F-1 Employment Overview


General Eligibility of Employment

There are two types of employment authorization: on-campus and off-campus. Off-campus employment consists of Curricular Practical Training and Optional Practical Training. Different requirements exist for each type of employment authorization but there are basic requirements that must be met for any F-1 employment type:

  • You must be in valid F-1 status and in good academic standing at Georgia Institute of Technology pursuing a full course of study (except during the summer semester and school holidays).
  • A student who is out of status is not eligible for any F-1 benefits, including employment.
  • F-1 and J-1 student visa holders must receive work authorization before engaging in off-campus employment regardless of whether the work is paid or unpaid.
  • Once employment is authorized, you must maintain your student visa status or you will lose the benefit to continue employment.

In addition to these general eligibility standards, please review the website for each type of employment for additional eligibility requirements.

Types of Employment

On-Campus Employment
Students enrolled in classes full-time are allowed to work up to 20 hours per week during fall and spring semester. On-campus employment means that you are paid by Georgia Tech or working at a Georgia Tech location with an employer that is contracted to provide services to students, such as a food store in the Student Center. On-campus employment is a benefit of the F-1 visa status upon reporting to Georgia Institute of Technology and completing the OIE check-in process. On-campus work is subject to GT policies.

F-1 students are eligible to work on campus:

  • Fall/Spring academic semesters: Maximum of 20 hours per week
  • Semester breaks, Official school/Summer Vacation: Full-time on-campus employment is allowed during this time. Full-time work is considered to be 20+ hours/week. (Exception: if a student is required to register for the summer, such as a GRA/GTA, then only 20 hours per week maximum is permitted). This full-time eligibility is subject to GT policy.
  • On-campus employment is not permitted after program completion unless the student has applied for off-campus work authorization. See an International Student Advisor for details.

A great way to search for employment on campus is to utilize the Student Center employment resources. Please see their website on working at GT, including the Student Center Jobs Board and the Campus Jobs Board. Many international students also find success is work as a tutor for Student Athlete Services.

Off-Campus Employment
In general, F-1 student visa holders must be enrolled full-time (12 credit hours) for two fall or spring semesters and receive an employment authorization from OIE or USCIS before becoming eligible for off-campus employment. This means that if a student begins their academic program in a fall semester, they will be eligible for off-campus work after attending full-time fall and spring semesters. If a student begins in the spring semester, they must attend full-time spring semester and the next fall semester before becoming eligible for off-campus work. 

The two types of off-campus employment are:

Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

Optional Practical Training (OPT)

Social Security Number Considerations

Any student who will work in the U.S. must apply for a Social Security Number, as the employer will need the SSN to report wages and taxes to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Social Security Administration (SSA). F students are eligible to apply for an SSN after they have received an offer of employment that meets SSA standards. For more information on Social Security Numbers, please see our website and our Social Security Number handout.

  • Students who will work on-campus should request a SSN Letter of Support from OIE. To request a letter of support, please log into iStart and complete the SSN Letter Request for F-1 Students found under SSN and Taxes. 
  • Students who have approved off-campus authorization may use the second page of their I-20 listing the employment authorization in order to apply for an SSN.