Students on OPT may start a business and be self-employed. In this situation, the student must work full-time. The student must be able to prove that he or she has the proper business licenses and is actively engaged in a business related to the student’s degree program.
- F-1 Students: If you are maintaining F-1 status, you are eligible to work on campus. Work performed on the school premises is “on-campus" employment as long as the employment provides direct services to students. You do not need permission from the USCIS to work on campus, but consult with the associate dean for international education to make sure you are maintaining status. You are permitted to work a maximum of 20 hours per week while classes are in session. You may work full time when school is not in session if you are returning to classes the following term. On-campus employment following the completion of your course of study is allowed only if you are enrolled at Agnes Scott as a Year-Five student or if you are accepted and enrolled at another university in the next available academic term. In either case, before accepting employment on campus, you must request a new I-20 from Agnes Scott to enroll as a Year Five student or you must present an I-20 issued by your new university.
- J-1 Students: You may hold a part-time job on campus while classes are in session provided your sponsoring agency has issued a formal letter authorizing employment for you before you begin work.
Employment Permission Based on Financial Hardship
Students whose sponsor's ability to support their studies has undergone an unforeseen change for the worse may apply to USCIS for permission to work off-campus due to financial hardship. If this permission is granted, the student is limited to working 20 hours a week while school is in session; and up to 40 hours a week during breaks, vacation, and holidays. Permission is required from USCIS for this type of work; you must apply through the Office of International Education. Students should first try to find an on-campus job, but if these are not available or sufficient to meet the student's needs, then the student may apply for permission to work off-campus based on financial hardship. Permission to work will be granted for one year and may be renewed by repeating the application process. Regardless of the expiration date on the EAD, this type of work permission ceases immediately upon the student's graduation or otherwise terminating course of study.