Your Work Restrictions

Both F-1 and J-1 students are eligible to work on campus only. J-1 students must obtain permission from the Responsible Officer in the International Student Office (ISO) before they start working. When classes are in session, you may work up to 20 hours a week.  If you have more than one job, be sure that your total working hours do not exceed this 20-hour limit.  During official school breaks and summer session only, students may work full-time only when they are not taking classes.

F-2 spouses cannot work and cannot receive income for help given.

J-2 spouses may be eligible to work if they receive approval first from the US Government.

On-Campus Work

F-1 and J-1 students may begin employment up to 30 prior to the start of classes. All on-campus employment inquiries should be directed to the DTS Human Resources office.

J-1 students must receive permission to work on campus from the International Student Office each July.

Off-Campus Work

Students may not work off campus. Under rare and exceptional circumstances, off campus employment may be granted with approval from the US Government through the DTS International Student Office (CPT, OPT). All forms of service for which payment is received (including reduced rent, babysitting, gift cards, honorariums, etc.) are considered employment. Except for on-campus employment or authorized off-campus employment, it is illegal for you or your spouse to provide any kind of service (work) with the expectation of reduced rent or some other gain.

Reimbursement for Christian Ministry Service

Often, churches and similar non-profit ministries in Dallas like to give financial compensation in exchange for ministry help. Under your non-immigrant status, this is illegal to accept unless this is contracted under CPT or OPT. For additional additional information regarding CPT or OPT see Study in the States.

Unless you make arrangements with the International Student Office, it is not permissible to take a regular salaried position in a church or ministry. If a church or any other tax-exempt ministry offers you employment, you should ask the church or ministry to change your visa to ‘Religious Worker’ (R-1). The ministry would do this through the services of an immigration lawyer. Your employer would make the required application, not DTS. You would then be able to work full time in that position, but could only study at DTS part-time, pending approval by your employer. You would then have a different set of restrictions and freedoms.  See the International Office for details after your arrival.