International students on F-1 status are eligible to work on campus 20 hours a week (part-time) while school is in session. There is no hourly limitation during scheduled breaks. Students are eligible to begin employment immediately upon being admitted to the United States in F-1 status. Pursuant to Department of State regulations, this may be as much as 30 days before classes begin.
There is no limit to the total period of on-campus employment in which students may engage. Thus, a student may work up to twenty hours a week while schools is in session, and full-time during any vacation periods for as many years as he or she is pursuing a full course of study (and not foreclose on other employment options). Permission to undertake on-campus employment is considered by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to be incident to status and, therefore, requires no additional authorization from either the Designated School Official (DSO) or the DHS.
On-Campus Employment at an Off-Campus Location
In addition to on-campus employment on the school’s premises, the regulations provide for on-campus employment which takes place at an off-campus location that is "educationally affiliated with the school." In the case of off-campus locations, the employment must also be "associated with the school’s established curriculum or related to contractually funded research projects at the post-graduate level."