International Student On-Campus Employment
There are a variety of benefits to working on-campus but it is important to understand the immigration regulations and campus policies surrounding on-campus employment for international students. International students in F-1 and J-1 status are eligible to accept on-campus employment provided they are meeting full-time enrollment requirements and otherwise maintaining status.
F-1 students can accept on-campus employment immediately and without any additional authorization from the Office of International Services.
J-1 EV Students must obtain authorization from their immigration sponsor prior to beginning on-campus employment. J-1 EV Students sponsored by UIC will work with the Office of International Services to obtain on-campus work authorization according to the information below. Students sponsored by third-party organizations must consult with their program sponsor regarding their on-campus work eligibility and process to obtain authorization. Learn more about Non-UIC Sponsored J-1 Exchange Visitors.
Definition of on-campus employment Heading link
On-campus employment includes working as a teaching or research assistant, as well as student hourly jobs in administrative offices, residence halls, libraries, dining facilities, labs, recreational facilities, etc. On-campus employment can also include jobs with private companies that provide on-location services to UIC students. Examples include jobs at restaurants in Student Center East and Student Center West or the Starbucks in Academic and Residential Complex (ARC). UIC is a large institution with many public-private partnerships. If you have any doubts about whether a job is considered on-campus employment, please reach out to an OIS Advisor for confirmation prior to engaging in any work.
Time considerations Heading link
F-1 and J-1 international students can work up to 20 hours per week while school is in session and over 20 hours per week during official university breaks. These limits take into account all employment, including off-campus experiences authorized by F-1 curricular practical training (CPT) or J-1 academic training (AT). On-campus employment cannot continue beyond the end date listed on your Form I-20 or Form DS-2019.
Assistantship equivalencies Heading link
|Appointment %||Expected hours worked each week|
Where to find on-campus jobs Heading link
Student Employment Office
Student Employment (SEO) is the centralized service that assists UIC students in finding jobs. They should be your first stop when looking for on-campus, student-hourly positions. Utilize Handshake, their online portal to search on-campus job listings and apply. Note that Student Employment and Handshake may list jobs that you are not authorized to accept such as off-campus opportunities or positions requiring Federal Work Study.
Colleges, graduate programs, administrative offices, and research centers appoint graduate students as teaching (TA), research (RA), or graduate assistants (GA). Students apply for and obtain most assistantships through their graduate programs.
Tips for landing an on-campus job Heading link
- Don’t get discouraged – On-campus jobs and assistantships can be competitive, especially for first year students. Keep searching, keep applying, and keep networking. Your opportunity will appear.
- Utilize resources – Career Services can support you at all points of your job search including resume reviews, interview advice, and more. You can also visit specialized career centers located within specific schools and colleges.
- Be on time – Punctuality is valued in the U.S. Arrive a few minutes early to appointments and interviews to communicate your respect for the employer and your enthusiasm for the job.
- Follow up – After an interview, send a follow up email or note to thank the interviewer for the opportunity to learn more about the job and express your enthusiasm for the position.
- Work your network – Ask senior students how they landed their on-campus job and if they are aware of any open positions. Let your advisors, teachers, and staff members know that you are looking for an on-campus job and would appreciate any tips or referrals.
After you are hired Heading link
J-1 EV Student On-Campus Work Authorization
If you are a J-1 EV Student, you must report your on-campus job to your immigration sponsor and obtain authorization for the employment on your DS-2019 prior to your first day of work. If you are a J-1 EV Student sponsored by UIC, submit the On-Campus Employment E-Form in myOIS. If you are sponsored by a third-party organization such as IIE, please contact your sponsor directly to confirm your on-campus employment eligibility and the process to obtain authorization.
Employment eligibility verification
Once you are hired for an on-campus job, you will need to complete employment eligibility verification paperwork and other onboarding processes. If you are hired for an on-campus, student hourly position, this process will be managed by Student Employment. If you are offered an assistantship, the process will be managed by the academic department that hired you.
Your earnings resulting from your on-campus job are taxable income in the U.S. You may qualify for an exemption if your home country has a treaty with the U.S. Schedule a Foreign National Tax Status Review Appointment with the Office of Business and Financial Services to ensure that you are being taxed at the appropriate rate. Then, learn more about your responsibility to file a U.S. tax return each April.
Social Security Number
If your new on-campus job is your first job in the U.S., you will be required to apply for a Social Security Number or SSN. Learn more about what an SSN is and how to apply.
FAQs Heading link
Here are some frequently asked questions about on-campus employment for F-1 international students.
Do I need to report my on-campus job to OIS?
If you are a J-1 EV Student, yes, you need to report your employment to OIS and obtain authorization on your DS-2019 prior to your first day of work. Log into myOIS and submit the On-Campus Employment Authorization E-Form.
If you are an F-1 student, you do not need to report your employment to OIS.
Can I work more that 20 hours during school breaks?
Yes, on official university breaks like summer, winter, and spring break, F-1 students may work more than 20 hours per week.
Do I need an SSN to work on-campus?
You do not need a U.S. Social Security Number (SSN) to apply for on-campus jobs but you will need to obtain one after you have secured employment and begun working.
Is UI Health considered on-campus?
This can vary from position to position, please contact OIS at firstname.lastname@example.org to confirm that your position qualifies as on-campus employment before starting work.
What about off-campus employment?
International students in F-1 or J-1 status must obtain authorization from their sponsor prior to engaging in any off-campus work. In most cases, the work must be connected to their academic program.
Enrolled F-1 students who need to participate in an off-campus internship, fieldwork, practicum, or rotation required by their academic program can apply for F-1 Curricular Practical Training (CPT). F-1 students who wish to gain post-graduation work experience in jobs related to their field of study can apply for F-1 Optional Practical Training (OPT).
J-1 EV Students interested in gaining off-campus work experience related to their field of study, either during or after their academic program, must obtain J-1 Academic Training (AT) authorization. J-1 EV Students sponsored by UIC will work with OIS to obtain this authorization. Students sponsored by third-party organizations like IIE must consult with their program sponsor about eligibility and application processes.