International Student Employment

There are a number of employment benefits available for F-1 students. See the following sections for more information about on- and off-campus employment authorizations.

On-Campus Employment

F-1 students may be employed on-campus part-time (20 hours or less per week) during the semester and full-time (maximum of 28 hours per week) during the break between semesters and other official school breaks. You will need to get a permission form (Referral Form) from the International Student Services office prior to applying for a position on campus.  Students with poor academic performance will not be permitted to work. Jobs available for F1 students are called ‘Student Hourly’ jobs.

Off-Campus Employment

F-1 students are eligible for up to one year of Optional Practical Training (OPT) per educational level. Types of OPT include:

  • Pre-Completion OPT: Pre-completion OPT allows students who have not yet completed a degree program to be authorized for off-campus employment.
  • Post-Completion OPT: Post-completion OPT provides for up to one year of practical training authorization after completion of studies. Students can apply up to 90 days before and up to 60 days after program completion. RRCC recommends that students apply before completing their last semester of enrollment to avoid additional processing time and the possible loss of days of employment availability.

OPT Reporting

As of April 8, 2008, the Department of Homeland Security requires students to report to their schools all periods of employment and unemployment while authorized for OPT. This is in addition to the ongoing F-1 requirement of supplying changes of address. Updates must be reported within 10 days of any change. Please direct any questions regarding OPT reporting to Click here for more on OPT Reporting.
To request for Optional Practical Training, click here.

Social Security Numbers

In order to obtain a Social Security number (SSN#) and card, the Social Security Administration (SSA) requires all F-1 students to provide proof of valid F-1 status, proof of employment and of work authorization. For further information, click here.


All students must file taxes whether or not they have worked. 

Severe Economic Hardship

You can request a Severe Economic Hardship work authorization if you are an F-1 student who has experienced an uncontrollable and unforeseen economic difficulty while studying in the United States.