F-1 visa students are eligible for both on-campus employment and off-campus internships, practicums, or similar experiential learning activities. Also available is a limited work card that is part of the F-1 process which gives students the chance for direct employment experience immediately after completing their studies. For off-campus activities during studies, students can read more about Curricular Practical Training, and for students planning to enroll in their final semester, consider becoming familiar with rules for Post-Completion Practical Training.
Practical Training is an extension of an F-1 student's education in the United States and is intended to give the student an opportunity to engage in paid training in his or her major field of study. Please be advised that an individual who holds a non-immigrant F-1 visa and is in possession of a form I-20 authorized for Curricular Practical Training is allowed to accept employment during the dates indicated on page 3 of their form I-20. This authorization is granted by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Citizenship and Immigration Services (formerly known as the INS) through the International Students Office of the University where the student is currently enrolled.
Practical Training authorization is outlined in U.S. Federal Regulation 8 CFR Sec. 214.2 9 (f) (10) (ii) (B). Practical Training can be taken in segments; each segment authorized by the International Student Advisor, pending documentation of academic relevance. Other limitations from the student's professor may apply.
Also, please be advised that Social Security taxes are not withheld and earnings are not reported for Social Security purposes for eligible F-1 students authorized to engage in Practical Training (Social Security Administration Publication No. 05 10056, July 1981). Further withholding information on international students is available through www.irs.gov , in publication 519. Tax treaty information relevant to internationals is also available in publication 901.
For any employment, F-1 visa holding students will need a social security card, and should check with the International Student Services unit before beginning employment.