As an international student in US, most of the them try to find ways to support themselves financially. They prefer not to ask parents for money either it is for fees or for expenses. Typically students do two kinds of Jobs to support themselves. One is on-campus and other is off-campus. Each of them has their own rules, when you are studying on F1 visa. In this article we will look all those details related to part time jobs in US for F1 students.
What is an On-Campus Job or Part Time Job in US University?
As the name says, you work “On Campus ” in the University and it is part time. Part time means, there is a limit of 20 hrs per week if you are a full time international student studying on F1 visa. Working over 20 hrs is against the rule and you will NOT be allowed to work on-campus, with one exception of Summer semester. As summer is an optional term, you can only work for more than 20 hrs in Summer, when you are not taking any classes. Technically, if you are not enrolled in classes, you can work full time, which is up to 40 hrs per week in summer term.
What are the various On-campus jobs that Universities offer ?
On-campus jobs are typically jobs meant to support the University operations. Typically, jobs like working in library shelving books, working in Computer Labs taking care of printers, terminals, etc. Working in cafeterias, receptionist at university’s offices, admin kind of stuff in several offices like international students office or academic affairs office. In fact, a decent size university would have quite a few of these on-campus jobs and you should be able to get one, if you search well and there are not many international students.
Working On-Campus is legal and allowed by immigration law. Also, for some of these part time jobs you may get tuition waivers, depending on the type of the on campus job. The waiver primarily depends on the job category and the school. Typically tuition fee waivers are common for Teaching assistantship (TA), Graduate Assistantships (GA) and Research assistantships. Read Funding in US Universities TA, RA and GA . On a side note, I had two on campus jobs during my student days, one was working in library and other was working as research assistant…used to hate going to library for the 8 AM shift 🙁
How much can you make in On-Campus Job ? Pay ?
Well, it depends a lot on the state minimum wage that you are working in and the University classification for a job. You can make anywhere from $7 to $12 dollars or more. It amount per hour varies by state. Imagine, state minimum is $7 USD, so the University pays you about the same of 7 USD per hour, then on an average ( if you work 20 hrs a week ) per month 20 x 4 x 7 = $560. Thats decent amount of money to support your expenses in most of the places with sharing. You may watch the short video below to get an idea. Also, you should check this article on How to Get an On Campus Jobs in US as Student .
What are Off-Campus Jobs ? Is it illegal to work off campus ?
Unlike on-campus job, you do not work on campus. You work outside of University campus. Anything that is not affiliated with University is called Off campus Job. This is a typical term used by international students as “Off Campus Job”. In general, it is ILLEGAL to work off campus if you are on F1 Visa, unless you get an exception and waiver from school for severe economic hardship. It is not very uncommon for some students to engage in some sort of off campus job because they do not have a choice to support themselves. You see students take this path, when they are having hard time finding jobs on campus and in need for money. From Immigration perspective, if not approved by school under economic hardship, it is totally illegal and you can get into big trouble and even get deported by ICE Officer. So, never engage in such Off Campus work, it is not worth your time and risk. You risk your future of studying and working in US, if you engage in such illegal off-campus job.
What are the various kinds of Off-campus jobs ?
Typically, depending on the authorization you get for off campus you can work in administrative assistant roles to working in a Gas station as cashier and doing other work ( this is what people talk about students back home, saying he was cleaning floor and stuff filling petrol ) , working in a Motel as front desk person to handle customers ( just like lodge in India working at front desk ), working in different stores in Malls, Working at restaurants ( Food is free, may people do this ) or anything like McDonald or Subways which are owned by Indians, Working in Indian stores, etc… This is absolutely illegal to work as F1 student, this is just for your information.
How much do you make in Off-Campus Part time Job ? Pay ?
It all varies by negotiation and state minimum wage. As it is illegal to work without proper authorization from school, students are paid anywhere from $5 to $10 dollars or more. It depends on the type of job, it is up to your boss to decide. But, most of the times the owners are good and they pay around market rate. Some good students get carried away by the money they see in off campus and ruin their education. So, it has to be watched out carefully and not advised to work off campus. You can be deported.
Working Off Campus is ILLEGAL and we do NOT Recommend anyone to do that ! we have just posted this for your information based on general knowledge. Consequences of working off campus can be very bad., if you are found or caught working illegal, you can be potentially deported too. Be careful
Did you work on-campus or off-campus ? What has been your experience ?