Employment for International Students
F-1 and J-1 students are eligible to work on campus while attending classes as early as the first year of study. The work does not need to be related to the individual student’s field of study. Students must maintain legal F-1 or J-1 status while engaging in on-campus employment. While classes are in session, students can work up to 20 hours per week. During vacation periods, students may work on campus full time, up to 40 hours per week.
All student employment positions on campus are posted through Handshake, which is run by our Breen Center for Career and Professional Development. If you do not have a résumé and one is required with your job application, please contact the Breen Center at email@example.com or by stopping into their office in Lebegern Learning Commons in the Mund College Center.
Students cannot work off campus unless a student can prove an unexpected economic hardship. Each request for off-campus employment must be first vetted through the Center for Global Education. Students who want to work off campus must obtain either OPT or CPT authorization, and the work must relate to their field of study. CPT and OPT can only be obtained after one full year of academic study for undergraduate students. MBA students can begin CPT within their first year with the proper authorization.
- Enrollment in a full course of study during the academic year (at least 12 credits per semester for undergraduates; 9 credits graduate)
- Working no more than 20 hours per week on campus during the academic year
- Working up to 40 hours per week on campus during vacation periods (winter and summer breaks)
- Receiving an Employment Offer Letter from employer and verifying it with the Center for Global Education
- Requesting a Letter of Support from the Center for Global Education
- Working only within the time frame of completing requirements for your degree
- Successfully obtaining a Social Security Number (SSN)
Documents for Social Security Card Application Process
- Form I-20 or DS-2019 (original)
- Employment Offer Letter (stipulating start date, hours of work per week, type of work, responsibilities, address, etc).
- Letter of Support from the Center for Global Education
- Valid passport (along with old passport if it contains your F-1 visa)
- Printout of your electronic I-94 information
- Form SS-5 (SS Application)
Obtaining a Social Security Number
Please take all of the required documents to a Social Security Office. Please give yourself at least two hours, in case the office is busy, as appointments cannot be made ahead of time. The closest Social Security Office is located in Lebanon, Pa., at this address: 924 Russell Drive Lebanon, Pa. 17042. If you have any questions, you can call 1-800-325-0778. The office is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m.–4 p.m. with the exception of Wednesday, when it is open from 9 a.m.–noon. Social security offices are not open on weekends.
You can begin work (and be paid) while you wait for your SSN to be issued by providing the SSN application receipt to your employer. However, you must have applied for a SSN if you are employed in the U.S. or if you have received and plan to accept an offer of employment in the U.S.
Students and scholars must wait at least 10 days after the initial entry into the U.S to begin the SSN application process. The Social Security Administration must receive its database update from the ports of entry before the application can be accepted. Additionally, applications cannot begin more than 30 days before the employment start date.
All students in F-1 status who are non-resident aliens for tax purposes are required to submit a tax return form to the Internal Revenue Service if they have any U.S. source income (other than bank interest). A SSN or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) is required on Internal Revenue Service (IRS) tax return forms. Please visit LVC’s Business Office for additional information regarding these requirements.