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Federal regulations limit the types of work that international students can participate in. These regulations are different depending on your immigration status.

On-Campus Employment Regulations for Students in F-1 Status 

The Department of Homeland Security's Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) regulations govern on-campus employment for students in F-1 status. As an F-1 student, you may be eligible to work both on and off campus in a limited capacity. However, in most cases, you need to get authorization before beginning work. You must be sure to follow the rules that apply to your employment so you do not jeopardize your immigration status.

An F-1 student may work on campus at Buffalo State if:

  • Valid F-1 status is maintained
  • Employment does not exceed 20 hours per week while school is in session. If a student works for more than one on-campus employer, the total number of hours worked from all jobs cannot exceed 20 hours per week.
  • F-1 students may be employed more than 20 hours per week on campus during holidays and vacation periods, if they intend to register for the next semester.

The definition of on-campus employment includes:

  • Work performed on the Buffalo State campus, including that required by a scholarship or assistantship.
  • Work for an on-campus employer who provides services to students.i.e. Chartwells Dining
  • Work at an off-campus location that is educationally affiliated with Buffalo State. This affiliation must be associated with an established curriculum or be related to a contractually funded graduate-level research project. Such employment must be an integral part of the student's program of study. It is important to speak with an advisor at the Office of International Student and Scholar Services to be sure this kind of position meets the USCIS definition of on-campus employment and that you can be paid.

Opportunities for on-campus employment are limited. Not all students seeking employment will be able to find a position on-campus. If you are considering working off-campus, please be sure to understand the eligibility requirements and apply for the required authorization. Working without authorization is illegal and a serious violation of the law.

Please email the Office of International Student & Scholar Services at or call 716-878-5331 to make an appointment with our staff before you accept any employment.


Applied Learning (Volunteer Work)

Buffalo State encourages students to participate in experiential learning.  These activities include: service learning, community engagement, volunteer opportunities and community service projects. Some of these opportunities are scheduled as part of a class, an organized project,  or a one time event.  

International students are encouraged to communicate with the International Student and Scholar Services Office to determine if experiential learning is considered Curricular Practical Training and needs to be listed on the student's I 20 as authorized off campus activity/employment. Please reach out to the director at:

Is this opportunity CPT?  

1. Is it required a part of a class?

2. Does it take place off campus?

3. Will that activity occur more than one time?

Examples are: Student Teaching, Workshops, Field Experience and Art Shows

CPT fact sheet

If you have any questions, please contact our office in South Wing 410 at 716-878-5331

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International Student and Scholar Services

1300 Elmwood Ave  •  South Wing 410 •  Buffalo, NY 14222
Phone: (716) 878-5331 •  Fax: (716) 878-3054