If you are an F-1 or J-1 student you are allowed to work on-campus. During the fall and spring semester, you may work up to 20 hours per week. During the winter and summer break, you may work up to 40 hours. You may request the required work authorization letter from the Office of Global Education.
Whether you are an F-1 or J-1 student, off-campus employment must be integral to your program of study and you must obtain special permission from the Office of Global Education, and in some cases the US Citizenship and Immigration Service. Some applications for work authorization take 2-3 months to approve so it is important to begin the process early.
F-1 Student Options
Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
CPT may be granted for an off-campus internship or independent study that is an integral part of an established curriculum. You must earn academic credit for your CPT work experience and it is available only prior to the completion of your degree program. You must have a job offer at the time of application and your academic adviser must approve it as a qualifying academic experience. CPT employment may not delay the completion of the academic program.
Optional Practical Training (OPT)
OPT is temporary employment directly related to a student’s field of study usually done after graduation. During OPT, a student remains in F-1 status. Your application is made through OIP and forwarded to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). USCIS will issue an Employment Authorization Document (EAD or OPT card) which grants authorization to accept relevant employment.
Special Reporting Requirements for Students on OPT
Students who are on OPT must report certain information to the OIP, such as a current residential address, current employer name and address, dates of employment or unemployment, changes in name, and changes in immigration status. Students on OPT can report that information here.
J-1 Student Options
Academic Training (AT)
Academic Training may be granted to J-1 students who would like to pursue a practical training experience in their field either during or after studies. Your academic adviser must recommend the training experience and provide documentation to the Office of Global Education regarding the employer, number of hours, the suitability of employment, etc.
To explore employment opportunities on campus please visit the Student Employment website. Please note that international students are not eligible to accept any positions designated as “Work-Study”.
Off-campus (authorization required)
The University of Maine at Farmington’s Center for Student Development (CSD) is an excellent place to search for jobs and internships. The CSD also has many other important resources such as career counseling, resume writing workshops, and programs to connect you with UMF alumni working in your field. Be sure to check out Going Global, a search engine that offers access to international career resources including worldwide job openings, internship listings, industry profiles, and country-specific career information.