Working off-campus without authorization is a serious illegal offense and is cause for termination of your SEVIS record and your legal status in the US. However, opportunities for work are not simply restricted to on-campus jobs.
You will need to apply for one of the following options that best fits your situation and needs.
A type of work authorization that must be used for employment related to your major area of study. F1 students may apply for part-time OPT (20 hours per week) and use it while in classes, or full-time OPT and use it during the summer break. OPT is also the ONLY type of work authorization available to you after you graduate. Each student has one year of OPT available. Any time you use while in school will detract from the amount available when you graduate. The cost payable to U.S. Department of Homeland Security is $410.
This is a temporary employment authorization available to F1 students for a required internship or practicum, or a cooperative education program. Your employment may be during the academic year (no more than 20 hours per week) or during the summer (full-time) but regardless, it must be undertaken in conjunction with a credit-bearing course. There is no cost to apply, since this application is filed solely with ISS.
This work authorization is available to F1 students that have an internship job offer to work with a select group of international organizations. You must apply for this authorization through ISS (you will receive a new I-20) and you are required to have the job/internship offer letter at the time of application. The current application cost paid to U.S. Department of Homeland Security is $410.
F1 students who have experienced a severe and unforeseeable change in their financial situations after entering the U.S. may apply for economic hardship work authorization. Your financial situation (and the recent substantial change) must be documentable. This means you should be able to provide bank statements and any other proof to show the reasons behind this change (i.e., documentation of a parent’s job loss, a death in the family, or severe loss of value of your country’s currency).
This authorization permits off-campus work for up to 20 hours per week during the school year and up to 40 hours per week during summer and winter breaks. The work does not have to be related to the your major. You must apply through ISS (to receive a new I-20). The cost charged by U.S. Department of Homeland Security is $410.
J1 students may request Academic Training (AT) from their program sponsor. (Your sponsor is the organization that issues and signs your DS-2019). If Bucknell issued your DS-2019 and you have been in J1 status for one academic year (9 months) you may request AT. Your primary purpose as a J1 student must be your academic courses. Your AT period may not exceed 18 months total, and may be used before graduation or after. You must provide a detailed employment offer letter including location, hours, pay, supervisor, address, job title, and description of goals and objectives. Talk to ISS before proceeding, or contact your sponsor.
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