Intl student asking for us job advice

I know that intl students are only allowed to do particular jobs in the US, but do people get caught if they do traditional jobs such as working as a cashier or at the apple store? are we allowed to ask to be paid in cash? I’m planning on studying in the US but thinking of a way to make money? Has any intl student worked these types of jobs before?

Those employers can’t hire you because you can’t produce the documents you need (SSN, ID like a license or US passport).

It’s unlikely an employer would pay you in cash. The employer wants to deduct your pay from its expenses and need to keep good records and submit payroll taxes. Even many jobs that have tips don’t pay those in cash. My daughter works at Starbucks and the pooled tips come in her paycheck, not at then end of the shift.

Do people get paid “under the table”? Sure, but if caught it would ruin your chances of staying in the US for school.

Don’t mess with the INS.


what if my school gives me the authorization to work such jobs because I need the money? Will it be okay then? I heard after authorization the school helps us get an SSN and everything else we need.

This sentence is important: “You must have sufficient funds available for self-support during the entire proposed course of study”

If you cannot afford to pay for your education in the US, you will not get a student visa to study here.

You can make a small amount of money working a part time job, usually on-campus. Given the cost of university in the US, you are not going to make enough money to make a big difference compared to what you are going to need to come up with in order to be able to study here.

There are a tiny handful of universities that offer full need-based scholarships to international students. All of them are exceptionally competitive for admissions (close to the “top student in your country” level of competitiveness).

I can guarantee you…a business like the Apple Store is not going to pay you under the table in cash.

If your hours of work are limited by your visa and college, don’t plan on working more hours than that limit.


You can work under the school’s authorization. You will not be paid in cash. You can’t use the SSN (if you get one) to get yourself a job off campus.


My daughter is international student and only jobs allowed are in college and limited amount of hours. It also has to do with taxes and is very complicated. One has to follow all the rules and know all the rules that apply to internationals.
Tax in country of origin also continues and one gets to pay that too.

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if you dont mind me asking how much does she earn? is it possible to earn around 30-40k per year through a on-campus job?

There is absolutely no way an international student can legally earn that kind of money. There are full time employees not earning that much.

If you’re here as a student, the expectation is that you are here to study, not earn money. Many US colleges limit how many hours a week a full time student can work. You will not earn enough money here to support yourself or pay for college, so forget it. Refer to the previous post that says you must prove you have enough to support yourself. Campus jobs and such are primarily for students to have spending money while at college.


Agreed that a part time, on campus job will not be close to that amount.

But what are the restrictions on international students at co op schools?

Good point, but even students on coops aren’t earning that kind of money per year. I guess someone out there could be an exception, of course.

OP - if you are interested in engineering or CS reach out to schools that are co-op mandatory like Northeastern, Drexel, and Cincinnati and speak to the office for international students. Ask them how they place their international students with companies, if it’s guaranteed, and the average salaries.

My D is a co-op student at Purdue (co-op optional) and the average salary is $22/hour and most companies also pay housing. You don’t work and go to school at the same time but when you are working, you aren’t paying tuition.

On campus job is minimum wage per hour, each american state has their minimum wage think average is 9 or 10 usd per hour, and international students is a maximum of 20 hours per week working allowed on campus. But a lot of times is less depends on amount of work available. Think her payment salary was per fortnight/period of 2 weeks and is enough for her drugstore items, some extra food, few clothes nothing fancy, small gifts for other students, pens, notebook.

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Okay. What about this. Hypothetically lets say a student can finance college (60-80k/year) but what if after 2 years some sort of extenuating circumstance happens which wasn’t planned. Will that student be able to work off campus, or will he/she be removed from the school?

The answer to that is NO. A big NO.

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The student will be expected to pay their college bills or they won’t be able to register for classes.

There will NOT be an exception made for working hours that are not permitted by their school and visa. Period.

In SOME cases, international students will receive additional aid at SOME colleges if there is an extenuating circumstance that presents itself. This would only apply to colleges that guarantee to meet full need for all international students. In most cases, the student MUST apply for aid as an incoming freshman.

It sounds like you are trying to fund unaffordable options. Please don’t do that. Look for options that are affordable.


The bottom line is that you need to be able to afford your tuition, every single semester. You can’t register and attend classes if tuition isn’t paid.

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the thing is my father has said he can fund it but he has a feeling (10% chance of coming true) that his job may become redundant in 2-3 years. I can pay for the time during his job but if he becomes redundant then i would need to work. that’s why i was asking about the extenuating circumstance.

And what are your opinions on taking loans? I can take a US loan through one of my uncles who lives in the US but i dont know how loans in the US work. They wont be federal student loans, but rather private ones. Are interest rates simple or compound, and are they applied after a certain period of time of as soon as we take a loan?