This web page provides an introduction to employment issues and options for MK/International Students in F-1 status.
With regard to employment in the U.S., it is essential to understand and carefully follow guidelines related to legal (or "authorized") versus illegal (or "unauthorized") employment.
To ensure your ability to continue studying in the United States, it is imperative that you engage only in legal employment. Illegal employment — even for just one day and even if you were unaware of it — poses a grave threat to your ability to remain in or return to the United States.
In addition, you must always make sure that you have the necessary employment authorization before you begin work, since starting work without prior authorization, even if you receive authorization later, constitutes illegal employment.
Illegal, or unauthorized, employment renders you illegally present in the U.S. Depending on how recent changes to the immigration regulations are interpreted, it may also immediately void the F-1 visa in your passport and prevent you from obtaining a new visa anywhere except in your country; and it may start the count toward 183 and 365 days of illegal presence which will bar you from re-entering the U.S. for three years and ten years, respectively.
Definition of Employment
Employment is any type of work performed or services provided in exchange for money, tuition, fees, books, supplies, room, food, or any other benefit. If you receive no pay or other benefit for the work performed, this activity is not defined as employment but considered to be volunteer work.
Different requirements exist for each type of F-1 employment, but there are basic requirements which must be met for any F-1 employment:
- You must be enrolled for a full course of study (or have recently completed study for post-completion optional practical training).
- You must be authorized by Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) to attend Cedarville University.
Once employment is authorized you must maintain eligibility or you may lose your right to continue employment, even if it was authorized in writing.
Employment Eligibility Verification
Within the first three days of beginning work, you and your employer must complete a form called the Employment Eligibility Verification Form (CIS Form I-9). This form will be kept on file by your employer and must be updated each time you receive a renewal of your work permission.
Failure to Comply With Employment Regulations
It is your responsibility to comply with all immigration regulations which apply to F-1 students, including employment regulations. Working without the proper authorization is a serious violation of your student status. If you fail to comply with your responsibilities, you may not be eligible for benefits normally granted to F-1 students and, in some situations, may be subject to deportation.
Prior to accepting any employment in the U.S., we urge you to consult with the office of international student services.