F-1 Student Employment
F-1 students enrolled full-time (12 credits undergraduate, 9 credits graduate) are allowed to work on-campus 20 hours per week during the Fall and Spring semester. All on-campus work, including assistantships, is limited to a combined total of 20 hours per week during the Fall and Spring Semesters. F-1 students may work on-campus 40 hours per week during annual vacation and breaks only.
J-1 Student Employment
J-1 Students need written permission from their program sponsor to work on-campus. This permission must be requested for each on-campus job for each semester you will be employed. All on-campus work, including assistantships, is limited to a combined total of 20 hours per week during the Fall and Spring Semesters. If USF is the sponsor of your DS-2019 follow the steps below to obtain written permission to work on-campus:
- Bring employment letter to International Services
- Complete International Service’s SEVIS Record Update Form for J-1 Report of Employment
- Return in 5 business days to pick up your authorization letter
- Take authorization letter to your employer prior to starting employment
Note: written authorization is not needed if employment is listed on DS-2019
On-campus Employment is Limited to
Work on the school grounds where the student is employed directly by the I-20 issuing institution (USF)
Work on the school premises, where the student is employed by a commercial firm which provides essential services to students. Some examples of these on-campus commercial firms are Aramark, Barnes and Noble (USF Bookstore), or Pollo Tropical.*
*If the position is on the USF campus, but not paid with a USF check, please ask IS before you accept the offer of employment.
How to Find a Job On-Campus
The best ways to find a position on-campus is through:
Your department or college can also be a good resource for finding an on-campus position. If you are interested in working with one of the on-campus commercial firms, you may want to visit their establishment to see how they post openings.
Please note that international students do not qualify for Federal Work Study (FWS) positions.
International students can volunteer on campus in a volunteer position. A volunteer position cannot be a position that is normally a paid position.
Guidelines for Seeking On-Campus Employment at USF:
- Bring a one-page resume with you to each interview
- Dress professionally and speak with your employer about their specific workplace dress code
- Below are some examples
- Long pants for and appropriate shirts for men
- Dresses or slacks and appropriate shirts for woman
- Pay attention to personal hygiene
- Do not wear low-cut blouses or dresses
- Do not wear shorts
- Do not wear sandals or flip flops
- Wait to be called in for your appointment; do not walk into someone's office uninvited.
- After you submit your application, you must wait to be contacted by the employer
- DO NOT return to the employer or call the employer on a regular basis (this could be seen as harassment in this culture)
- An offer letter will only be given to you if a position is available and you are one of the candidates being considered.
- If a position is offered to you, you MUST report to the job as instructed
- If for some reason you cannot accept the job, it is courteous to call, send a letter, or e-mail the employer to explain why you are unable to accept the position
- If you accept the job offer, you are expected to report to work on time, follow the rules of the office or workplace, and always contact your supervisor if you are unable to come to work
- Businesses count on their employees, so it is important to work the hours that you agree to work.
- If you wish to leave a job, it is proper to write an official resignation letter to your supervisor two weeks prior to leaving
- Do not accept an offer of off-campus employment without seeing an IS advisor first to make sure you won't be in violation of immigration laws
Obtaining a Social Security Card
Students must have a receipt from Social Security or the actual Social Security Number prior to their employment start date.
Here is how a student may obtain his/her Social Security Number (SSN):
- Enroll for full-time courses
- Get a job offer from an on-campus job
- Bring the job offer letter to IS and complete the ‘green’ action form requesting a letter for Social Security
- IS will write a letter for you to bring to the Social Security office.
- You must go to the SSN office (IS will give you a map)
- Submit the letter from IS, job offer letter and SSN application to the SSN office
- The SSN office will mail you the SSN card in about a month
Additional information about Social Security Numbers:
- Security Checks can delay the card
- The SSN is for employment purposes only
- It is FRAUD to seek a job offer with no intention of taking the job
- USF departments will contact IS if they write an offer letter and the student does not show up at the job
Information for University Units
For information about employing an international student please see Hiring International Students