Am I allowed to work as an F-1 Visa holder?

F-1 students may not work off-campus during the first academic year, but may accept on-campus employment subject to certain conditions and restrictions. After the first academic year, F-1 students may engage in three types of off-campus employment:

For F-1 students any off-campus employment must be related to their area of study and must be authorized prior to starting any work by the Designated School Official (the person authorized to maintain the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) and USCIS.

Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

As a UCSB Professional and Continuing Education student, you are not eligible for a Curricular Practical Training, as you are not pursuing a degree while studying.

Optional Practical Training (OPT) for F-1 Students

Optional Practical Training (OPT) is a form of training, often paid, that directly relates to your program of study. You can apply for OPT during your program of study, which is now a pre-completion OPT, or after you finish your program of study, known as post-completion OPT. For more information, please see this OPT article.

Optional Practical Training Extension for STEM Students (STEM OPT)

Certain F-1 students who receive science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) degrees, and who meet other specified requirements, are allowed to apply for a 24-month extension of their post-completion OPT. The 24-month extension will replace the 17-month STEM OPT extension previously available to STEM students. Eligible students may now apply for a 24-month STEM OPT extension. For more information, click here.

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