On-Campus Employment for F and J Visa Students

What is considered on-campus employment?

Both F-1 and J-1 students may engage in on-campus employment at EMU. Students are allowed to work up to 20 hours on-campus in the fall and winter terms, and up to 29 hours on-campus in the summer. To be eligible you must:

  • Be 'in-status'
  • Be pursuing a full-time course of study
  • Be in good academic standing
  • Not have reached your program end date
  • F-1 students must get the permission of OISS
  • J-1 students must get the permission of their responsible officer and OISS

Once employment is authorized, you must maintain your eligibility or you will lose your right to continue working.

Jobs which qualify as "On-Campus Employment"

  • Employment by EMU:
    On-campus work for which you receive a paycheck (or other compensation) from EMU, is usually acceptable, whether it is employment in the computer lab or the housing office. Work required by a scholarship, fellowship or assistantship is also acceptable.

  • Other Employment on EMU's Premises:
    This includes work on EMU's campus for an outside contractor, if this work provides direct services to students; the bookstore and franchised food outlets may qualify here. Please check with an OISS advisor if you plan to work for an on-campus contractor.

  • Work Off Campus Which Qualifies as On-Campus Employment:
    Immigration regulations allow you to work at an off-campus location provided:

    • The location is educationally affiliated with EMU,
    • The educational affiliation is associated with EMU's established curriculum or is related to a graduate level research project which EMU has contracted to perform, and
    • The work is an integral or important part of your graduate level program of study. For example, if your field of study is marine biology and your school has an off-campus (legally affiliated) marine biology research facility, you may work there and that employment will be defined as "on campus".

If you are unsure whether a job qualifies as "on-campus", please consult with an OISS advisor before starting work.

On-campus Employment Opportunities

If you would like to work on campus, you must apply to the individual department and/or follow the application process and procedures for that specific position. Hiring forms and procedures vary between university departments. Note that F-1 and J-1 international students are not eligible for federal work-study employment; do not apply for jobs that hire only work-study students.

University Advising and Career Development Center (UACDC) maintains a student employment database that lists both on and off-campus jobs. For database access and more information, see the Handshake website.

Below is a list of offices that commonly hire students. The list is not comprehensive and you should also search for employment by asking other departments and offices in-person whether they are hiring.

Graduate Assistantships (Graduate Students only): The Graduate Assistantship program is administered by the Graduate School and provides financial support, academic training and work experiences to graduate students.

More information on how to find a Graduate Assistantship.

Tips in Finding On-Campus Student Employment

  • Apply early. Finding a job can take up to a semester, or even longer. Apply early and late in the semesters as this tends to be when employers are hiring most.
  • Personally hand your resume to departments that are hiring. Wait until after the application deadline to follow up with the department on the status of your application. If there isn't a deadline, follow up with the department one to two weeks after submitting your application to see the status of the position. Do not check up on the status of your application too often as this may be bothersome to the department and negatively impact your application.
  • Some on-campus jobs require you to have work-study funding. F-1 and J-1 students are not eligible for federal work study jobs.
  • Network! Learn about jobs and openings through other people on campus. Contact friends, classmates and professors to inquire whether they are aware of any open positions. Let them know you are looking for a job if any available employment opens in the future.
  • Be professional and polite. Always smile and ask in a kind manner.

What do I need to do after I find a job?

Your next steps after you find a job depend on whether you have a Social Security Number (SSN).

  • If you do not have a SSN, refer to the OISS Publication obtaining a social security number, for complete instructions.
  • Please note: you cannot apply for a Social Security Number until at least 10 days after your initial arrival to the Unites States. You must have completed the OISS check-in process and received a continuing I-20 before you can apply for a SSN.
  • If you already have a SSN, refer to the OISS Publication I-9 Processing for F1 and J1 visa holders [PDF] for complete instructions.
  • If you are a J-1 student, your work authorization must be included in your SEVIS immigration record. Please bring your offer letter to an OISS advisor for this.

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