Employment as an International Student
For the purposes of maintaining your F-1 or J-1 status, employment can be considered any task performed for which you receive (or should receive) compensation.
There are certain times when your status allows you to work. It is important to make sure that you always have all of the necessary paperwork completed before you begin employment.
- On-Campus Employment
- Off-Campus Employment for F-1 Status Students
- Off-Campus Employment for J-1 Status Students
At Beloit College, employment is considered to be on-campus when your employer is Beloit College. You may find available on-campus jobs at the Student Job Opportunities page.
Regulations for F-1 and J-1 status students limit the total hours you work each week to 20 hours. This means that if you work more than one job on campus, you will need to be careful to keep track of how many hours you are working.
- F-1 Status Students: Your valid I-20 is your proof of eligibility to work on campus.
- J-1 Status Students: You must have written authorization for each job that you have on campus. After you find a job, please come see the International Student Advisor. You will either receive the authorization directly from the International Student Advisor or the International Student Advisor will help you to submit the request for authorization to ISEP.
Payroll, Social Security, and Taxes
- Before you begin working, you will need to go to the Payroll office at 726 Church Street to complete important paperwork.
- You will also need to apply for a U.S. Social Security Number if you do not already have one. This is done at the Social Security Administration Office in Janesville, WI. Please see the International Student Advisor for information on planning a trip to the Social Security Office.
- In the spring of each year, you will have to file taxes with the Internal Revenue Service about the money you earned. Please watch your email for a message from the Payroll Office with instructions on how to file your tax forms.
Off-campus employment (any employment that is not on-campus) always requires special permission. The most common types of off-campus authorizations for F-1 status students are:
Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
Authorization granted for internships or other for-credit employment that is part of your program of study. CPT is granted for paid and unpaid opportunities. Visit the Curricular Practical Training information page for more details.
Optional Practical Training (OPT)
Authorization granted by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services for employment opportunities related to your program of study but not for credit. This is an authorization that is also available following graduation.
OPT may be granted for paid or unpaid opportunities.
Visit the Optional Practical Training information page for more details.
Authorization granted during studies or immediately following studies for participation in internships or other training opportunities directly related to student's program of study.
Visit the Academic Training information page for more details.
Regulations governing employment for F-1 and J-1 status students can be found in the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations in the following sections:
- 8 C.F.R. 214.2 (f)(9) [F-1 Employment]
- 8 C.F.R. 214.2 (f)(10) [F-1 Practical Training]
- 22 C.F.R. 62.23(g) [J-1 Employment other than Academic Training]
- 22 C.F.R. 62.23(f) [J-1 Academic Training]