International students are permitted to work under certain circumstances.
On-campus employment is the most common form of employment experienced by international students during the course of their studies. Students are eligible for up to 20 hours of on-campus employment while school is in session.
The Notre Dame of Maryland University allows students to work 20 hours per week during the academic year and forty hours during vacation periods. You may begin working as soon as you arrive on the campus, or if you are transferring from another U.S. institution, once you have completed the transfer notification procedure. You will also need to obtain a social security number (SSN) from the U.S. Social Security Administration. Notre Dame's payroll office will not issue paychecks to students who are unable to provide verification of immigration status and a social security number.
To qualify, the following conditions must apply:
- You must be maintaining your student status.
- The job opportunity must be considered to be "on-campus."
- You must continue to make reasonable progress towards your degree.
- You cannot displace any U.S. residents.
Once you have completed your degree requirements, you should consult with your international student advisor to determine if you are eligible for continued on-campus employment. Please note, completing your degree requirements constitutes the end of your academic program in the eyes of the U.S. government and your on-campus work authorization terminates at that time.
Kindly remember that on-campus employment at Notre Dame is limited to a total of 20 hours a week while school is in session. This includes any hours spent working as a research assistant, teaching assistant, as a student worker, or as a residential assistant in the residence halls.
When school is not in session, full-time employment is permissible.
In certain very limited circumstances for F-1 students some off-campus sites may be considered to be the same as on-campus employment. However, these circumstances are not very common and must be discussed with your international student advisor prior to accepting employment.
Curricular practical training is an excellent option for students in F-1 status to gain practical, hands-on experience in their field. It must be an already-established part of the curriculum as designed by the school and available to all students.
To qualify for curricular practical training:
- You must have been a bone fide full-time student for one full academic year, unless you are enrolled in graduate studies that require immediate participation in curricular practical training.
- You must have a specific job offer.
- You must still be working towards fulfillment of your degree requirements.
- The work must be an integral part of the established curriculum in your course of study and must be recommended by your academic advisor.
- You must maintain a full course of study.
If you engage in 12 months or more of full-time curricular practical training, you lose any eligibility for optional practical training. If you wish to explore the possibility of and process for curricular practical training, please schedule an appointment with your international student advisor.
You may apply for optional practical training prior to completing your course of study. Situations where you may wish to do this include:
- Summer employment (full or part-time)
- Off campus employment related to your studies for up to 20 hours a week while school is in session
Applications for OPT may be submitted up to 90 days prior to being enrolled for one full academic year.
Time used in pre-completion practical training is counted towards the total 12 months of aggregate optional practical training available to you. Part-time pre-completion practical training is counted as ½ time in calculating how much OPT eligibility you have left. For example, if you have 2 months of authorized part-time pre-completion OPT, that would count the same as one month of full-time OPT used, leaving you with 11 months of remaining OPT to be used either prior to completion of your course of study or for post-completion practical training.
If you are interested in applying for OPT for employment that is to occur after you have completed your course of study, you may apply up to 90 days prior to completion and up to 60 days following completion of your program.
Note: The 12 month OPT can now be extended for 17 months (for a total of 29 months) for certain STEM degree holders (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) who are already on OPT employed by an E-Verify employer. Please contact the Office of International Programs for more information.