The U.S. government considers any type of work performed or services provided in exchange for money, tuition, fees, books, supplies, room, food or any other benefit as employment. As an international student in F-1 status you are eligible for on-campus employment and approved off-campus employment, known as “practical training”.
Off-campus employment requires authorization prior to engaging in any form of paid or unpaid employment (which includes volunteering). You should not work off campus until you have received authorization in the form of an updated I-20 or Employment Authorization Document (EAD).
There are five different types of off-campus employment authorizations that you may request, and eligibility requirements differ for each. Click the buttons belows to find out which employment authorization is most appropriate for you and the job position.