International students are permitted to work for the college or
university they attend or for a business at the school. But the business must
directly provide a service to students. You could work at the bookstore, for
example, but not for a construction company that is building something on
campus. Also, a foreign student cannot displace an American citizen in a job.
International students can work twenty hours a week while attending classes;
more during school breaks. You can work until you complete your studies.
Foreign students normally cannot take a job that has no connection to their
school. But the government may give permission if students are suddenly faced
with a situation that is out of their control. Examples include large medical
bills, the loss of financial aid or an unexpected change in the financial
condition of their source of support.
Students must also meet other conditions. They must have attended their
American school for at least one year. Government approval is given on a
case-by-case basis. Students must re-apply after a year if they want to
continue an off-campus job.
Foreign students who will be attending graduate school can apply for some jobs
before they come to the United States. A good example is a university job like
a teaching or research assistantship.
Some schools pay their assistants. Others provide free education in return.
Many do both.
Graduate assistants might teach, give tests, grade work, assist professors with
research and hold office hours. Many universities now provide language training
to foreign teaching assistants to help them improve their English. Some schools
require foreign students to pass an English speaking test before they are
permitted to teach.
International student offices at schools have to provide information on
students each term to the Department of Homeland Security. Students who violate
the terms of their visa -- for example, by working off-campus without
permission -- could be sent home.
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Translated by Buasawan Simmala