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Definition of Employment

How is "Employment" defined?

U.S. federal regulations offer the following definition: "The term employee means an individual who provides services or labor for an employer for wages or other remuneration." 8 CFR 274a. 1(f).

Remuneration is the same as compensation.  Compensation means something is given to you because you provided a service. It can be a paycheck, a gift card, a stipend, or it can be meal vouchers, room and board, or payment of your travel costs. Any of these would be considered to be compensation under USCIS regulations.  Simply put, if you receive anything for providing a service, you are being compensated.

Can international students “volunteer”?

Volunteering is defined as engaging in an activity that anyone (U.S. citizen or citizen of another country) would engage in without expectation of compensation, monetary or otherwise, for the service provided.  International students can volunteer, but may not receive any type of compensation.  Those sponsoring volunteer activities should make sure that the activity is considered volunteering by the U.S. Department of Labor as to not violate any labor laws.


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University of Wyoming International Students and Scholars

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1000 E. University Avenue

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: 307-766-5193

Email: uwglobal@uwyo.edu

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