Office of International Programs

Work & Taxes

International students must follow specific work rules established by USCIS. A brief overview of the key rules are included in the table below. 

A Quick Summary of Work Rules for International Students at USM
ESOL & J-1 Exchange Students are not authorized to work at USM.  J-1 students may be eligible for academic training. 

Degree Candidates are eligible to work on campus up to 20 hours per week when school is in session. They MUST work for departments with "departmental funds". International students are NOT eligible for work study jobs.

Full time work is allowed during the summer break and the break between the fall and spring semesters.

After being in F-1 status for 1 year, degree candidates are eligible for CPT (Curricular Practical Training) or internships which is off campus work for academic credit in their field of study.
Graduate students may be eligible for CPT earlier if it is required as a component of their program.
F-1 students who experience an unexpected financial hardship beyond their control should speak with the International Office regarding work authorization based on Economic Hardship. 
Upon completion of their academic program, degree candidates are eligible for 1-year of work experience in their field, known as OPT (Optional Practical Training). Students must apply for OPT in advance so please plan accordingly. 

Please see the pages below for additional details on the work regulations noted above.