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Employment Options for F-1 Students

On-Campus Employment:

International students on the F-1 visa are allowed to work on campus up to 20 hours per week while school is in session and up to 40 hours per week during scheduled vacations.  However, students must be maintaining status in order to accept on-camps employment.  Formal approval from the US Department of Homeland Security (US DHS) is not required for students seeking on-campus employment.
 
Students who have obtained an on-campus job will need to obtain a Social Security Card in order to begin their employment.  Only students with verified on-campus employment are eligible to obtain a Social Security Card.  The International Student Office will assist eligible students with this procedure.

 

Finding a job on-campus:

Students can search for open positions available at College of the Desert by going to College Central at:  http://www.collegecentral.com/cod/Student.cfm.  Be sure to register if you are a first-time user.  Work Study jobs are selected from the 'Job Types' dropdown box.   Please note that international students are not eligible for jobs that are paid by Federal Financial Aid/Work-Study Funds and can only work in jobs funded by Alumni or Department Funds.

 
 

Off-Campus Employment:

International students on the F-1 visa can apply to work off-campus in two specific situations:  "Economic Hardship" and "Optional Practical Training" (OPT).  Both employment types require a formal approval by the US DHS.  More information about these two off-campus employment types can be found at the International Student Office.
 
1. Economic Hardship is granted only in certain specific cases where there is an unforeseen financial crisis affecting the student's stay in the US.  This employment application requires documentation verifying the nature of the crisis and should only be used for true emergencies.  OPT does require an application to the US Department of Homeland Security and students must be maintaining F-1 status for one academic year in order to be eligible to apply for this benefit.
 
2. Optional Practical Training (OPT) is a benefit that is granted to all F-1 visa students who are maintaining their status.  OPT allows international students to work off-campus in a job directly related to their major - similar to an internship.  It is a benefit all international students are encouraged to use as you look to build your resume and investigate your future career.  OPT does require an application to the US Department of Homeland Security and students must be maintaining F-1 status for one academic year in order to be eligible to apply for this benefit. 
 
For more information about OPT:  OPT Brochure
 
NOTE:  All students must attend the "Optional Practical Training and You" workshop offered by the International Student Office in order to be eligible to apply for the OPT benefit.  Please visit the Upcoming Workshops page for information regarding OPT workshops.