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International Student Employment

Non-immigrant students, F-1 or J-1 visa holders, may work on campus up to a maximum of 20 hours while school is in session and full time during official school breaks and vacation. F-1 or J-1 students are allowed to work in the US but only under certain conditions and in accordance with complex guidelines and restrictions issued by the United State Citizen and Immigration Service (USCIS). Generally, all employment is contingent on remaining within the terms and restrictions of the immigration status.

On Campus Employment

On campus employment is defined as work for Saginaw Valley State University. This includes work performed for on-campus commercial firms which provide services for students on campus, such as the school bookstore or dining services. Employment for on-campus commercial firms which do not provide direct student services, such as a construction company building a school building is not deemed on campus employment or work that takes place at another school. These would require employment authorization. Students should discuss employment authorization with the Office of International Programs (OIP) advisor for any employment opportunity that involved an employer other than Saginaw Valley State University.

See Cardinal Career Network . Note: International students are only eligible for Regular Student Employment (RSE) jobs, not Michigan Work Study (MWS) or Federal Work Study (CWS) jobs.

Been offered a job? See International Checklist (43kB) for the Offices and documents required.

Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

CPT is employment that is an integral part of an established curriculum and is directly related to the student’s major area of study. Examples include CO-OP program or internship.

See requirements for Co-op program & Internships


Optional Practical Training (OPT)

F-1 students are eligible for 12 months of full or part time off campus employment using OPT with an Employment Authorization Document (work authorization) approved by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USICS).

Optional Practical Training (OPT)is an opportunity for students to gain experience by working off-campus for a limited amount of time in a position related to their area of study. Permission for OPT also requires application to, and approval from, the INS. Students who graduate are eligible to work anywhere in the USA for 12 months in a job related to their studies by applying to INS for OPT.