International Student Employment

Can you work?


Where can you work?

  • On-campus only.
  • No more than 20 hours a week while school is in session.
  • During school breaks such as between Fall and Spring semesters students can work 40 hours a week.

If you work, you will have to pay taxes. Taxes will be automatically taken out of your checks: FICA, Federal Tax, Michigan Tax and Big Rapids Tax.

There are four types of employment:

  • On-campus Employment
  • Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
  • Optional Practical Training (OPT)
  • Severe Economic Hardship
    • Limited to 20 hours per week while class is in session; 40 hours during official school breaks
    • Must work On-Campus
    • Can find a job through Student Employment Website
    • Cannot work at jobs near campus: McDonald's, Rite Aid, etc. these are not considered on-campus
    • After offered a job you can apply for a Social Security Number
    • Internship, clerkship, or clinical rotation for academic credit
    • Great for professional future
    • Must have been a student in the U.S. for at least 1 academic year
    • Must have an internship secured
    • Come to OIE for application procedure or they may be available online.
    • Apply before semester begins
    • OIE will have CPT Workshop during the semester
    • Pre-Completion OPT:
      • Work before graduating
      • Can be full time or part time
      • Need authorization from USCIS
      • Plan ahead & apply early
    • Post-Completion:
      • Work authorization for after graduating
      • Apply before you graduate
      • Full time work authorization   
      • Must complete your degree
      • Workshops throughout semester
    • Off-campus employment that the government authorizes
    • Must prove to government that employment is necessary due to severe economic hardship caused by circumstances beyond student's control
    • $340 fee to apply 
    • Must have been in U.S. for 1 full year

Do not accept unauthorized employment. Although the money may be enticing, students who accept unauthorized employment can be deported.