Know the Conditions of Your Work Permission

Employment authorization in the U.S. varies based on your immigration status. While the information below relates to international students in F-1 and J-1 immigration status, the limits of your employment authorization may be different if you hold another immigration status in the U.S. Contact your ISSO Advisor with any questions about your employment eligibility.

For international students in F-1 and J-1 immigration status:

Authorization Conditions

As an international student in F-1 or J-1 status, your work authorization always specifies the dates and hours you are allowed to work. Part-time authorization allows you to work 20 hours per week or less while full-time authorization allows you to work more than 20 hours per week.

Certain types of authorization (including F-1 CPT and J-1 AT) are also employer-specific, meaning that you can only conduct your academic or curricular training at your approved internship or placement site.

Working outside of your authorized dates, more than your authorized hours or at a site for which you have not been authorized, may be a violation of your immigration status with serious consequences to your stay in the U.S.

Part-Time or Full-Time Hours

If you are a student in F-1 or J-1 immigration status, you are permitted to work on-campus:

  • Up to a maximum of 20 hours per week during semesters of required registration (Fall, Spring, and Summer if it is your final term).
  • Full-time (over 20 hours per week) during vacation periods (Winter Intersession, Spring Break, and Summer Break if you will return in the Fall Semester).
  • If summer is your first or final semester, then it is not considered a vacation period for you and you can only be employed part-time.

End of Authorization

Your on-campus work authorization as a student ends on the earliest of these dates:

  1. Your I-20 or DS-2019 expires,
  2. You complete your program of study, or
  3. Your immigration status is terminated in SEVIS

Employment after Program Completion

Students wishing to continue working at Boston University after completion of their program may only work if they have obtained work permission as a scholar or employee.