I am a student in F-1 status enrolled in a biochemistry Ph.D. program. My academic advisor suggested that I join his research group at a private research company located off campus. Do I need employment authorization to engage in this type of employment?


Generally, employment conducted at an off-campus location requires authorization from your Designated School Official (DSO) or USCIS, with some exceptions. Specifically, if your employment is associated with the school’s established curriculum and related to contractually funded research projects at the post-graduate level, it may be considered “on-campus” employment which does not require authorization as long as it does not exceed 20 hours per week when the school is in session. It is advisable to check with your DSO and/or a knowledgeable immigration attorney if your proposed employment will comply with the on-campus employment requirements. (10.Apr.2015)

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