Volunteering is a great way to “make a difference,” to help people where there is need and participate in your community.

As an F-1 student, you may volunteer while you study in the United States, but you must maintain your nonimmigrant student status by complying with Department of Homeland Security rules and regulations. F-1 students are able to volunteer with an organization that ordinarily engages and utilizes volunteers as long as the student is not volunteering primarily for work experience but because he/she wants to contribute to the mission of that organization.

Guidelines to Determine if the Position you are Seeking is Volunteer or Needs Employment Authorization

Are you receiving any form of taxable income from the volunteer activity?

  • If yes, you must obtain valid work authorization as this is considered employment?

Is this position one for which the employer would otherwise officially hire someone?

  • If yes, you must obtain valid work authorization as this is considered employment?.

If this position relative to your major program of study?

  • If yes, you must obtain valid work authorization as this is considered employment?.

Is this position for your own personal benefit, philanthropic in nature, you are not being paid, and it is not related to your academic major?

  • If yes, this is considered volunteer and not employment and you do not need work authorization.
Contact
Phone Number
Location
Post Hall, 203

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