On Campus Employment

F-1 students are permitted to work part-time on the premises of the school that issued their currently valid I-20, while they are attending that school and maintaining their F-1 status, subject to the restrictions discussed in this section. This type of employment is "incident to status," and does not require DSO authorization or updates to the SEVIS record.

  • The F-1 visa normally limits the number of hours international students may work to twenty (20) hours per week on campus during academic sessions. During the summer or other vacation periods, international students may work up to forty (40) hours per week. In order to work on campus at this University, the student must be enrolled at the University. Lamar University allows 19.5 hours per week all year round.
  • On-campus employment includes work done as a teaching or research assistant as well as jobs in the school library, cafeteria, and administrative offices. 
  • Graduate students must maintain a 3.0 or higher GPA while undergraduate students are required to maintain at least a 2.0 GPA. Students that fall below the 3.0/2.0 scale will not be permitted to continue their employment.
  • Although federal regulations do not require DSO approval for on-campus employment, the Social Security Administration requires a letter from the DSO when a student applies for a social security number on the basis of on-campus employment.  See Social Security for details.
  • Spouses or children with F-2 visas may NOT be employed by the University.

F-1 on-campus employment Characteristics


Eligible immediately upon obtaining F-1 status; no waiting period


Must be considered "on-campus"


Can be used throughout period student is pursuing a full course of study

Hours per week

Limited to 20 hours per week while school is in session; can be full-time during official school breaks. Lamar university allows 19.5 hours per week all year round.

Field / level of work

Can be in any on-campus position that does not displace a U.S. worker; does not have to be related to course of study

Offer of employment

Not required as a condition of eligibility

Effect on other work on campus

All on-campus work is treated the same for the 20 hour per week limit; e.g., a teaching assistant working 15 hours per week can only work 5 additional hours per week in another on-campus job

Approval process

Employment is "incident to status," and does not require DSO or DHS approval. See “Social Security”, for information regarding Social Security requirements


Employment must not displace a U.S. resident