International students

Employment regulations for international students are more strict than regulations for domestic students, due to US immigration laws. F-1 and J-1 international students are allowed by immigration regulations to work on campus, but they need to fulfill three conditions:

  • they must be full time registered students;
  • their work cannot be more than 20 hours per week during academic semesters; and
  • J-1 students must obtain written authorization from the Visa Sponsor (International Student Advisor if DS-2019 was issued by MIT) for any on campus work other than assistantships.

International students who hold full time research or teaching assistantships (equal to 20 hours per week) are not allowed to take any other employment on campus during the academic year. 

Note that the summer and IAP term are not considered a period of regular enrollment for immigration purposes unless these terms are a student’s first or final term in their graduate program. Thus, during these terms only, international students may be eligible to work additional hours on campus (for MIT only) along with their full or partial RA, TA, or IG appointment only if this employment meets the conditions for hourly appointments detailed in the Graduate Student Appointment Policies.

Questions concerning on- or off-campus employment for international students should be directed to the International Students Office (ISO).