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F-1 Employment

On Grounds Employment

Students in valid F-1 status with an unexpired I-20 may seek employment on-grounds working for UVA for up to 20 hours per week during the fall and spring semesters, and may work full-time only while UVA is on official school break


A Graduate Teaching Assistantship (GTA) or Graduate Research Assistantship (GRA) is considered equivalent to 20 hours per week, thus no further employment in addition to the assistantship is permitted during the semester.


Off-Grounds Employment

F-1 students may not provide goods or services not considered or authorized as on-grounds employment) without the express permission of the ISO, and, in most instances, U.S. immigration (USCIS). If there is any question about whether or not a particular endeavour qualifies as employment, students should inform the ISO before undertaking it.


Note that employment outside of UVA includes self-employment; working within the U.S. for a foreign-based entity, and can even include work for which no compensation is gained. [The Department of Labor Fact Sheet on Unpaid Internships].


Students wishing to engage in off-Grounds employment may be eligible for "practical training". In most cases, no student is eligible for any type of practical training until completion of one full academic year.

As outlined in the below links, there are two types of practical training employment authorization: optional and curricular.

Additionally, you may be eligible for employment authorization based on severe economic hardship or by working for a specific type of international organization.


Unauthorized Employment


Working in excess of the on grounds employment maximum or off grounds without prior authorization constitutes one of the most severe violations of F-1 status.   We are required to report these violations to the U.S. government, and this will result in the termination of one's legal status.  Make sure to duscuss employment plans with the ISO before engaging in the employment.