It is vital that you understand and comply with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) employment regulations. Being unfamiliar with regulations does not excuse you from severe consequences of unauthorized employment. Employment authorization must be obtained before you engage in employment of any kind.
In order to maintain valid F-1 status, a student must not work in the United States, unless the employment is specifically authorized under the regulations. Off-campus employment is not allowed unless it is authorized practical training. A student who is out of status is not eligible for F-1 benefits, including employment. There are several types of employment that may be available to you as a benefit of your status.
Each F-1 employment category has specific eligibility requirements, so be sure to meet with your international advisor to discuss your options.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security does not permit dependents of F-1 students (F-2) to be employed. Employment is defined as services (part- or full-time) for financial or other compensation, and includes self-employment.
- Canadian and Mexican citizens admitted under special "border commuter student" provisions cannot be authorized to accept any employment in connection with their status, except for curricular practical training and optional practical training following completion of studies.
- Students studying English in English language training programs are ineligible for practical training (both curricular and optional).