F-1 Student Employment

F-1 Student Employment Information

Below you will find information about the immigration laws and policies that apply to different types of F-1 student employment. If you have any questions about F-1 student employment, please contact our office and we will be happy to speak with you about your options.


On-Campus Employment

Eligibility

  • Eligible immediately upon obtaining F-1 status; no waiting period
  • Employment does not have to be related to major or course of study
  • Employment cannot be used after a student has completed a course of study

Authorization

  • On-campus employment does not require DSO authorization or updates to the SEVIS record. However, ISS will assist you with applying for an SSN.

Work Requirement

  • Employment opportunity must be considered “on-campus”
  • Work must be part-time (up to 20 hours per week) when the university is in session and can be full-time (more than 20 hours per week) when the university is not in session (examples: summer and semester breaks)

Examples of Acceptable Employment

  • Sodexo (food service)
  • Memorial Student Center bookstore
  • Marshall Recreation Center
  • Graduate Assistantships
  • INTO Center

Off-Campus Employment

Severe Economic Hardship Internship with International Organization
Eligibility

  • An F-1 student who experiences severe, unforeseen economic hardship may apply to the USCIS for off-campus work authorization. Eligibility factors include:
    • Loss of on-campus employment
    • Unexpected loss of scholarship
    • Medical bills
    • Burglary or robbery (with a police report)
    • Disruption of a sponsor’s income
    • Death or loss of a sponsor
  • Student must be in F-1 status for a full academic year
  • Student must be enrolled in a full course of study

  • Eligible immediately upon obtaining F-1 status; no waiting period
  • Available only while in F-1 status, before program completion
  • Must be a qualified international organization*

Authorization

  • Recommended in SEVIS by ISS
  • Authorized by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)

  • Recommended in SEVIS by ISS
  • Authorized by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)

Work Requirement

  • Work is allowed to be off-campus
  • Work must be part-time (up to 20 hours per week) when the university is in session and can be full-time (more than 20 hours per week) when the university is not in session (examples: summer and semester breaks)

  • Authorization is granted in increments of up to 1 year
  • There is no limit on the number of hours that can be worked; can be full-time or part-time, as long as student is enrolled full-time and maintaining status
  • Employment does not have to relate to major or course of study

Examples of Acceptable Employment

  • If authorized, there are no specific requirements for the type of job a student can have

  • *Please see ISS for a list  of qualifying international organizations. Simply having international offices does NOT necessarily qualify.

Practical Training

Pre-Completion Optional Practical Training Post-Completion Optional Practical Training STEM Optional Practical Training Extension Curricular Practical Training
Eligibility

  • Student must be a degree-seeking student (Bachelor’s, Master’s, or Doctoral level)
  • Student must be enrolled for one full academic year by the time of application
  • Student must be in valid F-1 status

  • Student must be a degree-seeking student (Bachelor’s, Master’s, or Doctoral level)
  • Student must be enrolled for one full academic year by the time of application
  • Student must be in valid F-1 status
  • Any previous time on Pre-Completion OPT will subtract from the amount of Post-Completion OPT available

  • Student must currently be on Post-Completion OPT
  • Student must have a qualifying STEM degree as determined by USCIS
  • The employment opportunity must be a qualifying position

  • Student must currently be in valid F-1 status
  • Student must be a degree-seeking student (Bachelor’s, Master’s, or Doctoral level)
  • Student must be enrolled full-time for at least one academic year by the time of application
  • Student must continue to be enrolled for a full course of study during the CPT
  • Student must be enrolled in a practicum or internship course within the student’s major

Authorization

  • Recommended in SEVIS by ISS
  • Authorized by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)

  • Recommended in SEVIS by ISS
  • Authorized by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)

  • Recommended in SEVIS by ISS
  • Authorized by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)

  • Authorized by ISS

Work Requirement

  • Employment must be directly related to major field of study
  • Work activities must total at least 20 hours per week
  • Employment can be paid or unpaid

  • Employment must be directly related to major field of study
  • Work activities must total at least 20 hours per week

  • Employment must be directly related to major field of study
  • Each position must guarantee at least 20 hours per week
  • Employer must be an E-Verify company
  • The employment must be a paid position

  • The internship must be directly related to the student’s field of study

Examples of Acceptable Employment

  • Paid employment
  • Internships (paid or unpaid)
  • Volunteerships
  • Job shadowing

  • Paid employment
  • Internships (paid or unpaid)
  • Volunteerships
  • Job shadowing

  • Paid employment that is directly related to the student’s major field of study

  • Paid employment
  • Internships (paid or unpaid)

Duration

  • 12 months of OPT available (including Pre-Completion OPT and Post-Completion OPT combined)

  • 12 months of OPT available (including Pre-Completion OPT and Post-Completion OPT combined)

  • Up to 24-month extension available

  • By semester
  • Completing 1 full year of CPT makes a student ineligible for OPT

Online Training Module Pre-Completion OPT Online Training Module Post-Completion OPT Online Training Module STEM OPT Online Training Module CPT Online Training Module

Volunteering

Per the Study in the States website, here are some important reminders about volunteering:

  • You cannot receive any form of taxable income from your volunteer activity.
  • If the volunteer position is one for which an employer would otherwise hire someone, you may work there only with all necessary employment authorization.

Click Here to read more about volunteering!

If you have any questions about whether or not a volunteer position will be acceptable, please contact us by emailing iss@marshall.edu or click here to request an appointment with our office.

How to Obtain SSN

If you have found employment and need to apply for a Social Security Number, you may request a Status Verification Letter for SSN.  The Status Verification Letter for SSN is available to Marshall University students and scholars in valid F-1 or J-1 status.

  • If you are a newly arrived student, please be sure to wait 10 business days from the date of your check-in with the Office of International Student Services before requesting a letter.
  • If you are a currently enrolled student, please be sure that you are meeting all registration requirements prior to requesting a letter.
  • If you have graduated and are applying for OPT, you may now request a SSN by completing Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, and a separate application to the Social Security Administration is not necessary.

 

Click Here to request a Verification of Status Letter for SSN!

 

Once your request is submitted, your supervisor will automatically receive an email with steps to submit the Supervisor / Hiring Official Certification.  SSN letters will NOT be processed until the Supervisor / Hiring Official Certification is completed by the employer.  You will receive email notification once your employer has submitted the certification.

After our office receives the Supervisor / Hiring Official Certification, processing times for Status Verification Letters for SSN is 2-3 business days.  You will receive email notification to your Marshall University email account once the letter is prepared.  If you do not receive notification in a timely manner, please contact the Office of International Student Services at iss@marshall.edu.

For additional information about applying for a Social Security Number, please click here to see the SSN Information handout.

Employment FAQs

Can I do an internship during the summer?
Do I need approval from ISS to work on campus?
When should I apply for OPT?
Do I need approval to do an internship that is unpaid?
Can I keep working on campus after I graduate?
Can I keep working on campus after I graduate if I am applying for OPT?
If I work an average of 20 hours per week on campus, is it okay if I work over 20 hours per week sometimes if I also work under 20 hours per week sometimes?
Can I have more than one on campus job?
Can my F-2 dependent work?