F-1 Visas

Information for F-1 Students

  • For information on how to maintain your F-1 status visit Current Students F-1 section

Work Authorization

All F-1 and J-1 students are here on “student” visas and have U.S Department of Homeland Security (DHS) restrictions on employment. Since the primary purpose in the US is academic and not employment based, the following restrictions apply for On-Campus and Off- Campus employment.

On Campus

Eligible to work on-campus with the following restrictions:

  • No more than 20 hours a week for Fall & Spring
  • No more than 30 hours a week Summer & vacation
  • Exchange Students are NOT eligible to work on- campus
  • Working more than allowable hours a week on-campus has SEVERE immigration consequences, such as deportation and denial of any future US visas.

Off Campus

To work off-campus students must be pre-authorized by International Student & Scholar Services and Department of Homeland Security. Working before authorization is granted or more than allowable hours a week will result in SEVERE immigration consequences.

  • Off-campus work is defined as any employment off-campus to include paid internships, unpaid internships, volunteering for a for-profit company. Students may also need work authorization for other volunteer work. Please see the International Office if you are planning to do a volunteer work or an internship .

F-1 Work Authorization.

There are two main types of Off-Campus authorization

  • CPT (Curricular Practical Training) - Apply for CPT with the International Office semester BEFORE starting the internship course.
  • OPT (Optional Practical Training) - Apply for OPT at the beginning of your last semester.

J-1 Work Authorization.

There is only one type of Off-Campus authorization.

  • AT (Academic Training) - Can be used for internships or employment after graduation. Students should apply the semester before enrolling in an internship course or the semester before graduation.

For detailed requirements, please review the Appointments & Requests page or review the International Student Employment Presentation.

Schedule your appointment Grace period & Graduation Options:

You have a 60-day grace period to remain in the United States following your graduation.

Before the end of your 60-day grace period you can:

Begin a new program at our school or another school

  • You will need to apply at UIW immediately so we can change your degree plan
  • If you plan to study at another institution, we need a copy of the university offer letter. You must complete the transfer out during the 60-day grace period.

Depart the United States within 60 days after your I-20 expires to your home country or any other country as long as you are legally present there.

  • If you plan to depart you must complete the attached Departure Form to ensure you will be maintain eligibility to apply for any U.S. visa in the future.
  • Once you depart, you will need to obtain a new visa to reenter to the U.S.

Apply for OPT, if you are eligible. (See OPT application process)


Immigration status complicates almost every legal violation because a guilty plea, a plea of no contest, or even attending a program for offenders may impact immigration status. Therefore, if you are arrested and facing criminal charges, contact our office immediately, and seek advice from a licensed attorney with expertise in criminal and immigration law.

Public Assistance

Children who are born in the U.S. are considered to be U.S. citizens. However, parents who hold non-immigrant visas in the U.S. who apply for federal or state government benefits for maternity expenses or any other government assistance will jeopardize their immigration status.

Public assistance includes food stamps, Aid to Families with Dependent Children, the WIC program, MediCal and Medicaid.

Local welfare offices provide DHS with the names and current addresses of every non-immigrant who applies for public assistance. Acceptance of such benefits, even for a child who is a U.S. citizen, makes your ineligible for any non-immigrant status and is considered a violations of status.