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Employment: F-1 international students

Not complying with these guidelines for on and off-campus employment may be a violation of status that could result in the F-1 student having to leave the United States.

Working on-campus

All F-1 students are permitted to work on campus for up to 20 hours per week during the academic year and 40 hours per week during summer and winter breaks.


What does it mean to work “on-campus”?  

On-campus employment can be any job that is for an APSU department or a company that contracts with the school to serve students directly (i.e. bookstore, Sodexo) and is located on APSU's campus.


How can I find on-campus jobs?  

Campus positions are constantly changing and many are only posted for five days, so be sure to check often if you are looking for a job.


Steps for on-campus job authorization:

  1. Search and apply for campus job.
  2. Contact the F-1 International Student Advisor for assistance if needed.
  3. Request official letter from employer describing type of work, number of hours the student will work per week, start date, end date, and supervisor name and contact information.
  4. Submit employer letter to the F-1 International Student Advisor and request official letter confirming full-time enrollment, maintaining F-1 visa status and approval of on-campus employment.
  5. Bring both letters along with other required documentation to Social Security Administration to apply for a Social Security number. You can apply no earlier than 30 days before the start date listed on your job contract or authorization letter.
  6. Complete employment paperwork.
  7. Begin working on authorized start date.


Notice about Graduate Assistants:

Assistantships are considered part of an academic program. During the semester, students can work up to an additional 9 hours on campus toward non-assistantship employment. See CFR 8.214(f)(6)(i)(H).

Working off-campus

F-1 students are not permitted to work off campus (outside of the university) without prior authorization. Off-campus employment is any type of work or services performed in exchange for money, tuition, fees, books, supplies, room, food, or any other benefit that does not take place on the APSU campus.  

Students with financial problems should speak with the F-1 International Student Advisor but should never work off campus without first requesting the work through USCIS. If you are currently authorized to work off-campus due to economic hardship, your off-campus work authorization terminates when you transfer. You must re-apply for off-campus work authorization at your new school.

For information on off-campus work authorization please make an appointment with the F-1 International Student Advisor to discuss options and application process.

Practical Training

Work authorization for practical training may be approved for an F–1 student who has been lawfully enrolled on a full-time basis, in a SEVIS‐approved college, university, conservatory, or seminary for one full academic year. This includes students who, during their course of study, were enrolled in a study-abroad program, if the student had spent at least one full academic term enrolled in a full course of study in the United States prior to studying abroad.

A student may be authorized for 12 months of practical training and becomes eligible for another 12 months of practical training when he or she changes to a higher educational level. Students who graduate with a STEM degree are eligible to apply for an additional 17 months optional practical training STEM extension.

Students in English language training programs are ineligible for practical training.

The employment authorization for practical training must be in a position that is directly related to the student’s major area of study.

Curricular Practical Training

Optional Practical Training

Additional Employment Resources

For more employment information for international students, you may also see:

Study in the States: Working in the United States

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE): Employment