Employment With F-1 Visa

The Department of Homeland Security's Bureau of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has regulations governing on-campus employment for students in F-1 status.

Any F-1 student may work on campus if:

  • Valid F-1 status is maintained
  • Employment does not exceed 20 hours per week while school is in session
  • F-1 students may be employed full time on campus during holidays and vacation periods, provided you intend to register for the next academic semester.

NOTE: If a student works fThe Department of Homeland Security's Bureau of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has regulations governing on-campus employment for students in F-1 status.

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The definition of on-campus employment includes:

  • Work performed on the NYIT campus
  • Work for an on-campus employer who has a contract to provide services to students, including bookstores and food services

Off-Campus Employment (Economic Hardship)

Current immigration regulations do allow off-campus employment for student in F-1 status based on economic hardship.

In order to be eligible, the student must:

  • Be in valid F-1 status for at least one academic year (two semesters)
  • Be in good academic standing and registered for a full-time course load
  • Provide evidence of economic hardship based on unforeseen circumstances beyond the student's control
  • Demonstrate that on-campus employment is either unavailable or insufficient to meet needs.

The regulations require that students make a good faith effort to locate employment on campus before applying for employment authorization based on economic hardship.

The regulations offer examples of unforeseen circumstances that may cause economic hardship, including the loss of scholarship or on-campus employment without fault on the part of the student, substantial fluctuations in the value of currency or exchange rates, inordinate increases in tuition and/or living costs, unexpected changes in the financial condition of a student's sponsor, medical bills, or other substantial and unexpected expenses.

Employment is limited to no more than 20 hours per week when school is in session, full-time during holidays or vacation periods. Employment authorization is automatically terminated when a student fails to maintain status. Students may work for an employer at any job, anywhere in the United States. A job offer is not required in advance of obtaining employment authorization. Employment may not commence until the student receives the work authorization (EAD) card from the Bureau of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)

Students seeking employment authorization based on economic hardship will need to meet with the director or associate director of international education at NYIT, fill out the necessary application forms, and apply by mail to the USCIS Vermont Service Center to obtain an employment authorization document (EAD), which will be valid for one-year intervals. There is a $340 fee for the EAD.

It can take up to 12 weeks for the EAD card to be processed by the USCIS Vermont Service Center. Therefore, students are urged to allow sufficient processing time for this procedure by submitting their paperwork early.

Employment may not commence until the student obtains the EAD.

Curricular Practical Training

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is employment directly related to your field of study. CPT may be a paid or unpaid internship, practicum, or other type of employment offered by a sponsoring employer through a cooperative agreement with the school. It may take place during the academic year or the summer.

If CPT is required as part of your curriculum, it will be listed under the department’s degree requirements and course offerings. All students in that program are required to complete an internship or practicum.

CPT may be recommended to you if it is beneficial but is not required for completion of the degree. You must register for a minimum of a one-credit internship, practicum, or field study course listed in the college catalog. As an F-1 student, you must be enrolled on a full-time basis for at least one academic year before you are eligible.

Optional Practical Training

Optional Practical Training (OPT) is defined as paid employment directly related to your field of study. As an F-1 student, you must be enrolled on a full-time basis for at least one academic year before you are eligible. OPT is limited to a total of 12 months. You may be eligible for another 12 months upon pursuing another academic degree.

  • Are you F-1 and on OPT? Please update your address and employment status with us.

NOTE: F-2 dependents may not accept employment or be enrolled full time.

Optional Practical Training - 17 Month STEM Extension

The Department of Homeland Security published new federal regulations governing Optional Practical Training on April 8, 2008.  These regulations allow for a 17-month extension of post-completion Optional Practical Training (for a total period of 29 months) provided that certain conditions are met.

  • The applicant must be currently authorized for a 12-month period of OPT and working for a US employer in a job directly related to the student’s field of study.
  • Applicants must be currently working in paid employment, volunteer positions are not allowed a STEM Extension.
  • The applicant must have successfully completed a bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degree in a field on the DHS STEM Designated Degree Program list, from a SEVIS-certified US college or university (see the “STEM” section below)
  • At the time of application for the 17-month extension, the applicant must have a job-offer or be employed by an employer registered with the “E-Verify” federal employment verification system.
  • The applicant must apply for the 17-month extension through the OIE at NYIT.  The DSO must recommend the extension and issue a new I-20 with the recommendation noted
  • The applicant must apply for the extension using form I-765 with fee (currently $340.00) to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services Processing Center having jurisdiction over the applicant’s current place of residence
  • The applicant must file the extension application in a timely manner, before the current period of OPT expires
  • An applicant who files the application timely whose current EAD card expires while the application is pending may continue employment while the STEM extension application is pending until a final decision is made, or for 180 days, whichever comes first

STEM Information

Your most recent degree must be in a field of study that is on the Federal Government’s approved list of STEM Fields.

S = Science
T = Technology
E = Engineering
M = Mathematics

A detailed list of all STEM fields approved by the federal government is available.

or more than one on-campus employer, the total number of hours worked from all jobs cannot exceed 20 hours per week.