Can I Work in the U.S. on a Student Visa?

student at graduation

It is common for university and college students to hold a part-time job during their studies. This is especially relevant if they are dorming at the university and far away from home, along with if they are paying for their educational costs themselves. However, if you are an international student, you may be unsure as to whether holding a job may jeopardize the validity of your student visa. Continue reading to learn your eligibility to work while on a student visa and how an experienced work authorization permit lawyer in Milwaukee, WI, at Sesini Law Group, S.C. can determine your viable options.

Am I eligible to work in the United States while on a student visa?

In your first academic year in the United States, you may not be eligible to seek employment off-campus while holding an F-1 student visa. However, if you wish to work on-campus, or otherwise at an off-campus location that is affiliated with the university or college, then you may do so for up to 20 hours per week when school is in session. What’s more, you may work at this on-campus job for up to 40 hours per week during official school breaks.

In the next academic year, you may accept off-campus employment subject to certain conditions and restrictions. That is, you may have the following options at your disposal:

  • You may engage in curricular practical training.
  • You may engage in optional practical training.
  • You may engage in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) optional practical training.

It is worth mentioning that you may participate in any of the aforementioned training programs for up to 12 months. Plus, this off-campus employment must be related to your area of study. In addition, your university’s or college’s Designated School Official, along with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, must approve the job first.

What are my visa options after graduation?

While you may gain experience from any of the aforementioned training programs during your studies, you may want to continue your professional career in the United States post-graduation. Well, you may rest assured knowing that you may still be eligible for up to 12 months of post-completion optional practical training. With this, your periods of pre-completion optional practical training must be deducted from your available hours of post-completion training. However, if you are undergoing the STEM optional practical training, then you may apply for a 24-month extension.

Aside from these training programs, there are other ways in which you may legally reside in the United States post-graduation. For example, you may apply for a non-immigrant, employment-based visa (i.e., H-1B visa, L-1 visa, O visa, etc).

At the end of the day, when it comes to your visa application, please consider contacting a skilled Milwaukee, WI work authorization permit lawyer. Our team at Sesini Law Group, S.C. is ready and willing to assist you.

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