On-campus employment is a benefit for F-1 students who are maintaining their F-1 student visa status. On-campus employment is defined as employment on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus that provides services to students on campus, or employment at an off-campus location that is educationally affiliated with the university.

During Fall/Spring:

  • 20 hours per week, all positions combined

During authorized vacation periods (spring, summer, winter breaks):

  • Over 20 hours per week is possible; no cap imposed by immigration regulations
  • UW may limit to no more than 29 hours per week (this is institutional policy for student hourly positions; consult with your payroll specialist to confirm)
  • Must have been enrolled full-time before vacation period
  • Must intend to enroll full-time after vacation period

Looking for an on-campus job? Search the Student Job Center, Access ISS, GradConnections Weekly, and department websites for postings!


You may be able to work off-campus under certain conditions, but you must have an approved authorization before you start. To be eligible to apply, you must be in valid F-1 status and have been enrolled full-time for at least two regular semesters (1 academic year). Four types of off-campus employment exist under F-1 immigration regulations. Curricular Practical Training (CPT) and Optional Practical Training (OPT) are the most common types. You should plan out your applications for off-campus employment authorization well in advance; approval is contingent on meeting the eligibility requirements.

F-1 Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

F-1 Optional Practical Training (OPT)

F-1 OPT STEM Extension

Severe Economic Hardship

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security provides information about Working in the United States for F-1 students.