Employment for F1 & J1 Students
F-1 and J-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 or J1 terms, and will have serious consequences. If you are uncertain whether a particular employment would be allowed, contact the International Student Center 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.
F-1 and J-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. For F-1 students, no special work permission is needed to begin working on campus. J-1 students must get work authorization from the ISC before beginning an on campus job.
All students must have a Social Security Number (SSN). Once a student graduates, they are no longer authorized for on-campus employment. If a student is offered a job on campus after graduation, they 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. 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 three types of off-campus employment.
The three types of employment as an F1 student at Swarthmore College are:
- Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
- Optional Practical Training (OPT) (pre- 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 International Student Center (P/DSO) and USCIS. Read more.
J-1 students may be eligible for off campus work related to their field of study if they meet the proper criteria. Schedule an appointment or drop by the ISC to determine how to best go about off campus employment as a J-1 student.
- Academic Training (AT) (pre- or post-completion)
You can access support for job searching and other resources at Career Services.