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Employing International Students

Many international students are eligible to work on campus during their academic program, but it is important that they abide by employment regulations set by federal regulations in order to maintain their immigration status. Unauthorized employment is a serious violation of status and can result in a student being asked to leave the country.

On-Campus Employment Eligibility

Students in good academic standing and in valid F-1 or J-1 status are generally eligible to work on campus up to 20 hours per week while classes are in session and more than 20 hours per week during the student's vacation term. The total number of hours worked for all on-campus jobs cannot exceed these limits, so you should ask if a student is currently employed in another office during the hiring process. If the student is graduating in summer quarter and has been authorized to drop below full-time status, he can still only work a maximum of 20 hours per week since summer is not considered a vacation term in this situation.

Employment Authorization Letter for J-1 Students

Students in J-1 status must request an employment authorization letter from their program sponsor before engaging in any on-campus employment. If DU is the program sponsor, the student may request a letter from International Student and Scholar Services. If DU is not the program sponsor, the student must contact the sponsor directly to request a letter. The program sponsor is listed on the student's form DS-2019.

Social Security Number

Students in F-1 and J-1 status who do not already have a Social Security number (SSN) that is valid for employment must apply for an SSN at the start of employment. To apply for an SSN, the student must submit the following documents to a Social Security Administration office at least ten days after his arrival in the United States:

  • Form SS-5, Application for a Social Security Card
  • Valid passport
  • Form I-20 (F-1 students) or DS-2019 (J-1 students)
  • I-94 arrival/departure card
  • Employment offer letter from current or prospective on-campus employer. The letter must be on DU letterhead, state the name and job title of the student employee, and be signed by the DU employer. Please review the sample employment letter below for more information.
  • Certification letter from International Student and Scholar Services verifying employment eligibility.

Additional Resources