Employment

F-1 Students are allowed unique employment benefits that enable them to pursue employment in the U.S. under certain circumstances. Employment options are limited, but may include both on-campus and off-campus, full-time or part-time, opportunities as described below. Keep in mind that unauthorized (illegal) employment is a clear violation of your F1 terms, and will have serious consequences. If you are uncertain whether a particular employment would be allowed, consult with the Office of International Student & Scholars before accepting any job offer.

Employment is defined as any type of work or service in exchange for money, tuition, food, room or other form of compensation.

On-Campus Employment

F-1 students may work in any on-campus job, when the payment is from the College. Such work is limited to 20 hours per week during the semester. Full time (anything more than 20 hours per week) is permitted during vacation periods. No special work permission is needed to begin working on campus. However, students must have a Social Security Number (SSN). Once a student graduates, s/he is no longer authorized for on-campus employment. If a student is offered a job on campus after graduation, he or she can only work based on practical training work authorization.

Off-Campus Employment (eligible students only)

F-1 students may not work off-campus during the first academic year, but may accept on-campus employment subject to certain conditions and restrictions. There are various programs available for F-1 students to seek off-campus employment, after the first academic year. F-1 students at Swarthmore may engage in two types of off-campus employment, after they have been studying for one academic year.

The two most common types of employment at Swarthmore College are:

  • Optional Practical Training (OPT) (pre-completion or post-completion)
  • Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Optional Practical Training Extension (OPT)

F-1 off-campus employment must be related to their area of study and must be authorized prior to starting any work by the Designated School Official (the person authorized to maintain the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS)) and USCIS. more