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F-1 Employment

One of the number one questions we receive from students when they arrive is, “How can I get a job?”

Many of the questions that our internationals student advisors provide answers to center around the topic of employment… the following information will answer some of those questions before you have a chance to ask them.

The short answer is: Yes! You can definitely work on-campus! If you are an F-1 student, there is nothing you need to do to be authorized to work on-campus. If you are a J-1 student, you need to contact our office prior to working on-campus so we can authorize you to work on-campus within your SEVIS record.

That being said, on-campus employment is limited to 20 hours per week while school is in session. During annual vacation periods and during the summer semester, you are allowed to work on campus 40+ hours per week. HOWEVER, this is only while school is not in session and you are not required to attend classes.

The quick answer is: No; not without prior authorization… and authorization can only be granted if you have completed your first Academic year (or 9 academic months).

There are various off-campus work authorizations that you may be able to obtain.

For F-1 Students:

This is the term used by the USCIS to describe a student internship. With the appropriate documentation, this authorization can be approved by one of our international student advisors.

This is a work authorization granted by the USCIS if a student is beginning to have financial difficulties. This would require extensive documentation and must be approved by the USCIS on a case-by-case basis. Typically it takes between 4-5 months for the USCIS to approve such requests.

  • Pre-Completion Optional Practical Training can be granted prior to a student completing his/her degree; must be approved by the USCIS and takes between 4-5 months to be approved.
  • Post-Completion Optional Practical Training can be granted to a student after completing his/her degree; must be approved by the USCIS and takes between 4-5 months to be approved.

For J-1 Students:

Academic Training can be granted prior to the student completing his/her degree or after the student completes his/her degree. Authorization requires documentation from the student’s academic advisor and is approved by an international student advisor here at SDSU. This work authorization can be granted within days of receiving the appropriate documentation.