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F-1 students are only permitted to engage in employment that has been authorized.

There are three categories of employment available to F-1 students at MCC.

  1. On-campus employment
  2. Practical training (curricular and optional practical training)
  3. Severe Economic Hardship

All of these categories require that the student has valid F-1 status. A student who is out of status is not eligible for F-1 benefits, including employment.

On Campus Employment

International students should not plan to meet their educational or personal living expenses through employment. A limited number of on-campus jobs are available on a competitive basis. Salaries are set near the Missouri minimum hourly wage. Students must interview for such positions in person after arrival.

This employment does not require immigration approval. It must be on-campus (any of the MCC campuses), and the student must actively attend school. Students should contact the Employment Resources Office on the campus of their choice. Students are limited to 19.5 hours per week while school is in session.

F-1 students are not eligible for work study positions that are paid through federal financial aid.

Curricular Practical Training

In order to be eligible for CPT, a student must have been lawfully enrolled as an F-1 student on a full-time basis for at least one academic year. The student must have an offer of employment, and the course must be part of the MCC curriculum.

You will need to contact the International Student Services Office to determine if CPT is applicable to your degree and complete necessary paperwork in addition to obtaining written authorization on your SEVIS I-20.

Note: You may ONLY engage in CPT for the specific employer, location, and period of time approved and recorded on your I-20. If you begin work before or continue working after the dates noted on your I-20, you will be out of status and terminated in SEVIS.

Optional Practical Training

At MCC, OPT is authorized only after a student has completed course requirements for a degree. In order to be eligible the student must have been lawfully enrolled on a full-time basis for at least one academic year. Employment should be directly related to a student's major and intended for full-time use for 12 months.

The request for OPT must be made within 90 days prior to completion of course requirements. Contact International Student Services for application information

The application for full-time OPT must be received by the immigration service before you complete your course of study. Please plan ahead.

Note: Authorization for employment is automatically terminated if the student transfers to another school or if a student fails to complete graduation requirements.

Economic Hardship

To be eligible for F-1 economic hardship employment, a student must have been in F-1 status for one full academic year. The student must prove to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services that employment is necessary due to severe economic hardship caused by circumstances beyond the student's control after obtaining F-1 status. Work is limited to 19.5 hours per week during the academic term (full-time during breaks and vacations).

  • Work authorization is granted in one year intervals by the immigration service and is renewable (student must reapply).
  • Contact the International Student Services Office for application information.

Social Security Number

F-1 students are only eligible for a social security number if they have a job offer.  Speak with your employer regarding social security number requirements and withholding.

Income Tax

Income earned in the United States is usually subject to any federal, state, or local income regulations that apply. Annual filing for taxes is mandated each year by April 15th.

Miscellaneous Tax Information

Please note that the International Student Office staff does not provide tax advice and students should refer individual questions to a specialist in international taxation.

For more tax information please refer to the Tax Information page on our website.