Ask an OISS Advisor

I have an opportunity to work remotely for a company back home… is that considered off-campus employment?

by Jason Marquart, Team Leader

Question:  I read your article about on-campus employment and I have a question. I have an opportunity to work for a company back home in China, but I would do the work remotely while I am here at Washington University. Is that considered on-campus employment or off-campus employment?

Answer: The term “on-campus work” applies only to employment with Washington University or another on-campus affiliate such as the Calling Center or Campus Bookstore.

If you are working for any other employer, this would be considered “off-campus work.” As an international student physically present in the United States, you would be subject to immigration laws, so if you are working off-campus, you would need CPT or OPT in order to work. This is true even if you are working for a company that is based outside of the United States.

Last year, I talked to an international student who had an amazing opportunity to work as a magazine editor for a publication in Germany.  The magazine had a generous telecommuting policy which would have allowed her to do all the work remotely.  Unfortunately, she was unable to do this work while physically present in the United States.  I advised her that she could work for the magazine during periods in which she was outside the United States, but when physically present in the US, she could only work for the magazine if she had CPT or OPT.

If you have any questions regarding the employment regulations and work authorization programs such as CPT or OPT, please contact the Office for International Students and Scholars at, 314-935-5910, or visit during walk-in hours.

Send us your questions! “Ask an OISS Advisor” is a regular feature in the International Voice where OISS advisors answer questions that have been submitted by International Students and Scholars from Washington University. This means that we need your help! If you have a question that you would like to have answered in this column, please send it to us. It might be a question for which you don’t know the answer or it may be a particular issue that you have noticed causes confusion for many other international students. If you’re not sure if it’s a good question for this feature, go ahead and send it in, and we will decide. Please send your questions to the editor of the International Voice at: . Indicate if you prefer for your question to be anonymous.