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Can I work while attending school on an F-1 student visa?

If you are from another country but are attending school in California, it is likely that you hold an F-1 student visa. While these types of visas provide students with many opportunities, there are also some restrictions associated with them. Attending school can be expensive, so it is not unreasonable that you may wish to seek out employment in order to earn some extra money. Here is what you need to know about working under an F-1 visa.

According to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, employment is permitted. However, for the first year you are a student, it must take place on the campus of the school that you are attending. During the semester, you are limited to working no more than 20 hours per week. During school breaks or vacations, you are permitted to work on-campus full time.

During that first year, you may be allowed to work off-campus if it is at a location that is affiliated with your school. If an on-campus job is not available, you may be able to apply for an economic hardship waiver that could allow you to find another job off-campus. You will need to demonstrate that an on-campus job was not available and that you are facing financial constraints that are beyond your control.

After your first year has elapsed, you can look for work off-campus as long as you are in good standing with your school. You will also be limited to working a maximum of 20 hours per week while classes are in session. Full time employment is permitted during breaks. This information on this topic is general in nature and is not intended as legal advice.

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