Apply & Register > International Student Admission > Working in the United States as an International Student

Working in the United States as an International Student

There are a few ways for an international student to work while studying at North Lake College.
 
Remember that the F1 visa is a student visa, so your studies are always your top priority.
 
F1 students in particular, must follow certain rules and regulations at all times which includes working, if eligible. Failing to do so can result in severe immigration penalties. US immigration regards working without authorization as a serious violation of immigration status that may result in deportation back to the home country.
 
IEP students are not eligible for Curricular Practical Training (CPT) or Optional Practical Training (OPT).

On-Campus Work at NLC

F1 students can work on campus a maximum of 19.5 hours per week while classes are in session. They can work unlimited hours during official school breaks, including the summer. Jobs may be available on campus in the library, cafeteria, bookstore or other places, depending on where workers are needed. Employment is not guaranteed.
 
To apply for on-campus work authorization, you must submit both these items to the International Center front desk:
  • completed on-campus work authorization request form (available at the International Center)
  • job offer letter from the hiring supervisor
Please allow 1 to 3 business days for this request to be processed. You cannot start work until you receive written approval from the International Center.
 
If you lose your F1 status at any time during your employment, your work authorization will be terminated immediately. Re-authorization to work on campus may be required at the start of each new semester. When you complete studies, or when your I-20 expires (whichever happens first), on-campus employment will end immediately.
 
Visit Study in the States for more information about work authorization. A "DSO" is an F1 advisor from the International Center.

Internships required for classes (Curricular Practical Training)

This is called CPT for short. If you take a course which includes an internship requirement, we can help! Please be aware that CPT opportunities are very limited with strict F1 rules.

Employment in your field of study (Optional Practical Training)

This is called OPT for short. This program permits up to 12 months of employment related to your studies. F1 Associates degree students on an Associates I-20 may be eligible for OPT after completing studies. See the International Center for more information. Also, OPT information session dates are posted regularly on our Facebook and Twitter pages as well as noted at the front desk sign up book regarding next sessions.