The F-1 visa status allows you to study full-time in the U.S. It does not provide much opportunity for you to work. Learn about employment options as an F-1 student.
Am I eligible to work off campus?
F-1 students may only work off campus if they have:
- Permission from the Department of Homeland Security
- Economic hardship
I am experiencing economic hardship. How can I apply for off-campus employment?
You can apply for off-campus employment based on severe economic hardship.
- Download the Economic Hardship Guide (pdf)
- Schedule an appointment with HACC's International Student Coordinator or Disability Services Office (DSO). You will review the application process.
What types of employment am I eligible to obtain as an F-1 student?
As an F-1 international student, you may only accept work or engage in business under certain conditions.
You may be eligible for the following types of employment.
You may work on-campus for up to:
- 20 hours per week while school is in session
- 40 hours per week during vacation periods
Visit the Career Center for on-campus job postings and application procedures. Do not expect to find on-campus employment immediately. Keep checking the job postings.
You must apply for a social security card if you are hired for on-campus work. You may not begin work until you receive the social security card.
Curricular Practical Training
HACC defines curricular practical training (CPT) as:
- Work/study programs
- Health career clinical work
- Cooperative education programs
- Any other type of required internship or practicum
The employment must be a required or optional part of your degree program. This means you must receive college credit for your performed work. Download the CPT Guide (pdf) for more information.
Optional Practical Training
Optional Practical Training (OPT) is temporary employment in your field of study. OPT allows you to gain practical experience.
You may be eligible for Optical Practical Training if you have been in F-1 status for at least one academic year.
- Apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT) (pdf).
- Begin the application process 30-45 days before your desired employment start date.
- Schedule an appointment with HACC's International Student Coordinator or Disability Services Office (DSO). During this appointment, you will review the application process.
Am I eligible for a Social Security number?
You are eligible for a social security number if you are:
- Authorized to work off-campus
- Offered employment on campus
You may not begin work on campus until you receive your social security card. You must apply for a social security number if you find employment on campus.
To apply for a social security number:
- Print the Social Security Letter (pdf).
- Get the appropriate signatures.