On-Campus & Off-Campus

On-Campus & Off-Campus Employment

How do I know if the job is considered On-Campus or Off-Campus Employment?

F-1 and J-1 students are required to have specific authorizations for different types of employment. The main purpose of being an F-1 and J-1 student is to study and complete your academic program. Any employment would only be considered a side benefit that is strictly regulated. Unauthorized employment is considered a major violation by USCIS and can result in deportation, so it is important to make sure that you are following all employment regulations for your status.

If you have any question regarding if a job would be allowed for your specific status (F-1 or J-1), please contact our office before accepting/beginning any employment. You can email us at isoemp@lsu.edu or set up an appointment with the Employment Coordinator by calling the International Services (IS) front desk at (225) 578-3191. Remember, it is very important to find out if employment would be authorized or not before you make a mistake that could jeopardize your academic program and status here in the United States.

On Campus Employment

International Services authorizes On-Campus work permission to eligible F-1 and J-1 students. You must have a 1) valid, unexpired Passport, 2) valid, unexpired I-20/DS-2019 and 3) your most recent I-94 printout in order to work. On-Campus Employment is included as part of your status, but if you will be working for an On-Campus Vendor (not paid by LSU Payroll), you will need a special Vendor Work Permit (paper form only).

Vendor Work Permit is for official Vendors (on-campus locations only) which are organizations on campus that are not affiliated with LSU but have been contracted by LSU to provide services directly to LSU students. You would be paid directly by the vendor and your authorization would be granted by having an approved Orange Vendor Work Permit (paper only), which is available at the IS front desk. Some examples of on-campus Vendors would be: CC’s Coffee in the LSU Library, the LSU Union Bookstore, the Subway location in Foster Hall, LSU dining, etc. There is no fee for this service/authorization.

Important note about Pennington Biomedical Research Center (Perkins Road) – Per LSU, this is considered on-campus employment for LSU students, including international students. Your hiring department would load your job appointment (such as a Graduate Assistantship or Student Worker position) into the LSU Workday system. Work is limited to 20 hours per week total, which means if you already have a job position on the LSU main campus, you would have to split your time between the two jobs.

Important note about LSU South Campus (GSRI/Nicholson Drive) – Please contact International Services at isoemp@lsu.edu or set up an appointment with the Employment Coordinator before applying for or considering a job with any office or business on the south campus location. The Louisiana Business & Technology Center (LBTC) may have student workers in their Administrative office that are paid by LSU Payroll, which would count as on-campus employment. However, if the job would be paid directly by other businesses that use LBTC resources/office space, it would NOT be considered on-campus employment. EA Sports and other businesses on the LSU South Campus are not considered to be a vendor or an on-campus employer, so you cannot work for them using your on-campus authorizations. If they are offering semester-long internships (see information for Curricular Practical Training below), you could potentially apply for CPT and we would review your application to see if it met all requirements and regulations.

Off-Campus Employment

Off-Campus Employment for F-1 students includes three types of authorizations, CPT, OPT and Economic Hardship, which are discussed below.

Off Campus Employment for J-1 students is called "Academic Training". For more information, please review our J-1 website, specifically the "Employment" section.


CPT (Curricular Practical Training) is a type of employment authorization issued by International Services (IS) to allow LSU F-1 students to participate in off-campus employment deemed an integral part of an established curriculum. IS coordinators are required to report CPT employment to USCIS each semester via the immigration database, SEVIS. Examples of jobs requiring CPT authorization would be: orchestra performances for music students, internships (both full and part-time), etc. Authorization comes in the form of additional information on the 3rd page of your I-20 that shows the specific employer and dates when you would be allowed to work. There is no fee for this authorization but you will have to pay the appropriate registration fees to LSU. Applications are available on the IS website approximately 1-2 months before the next semester deadline and can take up to 10 days to be processed if it is submitted during delayed processing periods.


OPT (Optional Practical Training) is an employment benefit granted by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (US CIS) authorizing eligible F-1 students to work anywhere in the U.S. in a job directly related to their major field of study and at level commensurate with their educational level. Most students apply for the full 12 months at one time and use this after the completion of their degree program. Authorization comes in the form of an EAD card (Employment Authorization Document) with official dates when the student is allowed to work. Even if the student has graduated, they are still considered to be in F-1 status and must report any address or employment changes to our office within 10 days. Certain majors may also be eligible for an OPT Stem Extension for an additional 24 months of employment. The USCIS fee to apply for OPT is $380 and USCIS processing takes approximately 60-90 days, so you would need to plan ahead if you have a specific job start date in mind.


EHE (Economic Hardship Employment) is an employment benefit granted from United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) that enables eligible F-1 students to work legally off campus in any kind of job in times of severe, unforeseen financial circumstances. If granted, Economic Hardship Employment will not affect a student’s future eligibility for Optional Practical Training (OPT) or Curricular Practical Training (CPT). Authorization comes in the form of an EAD card (Employment Authorization Document) with official dates when the student is allowed to work. For additional information, please set up an appointment with Ms. Natalie Rigby, the IS Director, by calling the International Services front desk at (225) 578-3191. This is only for extreme circumstances and very rarely granted/approved. The USCIS fee to apply for the possibility of having EHE is $380.