Can an international student work in the US? 

Updated on: Aug 1, 2023

Yes, international students can work in the United States, but there are certain restrictions and requirements they must follow.

International students who hold an F-1 visa are eligible to work on-campus for up to 20 hours per week during the academic year and full-time during school breaks. They can also work off-campus through Curricular Practical Training (CPT) and Optional Practical Training (OPT) programs, which allow them to gain work experience in their field of study.

CPT is work experience that is an integral part of an established curriculum and must be directly related to the student's major field of study. OPT is temporary employment directly related to an F-1 student's major area of study. It can be used before or after graduation and is typically limited to 12 months, although some STEM fields may qualify for an additional 24 months.

However, it's important to note that international students must obtain proper authorisation from their designated school official (DSO) before beginning any employment. Violating the terms of their visa by working illegally can result in serious consequences, including deportation.