International Students - Employment
International students are only authorized to work under certain circumstances. Below is a list of acceptable work situations:
If you are an F-1 student you are automatically allowed to work on-campus job. During the fall and spring semester you may work up to 20 hours per week. During the winter and summer break you may work up to 40 hours.
If you are a J-1 student you may work on campus but you will need a special work authorization letter from the Office of International Programs. Please ask OIP for a request form and we will issue the letter for you.
A Graduate Teaching or Research assistantship is counted as 2o hours per week. If you are a graduate student with an assistantship you may not take on other employment.
Intensive English Students
Your breaks may fall outside the regularly scheduled winter and summer breaks. Be sure to check with an International Student Adviser at OIP if you plan to work full time (40 hours) during your break session.
Whether you are an F-1 or J-1 student, if you want to work off-campus you must obtain special permission from the Office of International Programs and in some cases the US Citizenship and Immigration Service. Some applications for work authorization take 2-3 months to approve so it is important to begin the process early.
F-1 Student Options
Curricular Practical Training-
Optional Practical Training-
J-1 Student Options
Academic Training (AT) is employment integral to an exchange visitor’s academic program which may occur during and/or after the completion of studies. Such training may include, but is not limited to: internships, practica, and field work.
Requirements for Authorization
- Your form DS2019 must be unexpired
- You must be in good academic standing
- You must participate in AT that is directly related to your field of studies
- You must have a firm offer of employment before completion of studies
- You must begin the AT within 30 days of the completion of your studies
- You must receive written approval, in advance, from your J-1 sponsor (which ever school or program issued your DS2019)
To apply for Academic Training Authorization (University of Maine sponsored students)
- Once you have obtained an offer of employment meet with your academic adviser to be sure that he/she supports the work experience. You should provide your adviser with a full description of the job including: the name and address of your company, your supervisor’s name, your dates of employment, your salary and a summary of the tasks you will be responsible for.
- Ask your academic adviser to complete and submit the Recommendation for Academic Training Form. You may forward them the link to this page.
- Contact an International Student Adviser to be sure that your recommendation was received and is complete. Your adviser will let you know when you can pick up your new DS2019 and letter authorizing the AT.
- Do not begin working until you have received a new DS2019 and authorization letter.
If you are under the sponsorship of an outside organization, such as IIE, you must contact your organizations adviser to discuss the AT application process.
To explore employment opportunities on campus please visit the Student Employment website. Please note that international students are not eligible to accept any positions designated as “Work-Study”.
The University of Maine’s Career Center is an excellent place to search for jobs and internships. Be sure to check out Going Global, a search engine which offers access to international career resources including world-wide job openings, internship listings, industry profiles, and country-specific career information. The Career Center also has many other important resources such as career counseling, resume writing workshops, and programs to connect you with UMaine alumni working in your field.
The Office of International Programs offers several workshops each semester to help you understand the different work authorization categories and the application process for each. Check out the OIP Workshops page for a list of dates, times and locations.