Employment Restrictions

As you begin to think about funding sources for your educational and living expenses in the United States, remember that you cannot count on working in the United States unless you have been granted a teaching or research assistantship. When you submit evidence of your financial resources, you cannot rely on potential income. The income on which you base your application must be assured and must be equal to or exceed the costs of the first year of your studies.

Immigration regulations are very strict with respect to working while carrying a student visa. F-1 status, which is the most common status for full-time international students, allows for part time, on-campus employment (fewer than 20 hours per week.) J-1 student status allows for similar employment, with similar restrictions, as long as permission is given by the exchange visitor program sponsor. M-1 visa holders for technical and vocational programs are not permitted to work during the course of their studies.

Jobs available on campus typically do not pay much, certainly not enough to finance a university education. Do not count on this kind of a job for anything more than a supplement to other funds.

Careful long- and short-term planning are necessary to ensure that you will have a rewarding educational experience in the United States. If you are realistic about your financial needs, you will be better able to enjoy the exciting academic and cultural experience of living and learning in the United States.

For more information about this, please contact an immgration lawyer, your international student advisor or please visit the following resources: