International students are often unaware of the paid work they can do in the USA while studying at a community college. We have listed some of the options for students and the prerequisites required for each. Remembering that there may be some differences depending on the state or the community college that you are attending, it is essential to consult with the institution for more details.
On-Campus Employment would be when the student performs a job on campus or in a location linked to the institution. This type of employment does not require direct permission from the US government or a specific visa to work.
For international students, the following general rules must be adhered to:
• Work a maximum of 20 hours a week;
• Have active F-1 visa status (given by the country's consulate for international students);
• The vacancy cannot take the job of a resident of the United States (American or US citizen).
Because it involves a lot of details, it is recommended that a student interested in doing this type of work should contact the institution as soon as possible to find out what the rules are regarding campus work for its international students.
During the first year, the student cannot take a job not affiliated with the college. After this period, you can look for a job opportunity off-campus, but some prerequisites are necessary, such as:
• The student can only work part-time (max. 20 hours per week),
• Authorization from the college you are studying at,
• The student must show that they financially need this job to maintain their studies in the USA,
• It is essential to have an excellent academic performance.
Optional Practical Training (OPT)
The OPT is open to all students for 12 months (1 year). This job is off-campus and should be linked directly to the student's field of study, serving as a type of training and helping them gain more knowledge of the job market. The main idea of Optional Practical Training is to generate a new experience for the international student.
To obtain an OPT authorization, the international student:
• Have as a main course something not directly related to the study of the English language
• The job must be directly related to your field of study.
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