F-1 & J-1 students are eligible to work inside the United States, subject to certain regulations and restrictions. Employment is any type of work performed or services provided in exchange for money, tuition, fees, books, supplies, room, food or any other benefit. Even if you receive no pay or other benefit for the work performed, this activity still may be considered as employment.
Whether you are considering employment during your time at Eastern Michigan University or afterwards, it is important to work with the OIS to understand your options and authorization requirements. Illegal or unauthorized employment can seriously impact your student status; if you have questions or concerns, please consult with the OIS before beginning employment.
Review the following information depending on visa type and employment location (on or off-campus):
F-1 on-campus employment
F-1 off-campus employment before degree completion, called Curricular Practical Training(CPT)
F-1 off-campus employment after degree completion, including Optional Practical Training(OPT, Cap Gap, STEM)
J-1 on-campus employment
J-1 off-campus employment (AT)
Generally, if you have been in the U.S. for less than 5 years, you should be exempt from paying Social Security and Medicare taxes. Please reference the Alien Liability for Social Security and Medicare taxes for more information. However, you will still be subject to federal, state, and local taxes unless your country has a tax treaty with the United States. It is best to closely work with your employer's payroll department to ensure the correct taxes are deducted and you are not being under - or overpaid. REMEMBER - Tax returns must be filed by April 15th of each year for the previous calendar year.
The OIS offers many seminars to teach you about immigration regulations and workshops to help you prepare for an employment search. For details and to register to come, read the descriptions below and see our seminar schedule and calendar.
Curricular Practical Training (CPT): Mandatory for students interested in working off campus. If you have been enrolled full-time for at least 8 months you may be eligible to work off campus. In this seminar, you will learn how to get off-campus employment authorization through Curricular Practical Training.
Optional Practical Training (OPT): Mandatory for all international students filing for Optional Practical Training. You must attend this seminar before scheduling an appointment with an advisor to file for OPT.
H1B Visa Seminar: Interested in working in the U.S. after graduation? Meet with an immigration lawyer for free to learn about the H1B-EB working visa.
The University Advising and Career Development Center (UACDC) offers many tools and services to assist students in developing academic and career goals and/or deciding on a major or minor. The core areas of the UACDC include General Education Academic Advising, Career Coaching/Strategizing, and Student Employment as well. UACDC offers great online resources and in-person career advising to help you learn all about how to find a job and how to prepare yourself for a job search. The following links are examples of their resources that will help you.
UACDC Homepage: www.emich.edu/uacdc/index.php
Find a job: www.emich.edu/uacdc/students/find_job/index.php
EMU Careers Database: eaglecareers.experience.com/er/security/login.jsp
Student Employment: http://www.emich.edu/uacdc/students/find_job/student_employment.php
Job Fairs: Each year the UACDC hosts a variety of job fairs, workshops and special events to assist you in your career planning and job search.
Job Preparation Videos: Sharpen your job search skills by watching short video clips on a variety of career-related topics such as dressing for success, interviewing, and networking- just to name a few, but they are all worth the time!
GoingGlobal: Country-specific career employment database of over 600,000 internships and job postings. Also contains lots of information on resume-writing guidelines and examples, employment trends, salary ranges, networking groups and cross-cultural interviewing advice.