Employment Options Available to International students:
Social Security Information For F-1 Students
Social Security Information For J-1 Students
Am I eligible to work in the U.S. with an F-1 or J-1 status?
Yes, once you are matriculated and registered on a full time basis as an F-1 or J-1 Exchange Visitor student in school, you may work up to 20 hours a week while school is in session and full-time during breaks.
What kind of job can I get?
All F-1 and J-1 students are eligible for an on-campus job (on all CUNY campuses); undergraduate students who spent more than two semesters in a U.S. school and declared a major, and all graduate students are eligible to obtain an off-campus job.
I decided I want to get an on-campus job, how do I do this?
In order to have an on-campus, or any other kind of job, you must have a social security number. If you don’t already have a social security number, you should
1. Find a job.
2. Ask your employer to give you a letter which indicates his /her intent to hire you and specifies the type of position.
3. Bring the letter to the International Students Office, where you will receive an introductory, letter from one of the International Students Advisors.
4. Visit a Social Security Administrative Office within your borough, with these two letters, an application form, valid passport, I-94 form, I-20 form, including a stamped SEVIS I-20, whether the SEVIS I-20 is from Hunter College or from a previous school and your Hunter transcript.
5. Once you receive a receipt that you have applied for a social security number, you may show it to your employer and begin working.
Where can I find an on-campus job?
Consult an updated list of job openings available. Feel free to stop by the Office of Career Development in room 805 HE for additional assistance.
I am qualified for an off-campus job. What do I need to do?
Similar to the on-campus job procedure, a student needs to find a job and apply for a social security number subsequently. The off-campus job has to be related to the student’s major field of study.
Are there any special restrictions for an off-campus job I should be aware of?
An F-1 student may hold an off-campus employment in their respective "declared " major area of study for up to 22 months on a part time basis without any effect on his/her future employment permit after graduation also known as the Optional Practical Training (OPT) card or Employment Authorization Document ( EAD) .
Are there any special circumstances which would allow me to obtain an off-campus job that is not related to my major?
Under Severe Economic Hardship Employment Authorization, an F-1 or J-1 Exchange visitor student is allowed to work off-campus in a position that is not related to his /her major. This authorization allows the student to hold that job for up to 12 months (part time while school is in session), without being deducted from the OPT’s 12 month period, even if the number of months the student has held a job exceeds 12 after adding the CPT accumulated hours.
Severe economic hardship can be granted only in the event of unprecedented financial difficulties (e.g. inordinate increase in school tuition, devaluation of the currency from the country of citizenship, sudden death of sponsor, natural disaster).
Working While Studying in F-1 Status
For information on OPT or CPT please click here. If you are currently searching for a job you can create a profile with the Career Development Service on their ORION system and search the database there, be sure to select your Visa type under the section "Work Authorization".
F-1 international students are admitted to the United States for the purpose of attending school full-time. Still, F-1 students may work without violating their student status in the following circumstances
F-1 Student Employment Options
An introduction to employment issues and options for international students in F-1 status at Hunter College.
The most important employment issue to consider is legal (or "authorized") versus illegal (or "unauthorized") employment. Make sure that any employment you plan to engage in is legal, since illegal employment poses a grave threat to your ability to remain in or return to the United States. Also make sure you have the necessary employment authorization before you begin work. Starting work without prior authorization, even if you receive authorization later, constitutes illegal employment. Again, be aware that illegal, or unauthorized, employment renders you illegally present in the US and can have serious consequences. If you have any questions concerning your eligibility or category of employment, please consult with ISO before commencing employment.
Definition of Employment
Employment is any type of work performed or services provided in exchange for money, tuition, fees, books, supplies, room, food or any other benefit. If you receive no pay or other benefit for the work performed and the position is normally an unpaid position, this activity is considered to be volunteer work rather than paid employment.
Employment Eligibility Requirements
Different requirements exist for each type of F-1 employment, but there are basic requirements which must be met for any F-1 employment:
You must currently be in valid F-1 status and in good academic standing at the Hunter College while engaged in a full course of study, except during summer and school holidays.
A student who is out of status is not eligible for F-1 benefits, including employment.
Once employment is authorized, you must maintain your eligibility or you will lose your right to continue employment.
- See attached for more information on Employment Eligibility
Categories of F-1 Student Employment
F-1 students are generally permitted to work on the premises of the school that issued their currently valid I-20, while attending that school and maintaining their F-1 status. This work is part-time, limited to 20 hours per week when school is in session or full-time during holiday and vacation periods. Work on-campus is a benefit of F-1 visa status and no additional authorization is necessary. Work on one of City University campuses including Hunter College is permissible if it meets certain requirements. Please see the types below as defined by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS):
Type 1: Employment by Hunter College or another branch of City University of New York
This refers to any on-campus work for which you receive a paycheck (or other compensation, i.e. room and board) from the City University of New York.
Type 2: Other Employment on Hunter College or another unit within the City University’s premises
This includes work on Hunter College’s campus for an outside contractor if this work provides direct services to students. Please check with ISO if you plan to work for an on-campus contractor.
Type 3: Certain off-campus employment where there is an official educational relationship between Hunter and the off-campus employer
USCIS regulations allow work at an off-campus location provided the location is educationally affiliated with Hunter College
the educational affiliation is associated with your school's established curriculum or is related to a graduate level research project which your school has contracted to perform
the work is an integral or important part of your program of study
Clear documentation about the relationship between Hunter College and the employer is required. Please consult with an ISO advisor.
If you are uncertain whether any proposed employment would qualify as "on-campus" employment as described above, please consult with an ISO advisor.
Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
F-1 students may be eligible for CPT authorization for work experience that is a required or an integral component of the program of study. These experiences may include internships, student teaching, cooperative education programs and practical experiences which are a required part of the student's academic program, or for which academic credit is granted. Students authorized for CPT will receive a new SEVIS I-20 with the CPT notation. For more information on eligibility for CPT and application procedures, please see
Optional Practical Training (OPT)
F-1 students are eligible for a total of twelve months of Optional Practical Training (OPT) per educational level. OPT provides an opportunity to apply theoretical knowledge obtained in an academic program to a practical work experience in the US. This employment opportunity must be directly related to your major field of study. Eligible students may apply for "pre-completion OPT” (before completion of program) and/or "post-completion OPT” (after completion of program). Students do not need a job offer in order to apply for OPT. OPT requires the student to have authorization from USCIS before you can begin employment. This authorization can take up to 3 months to obtain. Students recommended for OPT will receive a new SEVIS I-20 with an OPT recommendation notation. For additional information, click here.
Internship with an International Organization
If an F-1 student is offered employment in the form of an internship by a recognized international organization, he or she may accept such employment upon receipt of authorization from USCIS. Examples of recognized international organizations include the United Nations, the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, etc. For more information, consult with an ISO advisor. For additional information, please see International Organization Information
F-1 students who experience a serious economic hardship due to an unforeseen change in their financial situation may qualify for off-campus employment authorization. Among the changes that may qualify a student for economic hardship authorization is unexpected loss of a scholarship, significant currency devaluation or large business loss by a financial sponsor. Students must be able to provide evidence of unforeseen economic hardship. For additional information, please see Economic Hardship Information
Volunteer Opportunities in New York City
For international students who wish to participate in volunteer work in any of New York’s five boroughs, the Mayor’s Volunteer Center (MVC) offers a great database listing hundreds of volunteer work opportunities. Bringing together individuals, corporations, government agencies and nonprofit organizations, the MVC seeks to connect people and facilitate meaningful volunteer opportunities with the goal of improving the quality of life in New York City. This is also a great opportunity for OPT students who wish to maintain their status. Indeed, international students on Optional Practical Training cannot maintain their status if they stay out of work for more than 3 months, and volunteer work can help them fulfill that requirement. Mayor’s Volunteer Center: www.nyc.gov/volunteer
The CUNY/311 Project is now accepting applications for part time employment from International students in legal F-1 immigration status. Both F-1 and J-1 students are eligible to work for the CUNY 311 project as On Campus Employment. F-1 and J-1 New Hires will be processed through E-Verify to verify the identity and employment eligibility of the hired employee. F-1 or J-1 visa holders can be offered employment before they receive work authorization, but are not allowed to work until work authorization is granted. In most cases, work authorization is granted by the Designated School Official (DSO), International Student Advisors Office, or authorized officer, including Alternate Responsible Officer. Please note that the CUNY 311 Project will not provide work authorization for F-1 and J-1 applicants. Visa holders are permitted to work up to a maximum of 20 hours per week while school is in session and full-time during the intercessions. In order to be hired and work for the Research Foundation, an F-1 and J-1 student must provide the following documents: http://www.hunter.cuny.edu/studentservices/is/employment#employment-eligibility-verification-of
Hunter College International students in following declared majors or in graduate and undergraduate level programs in the following disciplines are encouraged to apply: Accounting, Anthropology, Community Health Education, Computer Sciences, Counseling, Economics, Educational Psychology, English, Foreign Languages, Geography, History, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology, Statistics & Applied Math, Teaching English to Speakers of other Languages (TESOL), Urban Affairs, Urban Planning, Urban Studies, Women Studies.
Applications are available in Career Development Services (805 East). For more information visit the following web site: http://web.cuny.edu/jobs/student-jobs/jobs/311-proj.html
It is tax season again, come pick up your syntax password from the International Students Office
All non-immigrants and their dependents in F or J status are required by law to file an individual income tax return if they were physically present in the U.S. during the tax year. They must make this report even if they had no U.S. source of income. Please be aware that there are penalties for failure to file a tax return. Each individual’s situation varies. It is the responsibility of each international student to understand his or her own tax situation. Every year the International Students’ Office arranges a tax workshop, where students can obtain the necessary information
(New I-9 documentation, November, 2007)
F-1: Academic Students
Students demonstrating employment eligibility as F1 students must currently maintain Hunter College/ The City University of New York F-1 status. The student is eligible for on campus employment for a maximum of 20 hours per week during the academic year and over 20 hours per week during annual vacation (i.e. when classes are not in session).
To satisfy I-9 requirements - The student satisfies I-9 by providing the department with the following original documents (the documents below are all required to satisfy List A-doc#4):
Optional Practical Training (OPT)
An F-1 student with a valid Employment Authorization Document (EAD) either from Hunter College/ The City University of New York or another university is eligible for full or part time employment if it’s a non-clerical job and it is related to the F-1’s studies.
To satisfy I-9 requirements-(the document below will satisfy List A-doc#4):
Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
An F-1 student with an I-20 from Hunter College/ The City University of New York or another university is eligible for full (or part) time employment if the I-20 indicates CPT at Hunter College/ The City University of New York. The dates of employment and full/part time, and approved employment site are also noted on the back of the I-20 form. There is no EAD issued for CPT.
To satisfy I-9 requirements- (the documents below are all required to satisfy List A-doc#4):
J-1 Exchange Visitors- Students with a DS-2019 issued by Hunter College/ The City University of New York
Types of employment:
To satisfy I-9 requirements (students only)- The employee satisfies I-9 by providing the department with the following original documents (the documents below are all required to satisfy List A-doc#4):
J-1-Exchange Visitors-Faculty, Researcher, Short Term Scholar with a DS-2019 issued by Hunter College/ The City University of New York
To satisfy I-9 requirements – The employee satisfies I-9 by providing the department with the following original documents (the documents below are all required to satisfy List A-doc#4):
J-1-Exchange Visitors- Students, Faculty, Researcher, Short Term Scholar with a DS-2019 issued by another institution
| J-1 Academic Training (AT)
J-1 students may work under Academic Training following graduation for up to an 18 month period. They may also engage in AT for 20 hours a week while in school; 40 hours during holidays and vacation period. J-1 students should discuss the procedures for obtaining AT with their International Student Advisor (J-1 Responsible/Alternate Responsible Officer).