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Employment Opportunities

USCIS severely limits opportunities for international students/scholars to work. Students on an F-1 visa are allowed to work on campus at the university they attend. Such on-campus jobs (for example preparing or serving food in a campus cafeteria) are typically scheduled for 8 - 10 hours per week and pay about $7.25 per hour. An on-campus job is a good way to meet other students, to experience another part of American culture and to earn a little money for incidental spending, but the opportunities are insufficient to provide any significant income.  The coordinator for on-campus employment will give a short presentation during International Student Orientation regarding on-campus employment opportunities.  

International students who have been "in status" as F-1 students for a full academic year (a fall and spring semester) or more may request permission to work off-campus and must first meet specific criteria set forth by USCIS. F-1 students should never apply for or accept any job, except those on-campus, without first talking to the Drake Foreign Student Advisor to be sure they will not be in violation of immigration laws. 

J-1 visa holders are also subject to specific employment limitations and must talk to the Foreign Student Adviser before pursuing any employment (on-campus or off-campus). 

Students should always talk with a Foreign Student Advisor before pursuing employment-- regulations often change and information from friends or family may not be accurate.  Immigration is increasingly strict about employment violations and there can be severe penalties for working without proper permission, including exclusion from the US for up to ten years.