As an international student in US on F1 Visa, 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 end up doing two kinds of Jobs to support themselves. One is on-campus and other is off-campus. Each of them has their own rules and limitations, when you are studying on F1 visa. In this article, we will look all those details related to part time jobs in US for s.
What is an On-Campus Job or Part Time Job in US University?
As the name says, on-campus job is a job to work “On Campus ” in the University. Most of the on-campus jobs done by students are part time, which means students are limited to work for up to 20 hours per week. Also, F1 visa regulations limit international students, who are full time students, to work for up to 20 hours per week during regular semesters.
You are not allowed to work over 20 hrs as per F1 visa rules during fall and spring semesters, when a student is enrolled full time. But for summer term, you can only work for more than 20 hrs in Summer, when you are not taking any classes and not enrolled full time. 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 ? Legal ?
On-campus jobs are typically jobs meant to support the University operations. Below are the common on-campus jobs done by students. These are not just for international students, they are also done by general university students as well.
- Library : Working in library as support personnel for shelving books, picking up books, etc.
- Computer Labs : Support personnel in Computer Labs taking care of printers, terminals, etc.
- Cafeteria / Food courts : Working in university cafeterias or food courts at front desk, cleaning up stuff, serving food, etc.
- Various University offices : Receptionist at university’s offices taking phone calls, doing admin kind of stuff in several offices like international students office or academic affairs office.
- Sports Stadiums : If the University is big and has stadium, support personnel to manage the sports stadium
- Tutoring : Most of universities have Math Tutors, Writing Centers, etc. where you can be a tutor.
Teaching Assistantships (TA), Graduate Assistantships (GA), Research Assistantships (RA)
Most of the universities have various kinds of assistantships like Teaching assistantship (TA), Graduate Assistantships (GA) and Research assistantships (RA). Many of these offer either full tuition waiver or help students get in-state tuition. The waiver primarily depends on various factors like 0.25 FTE or 0.5 FTE (Full time Employment). Read Funding in US Universities TA, RA and GA . These are the most popular on-campus jobs that every international student aims for… 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 🙁
On-campus Job is Legal : Working in an on-campus job is legal and allowed as per F1 student rules. US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) defines these laws and you can check www.ice.gov official rule for F1 On-campus jobs. You will need to work with your DSO and inform them regarding the on-campus job and get relevant I-20 updated/issued.
On-Campus Part time Job Salary in US for International Students ?
On-campus part time jobs salary or pay totally depends on the state and the type of job you are in. Most of the on-campus jobs need to meet the state minimum hourly wage that the university is based out of. So, the average salary or your average pay is heavily influenced by State minimum wage. Hourly wage can vary anywhere from $8 US To $15 USD. Check US Dept of Labor Minimum Wage Table to get an idea for how much you can be paid per hour based on the state.
Average On-campus job Salary : The on-campus jobs salary can vary anywhere from $640 to $1200 USD per month, if you work on-campus 20 hours per week.
Example : Imagine, state minimum is $10 USD, so the University pays you about the same of 10 USD per hour, then on an average ( if you work 20 hrs a week ) per month 20 x 4 x 10 = $800.
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 for F1 Visa International Students ?
Off-campus job, as the name says, you work outside of the University campus. For Off-campus jobs, there is no restriction that you need to work in a University facility or office. F1 students are not authorized to work off campus by default. They need to demonstrate “severe economic hardship” due to their severe financial situation and get off campus employment authorization by the DSO. Only, if properly authorized by DSO after the approval, F1 students can work off campus. Check dhs.gov – Off Campus rules for severe hardship for more info.
Illegal Off-Campus Employment : At times, some international students engage in off campus work that is ILLEGAL. It could be due to their dire situation, they could not find an on-campus job or they could not qualify for the proper way to get off campus employment authortization. From Immigration perspective, if not approved by school under severe economic hardship, it is illegal. F1 Students can get into big trouble and even get deported by ICE Officer. So, international students should never engage in such unauthorized Off-Campus work. Students risk their future of studying and working in US, if they engage in such illegal off-campus jobs.
What are the various kinds of Off-campus jobs ?
There is no restriction on what you can do in an off-campus job. There is no defined regulation that says, you can do certain jobs and not do certain jobs. You can technically do any job that is not available on-campus. They can be as simple as administrative assistant roles, front desk counter jobs at Gas station as cashier, working at Malls as storekeeper or sales peron, working in Motels as front desk person, working as waiter at a restaurant, any other roles that are not on campus.
These are the jobs that people talk about students back in their home country, saying he was cleaning floor and stuff filling petrol, etc.,some prefer to work at restaurants as food is free. Again, working off-campus is absolutely illegal as F1 student, if not properly authorized by DSO.
How much do you make in Off-Campus Part time Job ? Pay ?
Similar to on-campus jobs, it varies by state. If a student does off-campus job with proper authroziation, then they can demand for fair pay. In such cases, they will be paid as per the state minimum wage. If it is done legally, it can range anywhere from $8 US To $15 USD. Check US Dept of Labor Minimum Wage Table to get an idea for how much you can be paid per hour based on the state.
As mentioned above, if students engage in illegal off campus jobs, their employers take advantage of the system and pay anywhere from $5 to $10 dollars or more. 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 ?