Employing International Students

If you are employing an international student, know the number of hours students are allowed to work, ensure that students have proper authorization (if working off-campus) and assist students with having adequate paperwork to receive payment. For guidance on completing the Form I-9, you can refer to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services M-274 Handbook for Employers.


F-1 students working on campus do not require prior authorization from International Student Services (ISS). J-1 students must submit the J-1 On-Campus Employment Authorization Form in MyGlobal before starting employment. Students may work up to 20 hours per week on campus during the fall and spring semesters. During winter, spring, and summer breaks, they are allowed to work full-time on campus, however, university policy limits students to 35 hours per week during official breaks.

See also: Eligibility for Student Employment (university enrollment policy)


International students working off campus must receive prior approval from ISS. For more information about the types of off-campus work authorization available to international students, review F-1 Student Employment. For a quick guide to understanding the differences between Curricular Practical Training (CPT) and Optional Practical Training (OPT), the two most common forms of off-campus work authorization available to F-1 students, review the CPT vs. OPT Chart. Engaging in paid or unpaid employment without prior authorization from ISS or USCIS is a violation of the student’s immigration status.

Request a Workshop

ISS offers general workshops on OPT and CPT throughout the semester that are open to all interested students. Upcoming workshops will be listed under Programs and Events as they are scheduled, and advertised to students via email and social media. Additionally, you can request department-specific workshops for your students by submitting the button below.

Request a Workshop

Only international students with employment offers are eligible to apply for a Social Security number (SSN). Students receiving a cash scholarship (tuition waivers excluded) will need to apply for an Individual Taxpayer Identification number (ITIN).

Use the following steps to help your F-1 student through the on-campus employment process:

  1. Complete the International Student Employment Letter (printed on department letterhead) or Graduate International Student Award Letter for your student to submit to ISS and to take with them to the Social Security Administration Office (SSA). The SSA requires the form to be on departmental letterhead and signed with a wet ink signature.

    J-1 students are not required to obtain an employment letter. They are instructed to provide contact information for you, their employer, directly in the On-Campus Employment Authorization e-form in MyGlobal. You will receive a link to an e-form to fill out with the employment details.

  2. ISS will use the employment letter to write a letter for student to take to the Social Security Administration (SSA) office to apply for SSN. It can take 2-3 weeks for the student to receive the SSN card, however, students may begin work prior to receiving the SSN.

  3. Use E-Verify to confirm your student’s employment eligibility. You will not be able to confirm your student’s employment eligibility in E-Verify until 10 days after their entry to the U.S., and 2 days after their immigration record has been registered in the Student Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS).

  4. Instruct your student to create an account in GLACIER, a web-based, nonresident alien tax compliance system produced by Arctic International LLC to ensure they are not taxed at the highest rate. Students can email the Payroll Office to request a GLACIER account set-up.

  5. Once the SSN card has been mailed, students have been instructed to present this to you, their employer, so it can be entered into UAccess.

Students receiving a cash scholarship (tuition waivers excluded) will need to apply for an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN).

Use the following steps to help your student through the ITIN process:

  1. Provide your student with a copy of the university award letter outlining the cash award to submit to ISS.

  2. Instruct student to make an appointment with ISS advisor to create ITIN.

Working off campus without authorization from ISS is a serious violation of immigration status and can result in a student’s record being terminated and their departure from the U.S. Remember that CPT or OPT is required for students even in unpaid positions. For any questions, please contact an international student advisor.