F1 Student Visa

F‑1 Student

An F‑1 student is usually granted “Duration of Status” which is the period required to complete the program of study, plus any authorized period of practical training. Students are expected to maintain a full‑time course load. Eligibility to work includes part‑time employment on‑campus (full time during break periods). Off‑campus employment based on economic hardship can be authorized by the CIS if a student can verify that the hardship is based on unforeseen circumstances. Both hardship authorization and practical training are available only after a student has been enrolled full‑time for a consecutive nine- month period. There are two types of practical training: curricular and optional. Curricular practical training may be authorized by a Designated School Official (DSO) during the student’s course of study, and may include internships, cooperative education programs, work/study programs, or practicums. The employment training offered must be integral to the student’s curriculum. Optional practical training is authorized by the CIS upon completion of the student’s studies. This employment should relate to the student’s major area of study. One important caveat: if the F‑1 student has used twelve or more months of full‑time curricular practical training, then he/she will normally be ineligible for optional practical training. F‑1 students, M‑1 vocational students, and J‑1 exchange visitors are now closely monitored by educational institutions and the CIS under the Student and Exchange Visitors Information System (SEVIS) mandated by the U.S.A. Patriot Act.