Employment for international students in the United States is restricted by law.
On-Campus Employment for F-1 and J-1 students
Students who receive authorization to work on-campus from the College (as recorded in your acceptance letter) and who maintain status may, according to CIS regulations, work no more than 20 hours per week while school is in session and no more than 40 hours per week during fall break, winter break, spring break or summer. The College further restricts the number of hours of on-campus employment during the academic year to 10 hours per week and 37.5 hours per week during breaks. On-campus employment has been defined by immigration regulations as employment by the institution you are attending (working for an Earlham College office) or by an off-campus firm that provides services to students (such as Sodexho, our food service provider on campus).
Finding an on-campus job
You should check the Student Employment Office in Human Resources for current job openings. First-year students often have limited options available to them.
F and J visa holders may not work off-campus at any time without official permission. If you, at any time, consider working off-campus, you must consult an International Student Adviser well in advance.
Students may apply for permission to work off-campus in the following circumstances:
- Optional Practical Training - Students with F-1 visas who maintain full-time status for an academic year are eligible for employment directly related to their field of study. This form of employment is limited to 12 months per eduation level. The work may take place part-time while school is in session or full-time during breaks or in the year directly following graduation. Most students choose to utilize practical training after graduation. Contact an International Student Adviser to learn more about this program. You must apply for this type of employment within 90 days before and 60 days after the end date on your I-20, you may only work after you have received an Employment Authorization Document from USCIS (the process for receiving this document takes approximately 90 days), you must complete the employment within 14 months of graduation. Go to the Optional Practical Training website for more information.
- Academic Training -Students with J-1 visas are eligible for employment directly related to their field of study at any time during their program, or commencing within 30 days of completion of studies. This form of employment is limited to 18 months. J-1 students must receive written approval for academic training from an international student adviser prior to beginning employment.
- Curricular Practical Training - Curricular Practical Training (CPT) for F-1 students is intended to provide authorization for off-campus work experience that is an integral part of an established curriculum. Employment must be directly related to the student’s major, the experience must be for academic credit, and it must count toward the completion of an Earlham degree.
If an F-1 student has maintained status for at least nine months, experiences economic hardship “due to unforeseen circumstances beyond their control”, and cannot secure sufficient employment on campus, s/he may apply to CIS for off-campus employment based on economic hardship. See an International Student Adviser for details.
Qualified International Organizations
F-1 students may also apply for work with certain recognized international organizations. This work does not count against the one year of practical training. See an International Student Adviser for details.