Can a student work?

F1 visa holders cannot accept off-campus employment at any time during the first year of their studies. Under certain circumstances, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) ma grant permission to accept off campus employment after one year of study. F1 students may accept on campus employment in their university without seeking prior permission from USCIS.

F1 students are not allowed to work off-campus unless authorized by the DSO (designated school official). Off campus employment is authorized by the DSO under extreme financial hardship caused by unforeseen circumstances beyond the student’s control (authorization comes from USCIS upon recommendation from the school). Examples of these situations are, a severe devaluation in the currency of student’s home country, substantial increases in the cost of tuition or cost of living or medical care.

Off campus authorized employment based on sever economic hardship is possible only after the student has been in proper status for at least one full academic year. In addition, there are other conditions to be met and eligibility is determined by the School DSO.

Any other kind of off campus employment is illegal and if caught say person could face deportation or future immigration related work authorization like H1b, Green card, visa stamping as a manner of example. Students should not engage in such employment which is extremely risky and by all means illegal.