Employment Information and Resources for International Students

Please refer to The Student Handbook (page 13) under Forms and Guides on the UCSD International Students website & http://icenter.ucsd.edu/students/PracTrain.html & www.uscis.gov for more information

F-1 Status (Student)

  • On-campus Employment
    • Eligible to work on campus (such as in a lab, office, or any shop/restaurant physically located on campus)
    • Do not need written authorization
    • Limit of 20 hours/week while classes are in session; can be full-time during official breaks and vacations
    • See the Student Employment Office at the Career Services Center for more information
  • Economic Hardship
    • Employment due to unforeseen and severe economic difficulties may be authorized in certain situations, such as a loss of financial support, substantial devaluation of home country currency, unexpected financial difficulties of your sponsor, unexpected medical bills
    • Must be authorized by USCIS ($380 application fee; 90 days to process)
    • Must be registered full time in a course of study; can work 20 hours/week during academic year, full time during breaks and vacations
    • See an international student advisor for more information
  • Curricular Practical Training (CPT):  Employment which is an integral and/or required part of the academic program of study.
    • Eligible to apply after one year in F-1 status
    • Authorized by International Student & Programs Office
    • Limit of working 20 hours/week during academic year, full time during summer and breaks
    • Must be registered full time in a course of study
  • Optional Practical Training (OPT)
    • Employment in field of study for 12 months
      • Pre-completion OPT: deducts from 12 months
      • Post-completion OPT: after graduation
    • Must be authorized by USCIS ($380 application fee, 90 days to process)
    • Pre-completion OPT: must be registered full time in a course of study

J-1 Status (Exchange Visitor)

  • Academic Training (meet with your academic advisor): Authorized by International Student & Programs Office
    • Limit of working 20 hours/week during academic year, full time during summer and breaks
    • Must be registered full time while still in program of study
    • Employment in field of study for time period determined by your level and category (such as non-degree EAP reciprocity, master, or PhD student
    • Pre-completion: before program completion, must register and enroll full-time in courses
    • Post-completion: after program graduation, no registration and enrollment required
  • Economic Hardship
    • Employment due to unforeseen and sever economic difficulties may be authorized in extreme situations
      • Such as a loss of financial aid, substantial changes in the value of currency, unexpected financial difficulties of your sponsor, or unexpected medical bills
    • You must show that sources used while filing your DS-2019 were accurate
    • You must provide documentation showing that your resources have since decreased due to no fault of your own