Employment of international students is strictly regulated by DHS and the Department of Labor (DOL). The definition of “work” is more broad than most students realize. The mere fact of not getting paid does not ensure that the activity in which a student is engaging is not employment per DOL. To be safe, Curtis advises all students to consult with the associate dean of student life and international affairs before engaging in any opportunity that is not clearly study.
Any student engaging in employment will be required to have a social security number (SSN). The associate dean of student life and international student affairs can assist with obtaining an SSN.
On-campus employment is work occurring on the campus in service of members of the campus. Traditional work-study positions, such as working in the library, working in the Business Office, recital crew, and Resident Coordinator roles fall under this category. This employment is permitted if and only if it is limited to 20 hours per week.
- Students do not need written approval to engage in on-campus employment if they meet the Institution’s employment eligibility requirements.
- Engaging in more than 20 hours of on-campus work per week is a violation of immigration status.
Off-campus employment is anything occurring outside of the campus or anything serving the outside community. Such employment is strictly regulated. Gigs, master classes, residencies, tours, recording sessions, teaching lessons, and private concerts all fall under this category. Such employment MUST be pre-authorized by a DSO or the PDSO prior to beginning. This employment is governed by regulation called Curricular Practical Training (CPT) and must be approved in writing and noted in the Employment section of the student’s I-20 document and SEVIS record.
- This employment is only available to students who have held and maintained good F-1 status for at least one (1) year.
- This employment is permitted if and only if it is limited to 20 hours per week AND authorized by the DSO or PDSO.
- The rules apply whether the opportunity is paid or unpaid.
- Any off-campus employment that is not authorized in advance under CPT is a violation of immigration status.
Students seeking to participate in an off-campus opportunity should first submit a Release Request form. If it is approved, the student will then be contacted by the associate dean of student life and international student affairs about obtaining CPT authorization and receiving a new I-20 noting the employment information.