The Catholic University of America

Employment Options for Students in F-1 or J-1 Status

 

Students are permitted to work under certain circumstances. General information about the kinds of employment available to students and scholars is listed below. Specific information is available on the following pages.

 

Employment Opportunities for F-1 students:

  • On-campus employment. Students can work up to 20 per week at the school that issued your I-20. You can work full time during official school breaks such as fall, winter, spring, Easter, and summer break.
  • Employment at an international organization. Students can work full or part time at a qualified organization. Work does not have to be related to field of study or major. You need an offer of employment at the time the application is filed to the government. And you must take a full course of study during employment. See the last page of this section for a list of organizations.
  • Practical training. This employment comes in two types: curricular practical training (CPT) or optional practical training (OPT). Both must be directly related to you major or field of study. Participation in OPT requires permission from the government before you can begin to work CPT does not. Both can be done full-time during official school breaks, or part time during the semester. And, both require students to have been in F status for one year before work can begin*. CPT is done for credit and considered part of college curriculum--OPT is not.
  • Employment based upon severe unforeseen economic hardship. Student can work up to 20 hours per week on or off campus. Permission to work must be granted by the government before work begins. Permission is based upon severe and unforeseen economic need. The international student must be able to prove this need to the government. Work does not have to be related to field of study.

Employment Opportunities for J-1 students and scholars:

  • On-campus employment. Students can work up to 20 hours of work per week can be done at the school that issued your DS-2019. You can work full time during official school breaks such as fall, winter, spring, Easter, and summer break.
  • Academic training. This is work, training, or experience that can be done before or after completion of a program. It must be related to the scholar's field of study. Work, training, and experience can be different depending on the program or course of study. And, students and scholars must receive written approval from the ISSS office before starting training.