Working while studying in the USA?
Students with F1 visas are generally allowed to work on the campus of their university for up to 20 hours a week during studies and full-time during vacation.
On-campus employment is defined as work that takes place on campus, or at an off-campus location that is affiliated with the school. That could mean working in a university bookstore, cafeteria or other facilities where students can help.
The federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. The hourly minimum wage numbers of different states are shown below:
10 Highest paying on-campus part-time jobs
Off-campus employment with a US student visa
Things can get a little more complicated if you wish to work off-campus, but there are some training programs that F1 students can get permission to work under.
It is not impossible to obtain, but it’s only available to F1 students who have completed at least one full academic year of their program of study, and who have an economic hardship that qualifies for the Department of Homeland Security’s emergent circumstances.
Examples of Severe Economic Hardship
The rule gives examples of the types of things that could be considered "severe economic hardship caused by unforeseen circumstances beyond the student’s control." These circumstances may include:
Optional Practical Training (OPT)
International students in the U.S. in valid F1 immigration status are permitted to work off-campus in optional practical training (OPT) status both during and after completion of their degree. You can apply for OPT after being enrolled for at least 9 months
Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is an off-campus employment option for F1 students when the practical training is an integral part of the established curriculum or academic program. CPT employment is defined as “alternative work/study, internship, cooperative education, or any other type of required internship or practicum that is offered by sponsoring employers through cooperative agreements with the school.” To qualify, work experience must be required for your degree, or academic credit must be awarded. And yes, you can get paid for CPT employment.