As an international student, your options for employment in the U.S. are limited by federal law. However, you may work under certain circumstances, after receiving employment authorization. You may work on-campus and off-campus to gain practical training in your academic field or if you are experiencing an economic hardship. You may work while you are attending classes as well as after completing your studies.
Keep in mind; you are not permitted to work without official permission. So, before you begin your job search or begin working, contact your International Student Advisor to find out if you are eligible to work, how long you can work, and other procedures for obtaining work authorization.
As an international student, you can work throughout the CUNY system for a maximum of 20 hours per week while school is in session, and 40 hours a week during the summer and winter breaks. Working on campus is a convenient way to earn extra money, make professional contacts, and improve your professional skills.
In an effort to ensure that the student obtains a good academic foundation, and maintain immigration status, many International Student Advisors will only permit students to take on-campus employment after their first year of study in the U.S.
It is highly recommended that students refrain from on-campus employment and focus on their coursework during their first year of study for the following reasons:
- The first year is used to adjust to a new higher education system and culture.
- The student’s primary purpose is to study in the U.S.
- Students have already demonstrated valid financial sponsorship to cover tuition and living expenses for at least one year of study.
- On-campus employment is considered incidental to study and should not be used in lieu of certified financial sponsorship from family, friends or self.