Studying abroad can be financially restraining especially if you have a family to support back in your country. International students can work while studying in the USA, but there will be some restrictions. Having a student visa still allows you to have a job but it has limited job opportunities in terms of location and number of working hours. Students are allowed to work up to 20 hours per week and full-time during summer off-campus.
Students may can have an employment off-campus after completing the first academic year. According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website, “F-1 students may not work off-campus during the first academic year (they are enrolled in school), but may accept on-campus employment subject to certain conditions and restrictions.” If you are in a student visa, it means that most of your time must be devoted to studies and not to anything else.
For an on-campus employment, the number of working hours is limited to 20 hours per week while school is in session. During holidays and vacation periods, you can work full time. On-campus employment refers to work that takes place on campus or at an “educationally affiliated off-campus location” like in the bookstore, library, dorm, or cafeteria.
You can gain off-campus employment after completing one academic year. Also, you must qualify the economic hardship or an emergent circumstance like experiencing the loss of financial aid or on-campus employment, having the large increases in tuition or living costs, or having substantial decrease in the relative value of currency the student depends upon to pay expenses, and the like. You must apply for your off-campus employment through a designated school official and once approved, you can may work for 20 hours per week.
There are other types of programs like the Curricular Practical Training (CPT) and the Optional Practical Training (OPT). The CPT will give students a real-world experience in your chosen field of study. In CPT, it can be full time with no weekly hour limit. The OPT is a temporary employment relating to your field of study that can be up to 12 months.
While studying abroad, international students will be allowed to work with some minimal restrictions. You may ask for assistance from your institution in finding employment on-campus and off-campus.