Employment, Internships, and Career Services
Students with an F-1 Student Visa generally do not work while they are going to school. Legal work permission is very limited. However, at MC we want to prepare you for your career and work and give you good chances for useful experience. Service learning and some on-campus jobs helping other students may be available.
Through Montgomery College, you can intern* at the Smithsonian Institution, the world’s largest museum, education, and research complex; the National Institute of Standards and Technology; Marriott International, a multinational diversified hospitality company; Holy Cross Hospital on our Germantown Campus; or at a company along the biotechnology corridor, where the human genome is being sequenced. Some major programs require an internship class and most allow you to take an internship class as part of your degree.
Career Services provide a range of services to students and alumni to support the career planning process. This includes access to career exploration information, opportunities for hands-on experience, and support for the job search process.
Remember: Work Authorization options and instructions are covered at each First Friday Workshop.
Students in legal F-1 status have opportunities to work on campus and off campus. The Student Employment Services Office, on each campus, provides assistance in preparing for and searching for jobs. They also provide the eJobs employment site with on and off-campus job listings, and will work with you to update your resume, prepare for interviews, and help you find the internship or job opportunity you are seeking.
*= A student or trainee who works, sometimes without pay, at a trade or occupation in order to gain work experience. Interns should not "make money" for the business.
ALL Off-Campus work requires the specific authorization of USCIS and may take up to 4 months to process. PLAN AHEAD! There are Instruction Sheets for the two most utilized types of Off-Campus work authorization Curricular Practical Training and Optional Practical Training.
If there has been an extreme and unexpected change in a student's financial support they may be able to apply for employment authorization for Severe Economic Hardship. See the International Coordinator IMMEDIATELY if you feel you may qualify to apply for this.
Attend a First Friday Workshop to understand all the options and procedures for authorization.
To complete the paperwork to apply for any off-campus employment an appointment will be required with one of the Coordinators.
International students require authorization before they are eligible to work off-campus.The procedure required to hire an international student depends on the student's visa status and typically involves little or no extra work for the employer. The International Coordinator's at Montgomery College can assist students with employer questions regarding hiring students with F-1 or M-1 visa status sponsored by the College. Students work with the Office of International Students to obtain work authorization. For students with F-1 visa status, work is limited to 20 hours per week during the academic year (fall and spring semesters), but is unrestricted during school breaks (summer and winter terms), or if the student completed all coursework. Authorization types available to F-1 students:
Maximum Duration of Authorization: 12 months
Hourly Limit: No more than 20 hours during the academic terms; may be up to 40 hours per week for summer or after graduation
Documentation from Employer: No paperwork is required on the part of the employer to request OPT
Authorizing Agent: United States Citizenship and Immigration Services [USCIS]
Processing Time: On Average, 2-3 months
Documentation Showing Work Authorization: Students receive an Employment Authorization Document [EAD] card to document their work eligibility once their applications are approved
Maximum Duration of Authorization: No maximum, however 11+ months of full-time CPT will make a student ineligible for OPT.
Hourly Limit: During semester 20 hrs/week, during breaks 20+ hrs/week
Documentation from Employer: To receive this authorization the employer must provide an offer letter on letterhead stating the following:
- Specific start and end dates of the internship/co-op
- Number of hours per week
- Address of the workplace
- Amount of compensation
- Job description
- The name of the supervisor during the internship/co-op
- Documentation from the Academic Department or Cooperative Education program
- Statement that the work noted by the employer is appropriate for the awarding of academic credit for the course in which the student has enrolled
- Specific dates the student will be allowed to work to receive credit
- The name of the supervising faculty member
Processing Time: 2 business days maximum
Documentation Showing Work Authorization: The student will receive a new I-20 which will indicate they are approved for CPT on page 3 to document their employment eligibility.
Contact the International Student Office