can i work part time while study at US

i wish to go to US to further my degree in advertising,
can some one let me know, is it illegal while study at US? because i really need some money to earn my daily fees. & tell me some of the good university that i can go. thank you.

You normally need an employment authorization document to be able to legally work in the US, but I found this article:

"A foreign student in the F-1 classification may stay in the U.S. for extended periods of time to complete degrees or other academic goals, and under certain circumstances, may be allowed to work in the United States.

In General:

First of all, all categories of employment for F-1 students require the cooperation of the college or university’s international student advisor.

Working allows students the opportunity to gain experience, interact with American business, and where necessary, supplement family support or personal resources due to changed financial need.

On-Campus Employment:

On-campus employment by F-1 students is permitted as long as the student works no more than 20 hours a week while school is in session. Students may be employed full-time during vacations and recess periods as long as they intend to register for the next term.

On-campus employment means employment performed on the premises of the school or at an affiliated off-site location. It may mean employment of a type normally performed by students, such as work in the school library, cafeteria, or in a student store or employment which is part of a student’s scholarship, fellowship or assistantship.

Off-Campus Co-Op Programs and Internships:

Co-op cooperative training programs and internships (called circular practical training by the INS) are work-study programs required as part of a student’s work towards a degree. A student cannot qualify for curricular practical training until the student has been enrolled in the school for at least nine months, although students enrolled in graduate studies that require immediate participation in curricular practical training can begin immediately.

The maximum amount of curricular or post-completion practical training is 12 months. Thus, if the curricular practical training is 12 months in length (on a full-time basis), the student will be ineligible for post-completion practical training.

Pre-Completion Practical Training:

Off-campus pre-completion practical training in a field related to studies is permitted for F-1 students as long as the work is for no more than 20 hours a week while school is in session. Full-time employment under this category is allowed during vacations and recess periods as long as the student intends to register for the next term. Time spent in pre-completion practical training will be deducted from the 12 months full-time employment available for post-completion practical training.

Employment Authorization Based on Severe Economic Hardship:

Where unforeseen circumstances lead to a change in the student’s economic situation, the student can obtain permission to work off-campus in any job of the student’s choosing, 20 hours per week, full-time when school is not in session. Employment based on economic necessity is not deducted from time allowed for post-completion practical training, but the student must have completed one academic year in F-1 status to qualify. And, the student must be in good academic standing.

Pilot Off-Campus Employment Program:

After completing an academic year in F-1 status, a student can work off-campus for an employer of the student’s choosing in the limited Pilot Off-Campus Employment Program. The employer must provide the school and the Department of Labor with an attestation that the employer recruited for the position for at least 60 days and that the student’s wages will be comparable to those paid to lawful U.S. workers. The employment need not have any relationship to the student’s field of study. Permission to accept off-campus employment is limited to no more than 20 hours a week when school is in session and full-time only when school is not in session.

Post-Completion Practical Training:

F-1 students are entitled to up to one year of post-completion practical training. However, as explained above, if the student has received one year or more of full-time curricular practical training, the student is ineligible for post-completion practical training. Note also that time spent in pre-completion practical training is deducted from the 12 month maximum.

Authorization for post-completion practical training may be granted for a maximum of 12 months and takes effect only after the student has graduated or completed a course of study. In any event, practical training must be completed within a 14-month period following the completion of studies. An F-1 student may be authorized to engage in post-completion practical training only once for the duration of student status, regardless of the number of degrees pursued.


This information has been provided as a broad overview of the college and university student non-immigrant visa category. Immigration laws are complex and do change. Therefore, to discuss whether you are eligible to apply for a student visa or other visas under the United States immigration laws, contact a law office. "

Assuming that you are an F-1 student, you do have a work authorization. The previous post by Cookie covered that issue.

If you desire to work more than 20 hours a week and have less hassle trying to find an internship or a job, you might try to get a work-authorization social security number.
You may obtain a social security number (SSN) by providing proper documentation and completing a form SS-5 (an application for Social Security Card).

When applying for SSN (if you have F-1 visa) you will need to present your passport with the visa, I-94 Card, I-20-ID form with a work authorization letter from your university.

If you have a J-1 visa, you might be automatically authorized for work, if you’re not…you will require the permission of your sponsor(s). When applying for an SSN, the J-1’s must present their passport with the visa, I-94 Card, IAP-66 and a completed SS-5 Form.

This site will give you more information on how to obtain your SSN

it might seem a bit overwhelming but in the long run, having a SSN will make your life much easier.

Good luck.

I applied for a SSN because everyother thing I apply to asks for it, such as cellphone and other services… I know no one is supposed to ask you for your number, but they won’t even answer my call if I don’t give them one.

So I can work more than 20 hours a week? Like I have that kind of time…