F1 visa holders may work on campus (i.e. within the university) for up to 20 hours per week if they are in good academic standing, maintain full-time study. Students may work full-time between semesters and during the annual summer vacation if they enroll for the following term. After completing their studies, however, they may not be employed on-campus unless authorized for practical training.
Off-campus work requires approval from USCIS and is possible only after the first full year of study. Unless this permit has been granted by USCIS, it is illegal for a student with an F1 visa to accept off-campus employment. If employment permission is granted, the student still must maintain full-time study while working up to 20 hours a week while courses are in session and 40 hours a week during the summer and between semesters.
Sometimes, however, things don't go as planned. If you can prove that you are suffering a severe economic hardship caused by circumstances beyond your control, you may be able to get special USCIS working permission. Examples include loss of financial aid or on campus employment without fault on the part of the student, a severe devaluation in the currency of your home country, or medical bills.
You must further show that there is no suitable on-campus employment for you. You must have completed a full year of academic study and must be in good academic standing. You will also have to obtain a recommendation from your student officer. If granted work permission, you will be allowed to work 20 hours per week while school is in session.