F-1 Student On-Campus Employment at an Off-Campus Location

On-campus employment must either be performed on the school's premises or at an off-campus location which is educationally affiliated with the school. In the case of off-campus locations, the educational affiliation must be associated with the school's established curriculum or related to contractually funded research projects at the post-graduate level. In any event, the employment must be an integral part of the student's educational program. Employment authorized under this paragraph must not exceed 20 hours a week while school is in session (exception due to hardship).  An F-1 student may, however, work on campus full-time when school is not in session or during the annual vacation (8 CFR Sec 214(f)(9)). Approval from the student’s Designated School Official (DSO) must be obtained before employment can commence.

Three Stages of the "Approved Off-Campus Location" Process

The student’s authorized DSO must determine that there is an education affiliation between their institute and the potential employer. The DSO must determine that the activities are an integral part of the student’s program in order to approve the employment at the off-campus location. Prior to hiring, the student’s DSO should be notified of the proposed employment as follows:

• A letter from the student’s academic department attesting that the work is an integral part of the student’s program (cc: hiring employer/department) AND;

• A letter from the hiring employer/department that identifies the supervisor, details the proposed activities, verifies the position title, and gives the length and hours of employment (cc: student’s academic adviser).

• If the employment is permissible, the student’s DSO should generate a letter approving the employment.

The appointment is not limited to a specific job title, but should be compatible with the student’s approved program and must follow established university guidelines for the position.  Appointment cannot be more than 50% FTE (20 hrs per week) while school is in session.  All appointments for a Graduate Assistant (GA, GRA, GTA) must follow the appropriate Graduate College policy.

Acceptable documentation for the purposes of I-9 verification

The student must provide an identity document, such as an unexpired foreign passport with an I-94 card indicating F-1 “D/S” status or an identity document, such as a state issued driver’s license, etc. AND a valid Form I-20 issued by the student’s U.S. admitting school that verifies enrollment.  An attached letter from student’s Designated School Officer attesting that the employment is an integral part of the degree program is required.  The letter should reference the student’s field of study and contain the name of the hiring employer/department where the off-campus employment will commence. Copies of the DSO letter should be provided to the student’s academic department and the hiring employer/department.