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

Career Preparation Resources

Students are encouraged to review this Career Timeline for F-1 International Students which provides ideas for steps to take during each year of their college education to be ready for internships and job opportunities.

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