F-1 Status & Faculty/Staff Positions
The F-1 immigration status is the most common student status in the United States. While studying in F-1 status, students are allowed to accept teaching or research assistantships, or any other on-campus student employment at their institution. F-1 student employment is limited to twenty hours per week while school is in session.
Upon completion of a degree program, F-1 students may be eligible for up to twelve months (or 29 months in certain limited cases) of Optional Practical Training (OPT). F-1 practical training is appropriate for short-term (one year), temporary teaching and research assignments. The F-1 student must apply to the international office at the university of graduation for a recommendation for practical training. With this recommendation the student must apply to the U. S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). Employment can only commence after DHS issues the EAD. Although the recommendation for practical training can usually be obtained quickly on the student's campus, the time required to obtain the EAD card can take 60 to 90 days or more depending on the volume of work and staffing at the time of application at the DHS service center.
Work authorization under practical training can be valuable as a temporary measure while processing a change‑of‑status to a longer-term work status, such as the H-1B Temporary Worker status for professors and researchers. F-1 practical training should be considered if employment needs to begin before an H-1B can be approved by the DHS. (H-1B processing may take four months or more, although an H-1B may be obtained in two to three weeks if a premium processing fee is paid to DHS).
Texas Tech University Office of International Affairs, MS 5004, 742-2974, fax 742-1286