Employment (for immigration purposes) is receiving compensation of any form (including course credit) in exchange for performing a task or providing a service.
- Employment eligibility for F-1 and J-1 status students includes on campus employment and off-campus employment. M-1 status students are not allowed to work during their studies.
- It is the responsibility of F & J students to know and understand the regulations surrounding employment. Students can find more information about employment on page 3 of the Form I-20/page 2 of the DS-2019. For the most current and detailed information, F-1 students should refer to the Working in the United States page; J-1 exchange visitors should refer to the Department of State Rules and Infractions page and also the specific regulations regarding their category.
- You must have authorization for any off-campus training opportunity that is not a true volunteering position as defined by the DoL's Rules for Volunteering.
- Please allow 2-5 business days for the International Center to process any employment authorization requests.
Types of Employment
NAFTA is the North American Free Trade Agreement. It creates special economic and trade relationships for the United States, Canada, and Mexico. The non immigrant NAFTA Professional (TN) visa allows citizens of Canada and Mexico to temporarily work as NAFTA Professionals in the United States. One must be a Canadian or Mexican citizen to apply for the NAFTA Professional (TN) visa.
In general, on-campus employment is work that you have been hired for by the University of North Dakota. Usually, this is located physically on campus as well. There are some jobs that are located physically on campus, but the employer is not the University of North Dakota. If you are considering one of these jobs, please check with an International Student Advisor first to make sure that this is considered on-campus employment.
Eligibility and Hours
You may work on campus upon beginning classes at UND. Students may work up to 20 hours per week while school is in session and 40 hours per week during vacation periods (winter and summer breaks only).
- You are allowed to work multiple jobs, but the total combined hours must not exceed 20 hours in any week.
- It is your responsibility to arrange your hours with your employer(s) to ensure that you do not work more than 20 hours.
- The 20 hour per week limit is a strict limit that must be followed every week. Your hours cannot be averaged across a pay period.
- Graduate assistantships count toward the 20 hour per week maximum.
- Half-time assistantships count as 20 hours/week of employment. You may not take any other jobs on campus if you have a half-time assistantship.
- Quarter time assistantships count as 10 hours/week of employment. You may work a maximum of 10 additional hours per week if you have a quarter time assistantship.
Employment During Vacation Periods
- During official vacation periods (summer and winter) F-1 and J-1 status students are allowed to work full time.
- Graduate students with assistantships during the vacation periods are not eligible to work more than 20 hours per week any time the graduate assistantship is in effect. This is in accordance with the School of Graduate Studies policy.
- Valid Form I-20
- On campus employment eligibility is part of your status. By showing that you are in valid status, you show that you are eligible for employment.
- Social Security Number
- Valid Form DS-2019
- Employment Authorization Letter from an International Student Advisor
- Letter is job specific and for a specified period of time
- Social Security Number
Finding On-Campus Employment
The best way to find on-campus jobs is through the Student Employment site. F-1 and J-1 students are eligible for "On-Campus Institutional Jobs."
Graduate students interested in graduate assistantships should contact their departments or the School of Graduate Studies for more information.
Authorization based on Economic Hardship is intended for students who have experienced financial need that is both unforeseen and beyond the student's control since beginning their studies at UND. It is available for students in F-1 or J-1 status.
Economic Hardship should be considered only after all other potential employment opportunities have been found to be insufficient. You can
Eligibility and Hours
- There are no restrictions on the type of employment, but students are still restricted to working a maximum of 20 hours per week.
- Authorization is granted for periods of up to one year.
- Authorization is granted by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (U.S.C.I.S.).
- Applications can take 3-4 months for review. You may not begin working until the application has been approved and your employment authorization document has been received.
- You can find full instructions here
Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is an authorization for training opportunities that are an integral part of your program of study, whether paid or unpaid.
Optional Practical Training (OPT) is employment authorization for employment opportunities that are directly related to your field of study.
J-1 Academic Training is authorized work, training or experience that is directly related to your J-1 program of study.
Eligibility and Hours
- Academic Training can be authorized during the program of study or immediately upon completion of the program of study.
- Academic Training for degree seeking students may not exceed 18 months or the total length of the program of study, if it is shorter.
- Academic Training for non-degree seeking students may not exceed the total length of the program of study (e.g. A student in a 4 month program may be authorized for a maximum of 4 months of academic training).
- Non-degree seeking J-1 students are limited to a maximum stay in the United States of 24 months including the program of study and any period of academic training.
- You must meet with an International Student Advisor to receive current eligibility and application requirements.
- All authorization must be completed prior to the first day of Academic Training.
Labor Rules for Volunteering
The U.S. Department of Labor is concerned both with the protection of jobs for United States citizens, and with the prevention of exploitation of workers. They have created laws to ensure that employment that should be paid is not done for free. While both you and the employer may be happy with an unpaid arrangement (for example, you may be eager to work even on an unpaid basis in a company in order to gain job experience), this may be considered an unfair arrangement in cases where the work is normally performed by a paid person and both the company and the employee benefit from the employment.
To determine whether an individual is a true volunteer engaged in “ordinary volunteerism,” the Department of Labor considers a number of factors. No single factor is determinative. The factors include:
- Is the entity that will benefit/receive services from the volunteer a nonprofit organization?
- Is the activity less than a full-time occupation?
- Are the services offered freely and without pressure or coercion?
- Are the services of the kind typically associated with volunteer work?
- Have regular employees been displaced to accommodate the volunteer?
- Does the worker receive (or expect) any benefit from the entity to which it is providing services?