Employment opportunities for international students in the United States are restricted by law. Employment categories and their restrictions are listed below.

For on or off campus positions, it is the student's responsibility to seek employment and to comply with government regulations.

On-Campus Employment

F-1 students are free to work on-campus without authorization from USCIS as long as such employment does not:
-exceed 20 hours per week
-does not displace a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
-does not interfere with the student's ability to maintain good academic standing.

However, the Financial Aid Office will not allow a student to work more than financial need allows and freshmen are usually not allowed to work more than 5 hours per week. During vacation periods, a student may work on campus full time.  Jobs are very limited and are meant only to assist with funding extracurricular needs. 


Please use Human Resources as one resource for searching for employment positions.
On-Campus Employment Forms

Off-Campus Employment

A student must have authorization from the Intercultural Office and/or Immigration to be permitted to work off-campus. There are four ways a student may apply to work off-campus in the USA:
-Severe Economic Hardship
-Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
-Optional Practical Training (OPT)
-Work for an International Organization.
However, the USCIS strictly limits these opportunities.

   See links below for more details.

In order to be eligible to work off-campus you must first:


·         Be maintaining lawful F-1 status,


·         Have been in F-1 status for one full academic year


·         Be in good academic standing


·         Apply for USCIS authorization (see the Intercultural Office for assistance). If at any time you are engaged in any type of F-1 employment and fail to maintain lawful student status, your authorization to continue work ends automatically.


You must not work more than a total of 20 hours per week while school is in session in order to maintain your eligibility at and F-1 student (this includes multiple jobs on-campus or off-campus, you may have been authorized to perform). You may be employed full-time, during holidays and vacation periods, including breaks between terms and summer vacations, provided you are eligible and intend to enroll for the next school term.


This type of training is typically referred to as an “internship” at Graceland University. The employment must be related to your major field of study and also be an integral part of your curriculum. The program must be listed in the Graceland University Catalog and the yearly schedule of classes. To be eligible for Curricular Practical Training, you must:

1. Be in lawful F-1 status;
2. Have been a full-time student for at least one academic school year;
3. Apply in the International Programs Office

Additional requirements and documentation are necessary to pursue an internship through Graceland University. Please contact the International Programs Office prior to making arrangements with your academic advisor for internships. Your academic advisor may not be aware of requirements unique to international students.


Optional Practical Training is designed to provide you with an opportunity to gain actual employment experience in your major field of study for a maximum of one year. The work may be full time or part time, and may occur anywhere in the United States.
Temporary employment for practical training may be authorized:
1.    During the student’s annual vacation and at other times when school is not in session, so long as the student is currently enrolled and eligible, and intends to register for the next term or session;
2.    While school is in session, provided that practical training does not exceed twenty hours a week;
3.    After completion of all course requirements for the degree (excluding thesis or equivalent) if the student is in a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree program;

4.    Prior to your I-20 expiration date;

5.    After the completion ofthe course of study. A student must complete all practical training within a 14-month period following the completion of study.


USCIS (United States of Citizenship and Immigration Service) regulations refer to the date you complete all requirements for a program of study, not the date you participate in graduation ceremonies and receive your diploma. Students enrolled in the English as a Second Language program are not eligible for practical training after completion of their English studies.

You must fill out an application in the International Programs Office. If you meet all the requirements, the International Student Advisor will recommend to USCIS that you be allowed to participate in practical training. Applications are sent to the USCIS Service Center in Lincoln, Nebraska for processing.

The application takes 3-4 months to be approved.  Most students applying for post-completion OPT apply at the beginning of their final semester.

There is a fee associated with this process and is subject to change. The fee is approximately $380; so you may want to prepare for this expense.

If other employment opportunities are not available or are otherwise insufficient, an eligible F-1 student may request off-campus work authorization. Students qualify based upon severe economic hardship caused by circumstances beyond the student’s control. If you qualify and wish to apply for work, please contact the International Programs Office.

All work application forms are available through the International Programs Office.

This option is a last resort application. Approvals are not guaranteed and there is an approximate application fee of $380.
This option is for students that might work for the United Nations or other approved International Organizations. Please see the International Programs Office for more information.