Part-Time Work in the U.S. as an F-1 Visa Student at UConn

Are you an international student who is looking to work while studying in the U.S.? It is important to understand your employment options, eligibility, and limitations and to know the resources available to assist you at UConn. International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) and the Center for Career Development work cohesively to assist international students as they explore work options. ISSS ensures UConn’s compliance with U.S. immigration regulations governing visa sponsorship for international students and exchange visitors and the Center for Career Development’s role is to assist international students with internships, jobs, and career options. 

Student Employment On-Campus

F-1 students can work up to 20 hours per week during the academic year and full-time during the summer and vacation periods without obtaining special authorization from ISSS. You can work in positions that qualify as on-campus employment. For visa purposes, on-campus employment authorization generally applies to jobs that take place on the UConn campus and are paid/employed by UConn. Examples include research/teaching/graduate assistantships, jobs in the dining hall, or working in a university office. You must check with your ISSS advisor before accepting any position that does not meet the above definition of on-campus employment.

Where can I find student on-campus jobs?

The Office of Student Financial Aid-Student Employment lists available jobs at JobX. International students may apply for Student Labor positions. International students may not apply for Work-Study positions. Special exceptions where off-campus bookstore or cafeteria may constitute “on-campus work”. Some examples of departments who offer positions include: 

  • Deans Office
  • Center for Academic Programs (CAP)
  • Center for Open Research Resources and Equipment
  • Werth Institute 
  • Enrichment Programs
  • UConn Foundation
  • Dining Services
  • Housing Services
  • Student activities
  • Experiential Global Learning
  • Library – Digital Infrastructure Services
  • Community Outreach

Internships On & Off-Campus & Jobs off Campus


What is Curricular Practical Training (CPT)? Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is an F-1 visa benefit that allows students to participate in an off-campus internship, work, clinical placement, or other experiential learning that is part of your academic program and directly related to your academic major. CPT must be authorized for both paid and unpaid experiences. CPT can only be granted when the internship/training is part of the academic curriculum. In some cases, on-campus internships must also be authorized by CPT.

CPT is authorized by ISSS and must be approved by ISSS BEFORE your internship or placement begins. ISSS does not charge a fee to process your CPT application. Apply at least two weeks in advance of your internship/placement start dates.

Pre-Completion OPT

Pre-completion OPT is OPT that takes place while you are still an active student in your program. When school is in session: You may apply for part-time OPT to work a maximum of 20 hours per week, including any on-campus employment that you work.

ISSS’ Role

The first step in your search for a job or internship is to meet with an advisor at ISSS and to attend CPT/OPT workshops through ISSS. It is essential that all international students understand the regulations about on- or off-campus employment before seeking a job. By reviewing this information, you will:

• Know what jobs you can and cannot accept.

• Be prepared to answer questions from potential employers.

• Ensure you avoid negative consequences from working without valid authorization.

ISSS handles compliance issues such as visas, employment records, and employment authorization. ISSS can assist with payroll documents – students must secure a social security number for tax purposes.

The Center for Career Development

What is the Center for Career Development?

It is a department with trained staff dedicated to guiding students in their career preparation and future job and internship search. It offers a website with 24/7 access to resources and it is free.


The Center offers one-on-one private conversations with professional coaches who listen to the student’s goals, concerns, and questions and recommend action steps. Common coaching sessions include a cover letter and résumé reviews, exploring career options, and practicing interviews. 

Job Search Platforms

Handshake is UConn’s main job search platform. International Students can filter jobs regarding work authorization. Students can also access the websites of GoinGlobal and  My Visa Jobs to learn about companies that have hired international students in the past.

Webinars and Events

Attend online sessions and in-person events/career fairs at UConn. The Center offers an Ask me Anything Series for International Students on the topic of Optimizing your Résumé for Applicant Tracking Systems, Writing Bullet Point Statements for Résumés, Cover Letters, Virtual Interviews, and Networking on LinkedIn. We also host a panel discussion on the job search process and a session on Internships for International Students. 

Visit ISSS or The Center for Career Development to learn more about securing employment while studying as an international student at UConn.

By Desiree Martino
Desiree Martino Career Coach | Pronouns she/her