Students having non-immigrant F-1 status generally are not permitted to work. Students in F-1 status are in the United States to attend school and must have full financial support for this objective. However, special instances exist where a work authorization may be granted.
Students who have been in F-1 status for at least nine months (or three consecutive quarters) at this institution and are in good academic standing (minimum GPA of 2.0 for undergraduate students and 3.0 for graduate students) may be eligible to apply for the types of work authorizations listed below. Students who are granted work authorization must maintain their full-time status while completing their program as required by USCIS regulations for F-1 students. Employment on-campus is limited to 20 hours per week during enrolled terms but has no limitation during vacation periods.
For all types of work authorizations, permission to begin work is not granted until the student receives the Employment Authorization Document (EAD card) from the USCIS. Obtaining a social security card is a separate process from obtaining an EAD card. Institutional support letters for social security card applications may be provided only after the student has secured lawful employment. Students may not work prior to the date indicated on the EAD card.
It is recommended that students do not travel prior to receiving the approval of a work authorization. Students who have completed their program of study may not be permitted to re-enter the United States without an EAD card and proof of employment.