Can I Work in the U.S. on a Student Visa?

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Pursuing a post-secondary education in the United States can be an expensive endeavor. The cost of tuition and living expenses at universities is continually rising. That said, many international students find themselves in a position where they need to work part-time to finance their education and living costs. Even if working is not a need-based decision, international students often wonder whether they can work while on a student visa. It’s imperative to understand that the U.S. government takes working illegally seriously. Disregarding specific work authorization laws and regulations as a nonimmigrant student can have severe consequences and jeopardize your visa status. It can even lead to deportation. Therefore, if you’re an international student looking to work while on a student visa, please continue reading and contact a determined ​​Middlesex County, New Jersey, Education Immigration Lawyer who can help you learn the basics of the work authorization process. 

What is a student visa?

If you want to pursue higher education in your studies at an approved educational institution as a nonimmigrant, you can apply for an F-1 visa. An F-1 visa allows a student to live in the U.S. to pursue full-time studies temporarily. Once you’ve been accepted for enrollment in a U.S. institution and completed all the necessary steps, you can study in the U.S. after your student visa has been approved. While international students can work on a student visa, some restrictions exist. As a nonimmigrant student, you must comply with specific federal laws and regulations when seeking employment in the U.S.

Where can I work?

Students can take on two types of jobs as an F-1 visa holder: on-campus and off-campus. With a student visa, you can work on-campus for up to 20 hours per week during school and full-time during school break periods. On-campus employment must occur at the university the student attends or at an off-campus location affiliated with the school. For example, you can work at the university bookstore. To obtain this work authorization, you must apply for the job up to 30 days before your classes start.

However, things will get more complicated if you want to work off-campus. Some training programs allow F-1 students to work off-campus. To work off-campus, you must have completed at least one full year of the academic year of your program or have had an extreme economic hardship that qualifies for the Department of Homeland Security’s emergent circumstances. Two programs are designated for students who want to gain experience in their field of study: Optional Practical Training (OPT) and Curricular Practical Training (CPT).

As you can see, there are various work opportunities for international students. However, you must adhere to all the rules and regulations to ensure you do not jeopardize your student visa. For more information about obtaining work authorization on a student visa, contact a trusted lawyer from the Law Offices of Aditya Surti, LLC.

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