Fact Sheet: On-campus Employment for International (F1/J1) Students

General Information

On-campus employment is a benefit of an international (F1/J1) student. International students seeking on-campus employment are responsible for securing employment on their own merit. Students are advised to visit campus departments, service areas such as food courts, etc. and apply in person. On-campus employment generally includes student assistant positions, teaching assistantships, and graduate assistantships. On-campus employment must either be performed on the school's premises, (including on-location commercial firms which provide services for students on campus, such as the school bookstore or cafeteria), or at an off-campus location which is educationally affiliated with the school. Employment with on-site commercial firms, such as a construction company building a school building, which do not provide direct student services, is not deemed on-campus employment.

In the case of a transfer in SEVIS, the student may only engage in on-campus employment at the school having jurisdiction over the student's SEVIS record.

F–1 student's who enter the U.S. on an "Initial" I-20 may not begin on-campus employment more than 30 days prior to the actual start of classes.

Application Procedure

  1. Apply for a job on-campus.
  2. Once you are hired, check-in with the Human Resources Office (located in University Hall, Room 165) to pick-up your New Hire Sign-in Packet.
  3. Then, visit the International & Exchange Student Center (IESC) (located in the University Student Union, Building C) to get a Verification of International Student Status Form signed by a Foreign Student Advisor.
  4. Student will return the completed Verification of International Student Status Form to the Office of Human Resources within three days from starting work with the hiring department as a part of their completed New Hire Sign-in Packet.

Eligibility Requirements

  • All international students seeking on-campus work authorization must be in correct F-1/ J-1 immigration status.
  • Undergraduate students must maintain a GPA of 2.0 and graduate students must have a GPA of 3.0.

Social Security Number (SSN)

  • All individuals who will be employed in the United States must have a SSN.
  • Students who do not have a SSN must first apply for one at the Social Security Administration.
  • Newly admitted students who wish to work on-campus in their first semester must check-in with their foreign student advisor FIRST to ensure that their SEVIS records are activated before they apply for a SSN.

How to apply for a SSN:

  1. Student must request an On-Campus Employment Verification Letter from IESC. This letter will verify that the applicant is an international student that has been authorized to work on campus.
  2. Student must submit to IESC a copy of their on-campus employment offer letter along with their On-Campus Employment Verification Letter Request. The offer letter must include the Employer Identification number (EIN). A sample letter may be obtained from http://www.csun.edu/international
  3. The student must take both letters along with their CSUN Form I-20 and valid passport (which includes their student visa and their I-94 arrival/departure card) to the local Social Security Administration (SSA) office to apply for a SSN.
  4. Students may go back to the SSA office within three days to ask if they have been issued a number. If they have, the SSA will give the student a printout with their SSN number on it. The student will receive their Social Security card in the mail in about 10 business days.

Note: It may take from 3 days to a month to obtain a SSN. SSA will not process an application for a SSN if it is more than 30 days in advance of the scheduled employment start date.


  • International students are eligible to work on-campus on a part time basis, which is 20 hours per week or less when school is in session.
  • During vacation periods (summer and winter), if you are eligible and intend to register for the next semester, you may work on campus for 21 hours or more, which is defined by the USCIS as full-time employment.
  • The on-campus work permits have expiration dates and must be renewed prior to expiration.
  • Students who fall out of status are not eligible to work on-campus. They must immediately stop working so that they do not accrue unauthorized employment time.

Please contact your Foreign Student Advisor if you have additional questions.