Pacifica Legal Services | Floyd Fernandez
The short answer is no. There is no instance where you may work "for cash" legally. The employer must report the employment, make withholdings on taxes, and you would have to report income. The only instance where an F-1 student visa holder can work is for an on-campus job, or after nine months for a business which has a reasonable relationship to the program of study in which the student is admitted. Consult with your ISO at your university for more information. When you are set to graduate, if you have a willing, qualified employer to petition for you, you may apply for a change or adjustment of status, for either a long-term work visa or a permanent green card. If you wish for assistance in that regard, call or e-mail me.
Answer Applies to: California