Currently, U.S. immigration laws allow international students to be employed in the country during and after a course of study, but there are restrictions. If you want to work in the U.S. you must plan ahead and familiarize yourself with the rules and regulations that accompany the immigration laws. Regulations change constantly, so you must be aware that even if you are offered an employment opportunity, you may not be legally able to accept it. Take time to look through the provided resources in order to understand your position as an international student.
Employment Authorization & Resources
International students need to check with Global Education Office (GEO) to learn about your employment qualifications and options based on your Visa.
- UNM On-Campus Employment *
- U.S. Department of Labor - Labor Laws
- Global Education Office Work and Career Workshops
Unpaid Internships and Volunteer Positions
Students may work as volunteers or unpaid interns without additional authorization. This practice does not violate U.S. labor law. Refusing or delaying payment to make a position "unpaid" is considered a violation of your F-1 or J-1 student status.
It is recommended that you keep thorough documentation, such as a copy of the original position posting and/or a letter from the organization, showing that the position is a true unpaid internship or volunteer opportunity. If you are not sure whether a position qualifies, contact your international student advisor.
Frequently Asked Questions
This guide has some common questions that can arise for international students.