What Are My Work Options As An F-1 Student?
Going through college as an F-1 student is also as expensive as it is for normal folks. Fortunately, you can offset the costs by working while you are in college. Here are your work options as an F-1 student.
On Campus Employment for F-1 StudentsOne work option available for you is On Campus Employment. This means that you either work on campus or with a school affiliated location off campus. This includes things like working in the book shop or working as a research assistant.
Unlike OPT and CPT, you can begin on-campus employment at any time. You can work for 20 hours a week while school is in session and 40 hours a week during breaks and summer. The time you work in an on-campus employment doesn*t affect the time for your OPT and CPT.
Curricular Practical TrainingCurricular Practical Training (CPT) is a job role related to your course of study and you can do it before you graduate from college. In order to qualify for this, you need to have F-1 status for at least one year. Also, the job role you take with CPT has to be from an offer of employment and not self-employment.
Unlike on-campus employment, you need permission before you can start working in a CPT job role. You can work for 20 hours while school is in session and 40 hours during break. However, in some circumstances, you can work for 40 hours while school is in session.
CPT can either be full-time or part-time. Part time CPT doesn*t have any effect on the length of your OPT. On the other hand, if you work full time CPT for more than 12 months, you won*t be eligible for subsequent OPT.
Optional Practical TrainingOptional Practical Training (OPT) also has to be related to your course of study. It is available before or after graduation. F-1 students will remain eligible for OPT 12 months after graduation. If you are doing an STEM course, you can put an additional 17 months.
Just like CPT, you can*t work under OPT unless you have been an F-1 student for more than one year. If you engage in OPT before graduation, it will be subtracted from your after graduation OPT timeline. You can save this by opting for CPT instead.
The job role you take for OPT can either be paid or unpaid. However, you should note that you can*t remain unemployed for more than 90 days during your OPT timeline.
One of the perks that come with OPT is that you can be self-employed for that time period. However, the job role also has to be related to your course major.