EMPLOYMENT on a Student Visa
Students on an F-1 visa are limited to working on-campus only and only up to 20 hours per week during school terms, 40 hours per week during semester breaks and in the summertime. There are 3 exceptions under which a student may work off-campus; all require SEVIS approval BEFORE the employment can begin. Working without proper authorization is the only cause for loss of status which cannot be appealed. Specific guidance on each type can be found at the URL below. However, general guidance on these types of acceptabel employment are:
- Curricular Practical Training (CPT) - Internships which are an integral part of the degree plan. May be authorized by the DSO for up to 12 months. A student who uses all 12 months of full-time CPT forfeits the OPT benefit. See for more information: http://www.ice.gov/sevis/students/cpt.htm .
- Optional Practical Training (OPT) - OPT may be pre-completion or post-completion. It may be full or part-time. However, it cannot exceed 12 full months and must be completed no later than 14 months after graduation. It is available at the end of each degree level (ie. Associates, Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate). Application must be made through the DSO to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for adjudication. Work cannot begin until the Employment Authorization Document (EAD) is in hand and the start date on the EAD has arrived. See for more information: http://www.ice.gov/sevis/students/opt.htm .
- Severe Economic Hardship - This employment category is the only one not tied to degree progression or completion. It is available to any international student who is experiencing economic difficulties due to a change in their circumstances beyond their control. The student must apply through the DSO to ICE and document the necessity of working off-campus and the reason for the need. The filing fee MAY be waived, but authorization is not automatic. If given, it will be for only 12 months, and renewal requires another application (and fee).
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Every person in the US on an F visa must file a US tax form giving immigration data every year. Certain individuals may also be required to file a US tax return to account for US funds received during the year. These two forms and the information for each are listed below.
- Form 8843 - This is the immigration form that must be filed with the US Internal Revenue Service. It is due no later than June 15 each year.
- Form 1040NR-EZ - This form is for those who have a large enough US-based income [work, scholarships, interest on investments] to have a tax liability. Due by April 15 each year.
General information about US tax responsibilities for passport holders from other nations can be found at: http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/international/article/0,,id=129249,00.html and at a site maintained by the University of Texas system: http://www.utexas.edu/international/taxes/index.html
A tax clinic is held every year for Brewton-Parker students during the 3rd week of March to help students prepare these documents. The 2010 Tax Clinic was held on March 25th from 6:00 - 9:00. Tax forms are still available in Newton Building for students who need them.
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