Employment (other than practical training)
Any job which is located on the New Mexico Tech campus and for which you are paid by New Mexico Tech is permitted by federal regulations if you are in F1 or J1 status and in good academic standing. Jobs offered by other businesses operating on campus to provide services to students are also permitted. (Employment which takes place off-campus at entities that enjoy a close educational relationship with New Mexico Tech (such as a national laboratory) and for which payment is made through New Mexico Tech can be classified as on-campus employment.
On-campus student employment comes in two forms: “hourly” and “stipend-based.” If you are a graduate student with a teaching or research assistantship, you receive a stipend (that is, a set amount in each paycheck, without the need to report the number of hours you work). An important feature of stipend-based employment is that you receive a waiver of out-of-state tuition; you pay only the lower in-state tuition. All other student employment is calculated and compensated by the hour, with wages generally ranging from $5.15 to $15.00 per hour, although a few graduate jobs may bring higher wages. Note that hourly work does not grant a waiver of out-of-state tuition.
On-campus employment is restricted to 20 hours per week during fall and spring semesters. During summer session, hourly employment may increase up to full time (40 hours), depending upon the number of credit hours for which you are enrolled (if zero hours, you must be registered for the fall semester):
- 6 credits: 20 hours maximum employment
- 3 to 5 credits: 30 hours maximum employment
- 0 to 2 credits: 40 hours maximum employment
Federal law prohibits off-campus work throughout the entire time you are in F1 or J1 status. But there are a few exceptions to this rule, notably:
- Curricular or optional practical training for F1 students after one academic year.*
- Academic training for J1 students.*
- Employment to alleviate “severe economic hardship” (for F1students) or “serious, urgent, and unforeseen hardship” (for J1 students). Permission must be granted by the Responsible Officer (J1) or by the immigration authorities (F1) before employment begins. In both cases, the student must document that the financial situation is serious, that the problem is beyond his/her control, and that it arose after receiving F1/J1 status. F1’s are not eligible for severe economic hardship relief until they have been in status for at least one full academic year.
Dependents and Employment
It is important to note that it is illegal for those in F2 status to work anywhere in the United States. They cannot apply for nor receive employment authorization. Those in J2 status, on the other hand, may apply for and obtain employment authorization if they can prove to the immigration authorities that the money they will earn is not necessary for the J1’s financial support.