor's degree student is eligible for up to 12 months of practical training upon completion of the Bachelor's and then ANOTHER 12 months upon completion of the next higher degree (e.g. Master's). It is still true that a student who does a year or more of full-time CPT is ineligible for

Optional practical Training (OPT) can be used during or after a course of study, and is for a total of 12 months. For more information, contact the office of ISP to meet with an advisor.&nbsp;</span>A student may submit an application for authorization to engage in OPT up to 90 days prior to being enrolled for one full academic year, provided that the period of employment does not begin until after completion of the full academic year. OPT must be requested PRIOR to the completion of all course requirements for the degree or prior to the completion of the course of study. A student must complete all practical training within a 14 month period following completion of study.

Employment of Dependents

F-2 dependents may not be employed under any circumstances.