Employment Information for F-1 Students

On-Campus Employment

  • On-campus employment must either be performed on the school's premises (including on-location commercial firms which provide direct services for students on campus, such as the school bookstore or cafeteria), or at an off-campus location which is educationally affiliated with the school. In the case of off-campus locations, the educational affiliation must be associated with the school's established curriculum or related to contractually funded research projects at the post-graduate level.
  • Employment located on-campus that does not directly involve services to students (such as construction work) does not qualify as on-campus employment.
  • An F-1 student may engage in any on-campus employment which will not displace United States residents.
  • On-campus employment must not exceed 20 hours a week while school is in session. An F-1 student may, however, work on campus full time when school is not in session or during the annual vacation.
  • Upon initial entry to begin a new course of study, an F-1 student may not begin on-campus employment more than 30 days prior to the actual start of classes.
  • In the case of a school transfer, the student may only engage in on-campus employment at the school having jurisdiction over the student's SEVIS record.
  • If the student engages in any unauthorized employment or works hours in excess of those allowed, his or her SEVIS record will be terminated, and the student may have to leave the United States.
  • After following the procedures outlined in the Student Employment section (http://www.pepperdine.edu/studentemployment/), you must follow these steps in order to obtain a US Social Security Number (SSN). A SSN is required in order to  receive payment and report your income to the US government agencies for tax purposes. 

Steps for On-Campus Employment

Step 1 - Contact Student Employment Office

Contact the Student Employment Office by phone (310-506-4177) or by email (student.employment@pepperdine.edu) to request a letter to take to the Social Security Administration (SSA). The letter must include the following information:

  • Identity of student employee
  • Nature of job the student is, or will be, engaged in
  • Anticipated or actual employment start date
  • Number of hours the student is expected to work
  • Employer Identification Number (EIN)
  • Name and telephone number of immediate supervisor
  • Original signature and signatory’s title
  • Date

Step 2 - Contact Office of International Student Services

Contact the Office of International Student Services (OISS) by phone (310-506-4246) or by email (oiss@pepperdine.edu) to request a letter to take to the Social Security Administration (SSA). If you are picking up the letter, bring the letter from Student Employment with you. If you wish to have the letter mailed to you, send a copy of the letter from Student Employment to the OISS. Allow 24 hours for processing.

Step 3 - Register in SEVIS

Before going to a U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) office, be sure you have been "registered" in SEVIS by the DSO and that your on-campus work will not begin more than 30 days after your SSN application date. Locate an SSA office near you at www.ssa.gov. Bring:

  • Passport
  • Form I-20 & Form I-94
  • Letters you obtained from the Student Employment Office and the Office of International Student Services. 

Obtain a letter or receipt from the SSA, so that you may work while your SSN application is being processed.

Step 4 - Schedule Appointment - Student Employment Office

Schedule an appointment at the Student Employment Office (310-506-4177) to fill out employment and tax paperwork. Bring:

  • Passport
  • Form I-20 & Form I-94
  • Letter or receipt from the SSA

Step 5 - Schedule Appointment - Payroll Office

Schedule an appointment at the Payroll Office (310-506-4636) to fill out employment and tax paperwork. Bring:

  • Passport
  • Form I-20 & Form I-94
  • Letter or receipt from the SSA

Step 6 - Sign SSN Card

As soon as you receive the SSN card, sign the card and bring original to:

  • Student Employment Office
  • Payroll Office

Other Employment Opportunities

Employment Opportunities

On-Campus Employment

  • On-campus employment must either be performed on the school's premises (including on-location commercial firms which provide direct services for students on campus, such as the school bookstore or cafeteria), or at an off-campus location which is educationally affiliated with the school. In the case of off-campus locations, the educational affiliation must be associated with the school's established curriculum or related to contractually funded research projects at the post-graduate level.
  • Employment located on-campus that does not directly involve services to students (such as construction work) does not qualify as on-campus employment.
  • An F-1 student may engage in any on-campus employment which will not displace United States residents.
  • On-campus employment must not exceed 20 hours a week while school is in session. An F-1 student may, however, work on campus full time when school is not in session or during the annual vacation.
  • Upon initial entry to begin a new course of study, an F-1 student may not begin on-campus employment more than 30 days prior to the actual start of classes.
  • In the case of a school transfer, the student may only engage in on-campus employment at the school having jurisdiction over the student's SEVIS record.
  • If the student engages in any unauthorized employment or works hours in excess of those allowed, his or her SEVIS record will be terminated, and the student may have to leave the United States.
  • After following the procedures outlined in the Student Employment section (http://www.pepperdine.edu/admission/student-life/employment/), you must follow these steps in order to obtain a US Social Security Number (SSN). A SSN is required in order to receive payment and report your income to the US government agencies for tax purposes. See steps below.

Off Campus Employment


Off-Campus Employment due to Severe Economic Hardship

An eligible F–1 student may request off-campus employment authorization due to severe economic hardship caused by unforeseen circumstances beyond the student's control. These circumstances may include loss of financial aid or on-campus employment without fault on the part of the student; substantial fluctuations in the value of currency or exchange rate; inordinate increases in tuition and/or living costs; unexpected changes in the financial condition of the student's source of support; medical bills; or other substantial and unexpected expenses.

The student must request a recommendation from the Designated School Official (DSO) for off-campus employment. The DSO may recommend the student for off-campus work by certifying that:

  • The student has been in F–1 status for one full academic year
  • The student is in good standing as a student and is carrying a full course of study.
  • The student has demonstrated that acceptance of employment will not interfere with the student's carrying a full course of study.
  • The student has demonstrated that the employment is necessary to avoid severe economic hardship due to unforeseen circumstances beyond the student's control and has demonstrated that on-campus employment is unavailable or otherwise insufficient to meet the needs that have arisen as a result of the unforeseen circumstances.

The application for employment authorization must be filed on Form I–765, with the required fee, to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). If the application is denied, no appeal may be filed. The employment authorization may be granted in one-year intervals up to the expected date of completion of the student's current course of study. The employment authorization is automatically terminated whenever the student fails to maintain status.

For more information:

United States Code of Federal Regulations, Title 8, Sec. 214.2(f)(p)(ii)
www.ssa.gov
www.irs.gov

Curricular Practical Training (CPT)


Curricular practical training is available to undergraduate and graduate level students if the employment is an integral part of an established curriculum and if the position directly relates to the major area of study.

Important Information

  • Final internship approval/employment authorization is granted only by your Designated School Official (DSO). Unauthorized work will result in termination of your SEVIS record and F1-status, leaving you illegally present in the United States.
  • You may not begin work until the DSO has authorized your internship employment.
  • You must be enrolled in a Pepperdine course in order to participate in CPT.
  • You will only be authorized for CPT for the catalog-published term dates of the course. You may not work before or after those term dates!
  • CPT may be paid or unpaid.
  • CPT may be full-time (20+ hours per week) or part time (20- hours per week).
  • Twelve or more months of full-time CPT will make you ineligible for OPT (Optional Practical Training).

Optional Practical Training (OPT)

  • Optional practical training (OPT) is an opportunity for F-1 students to obtain temporary off-campus employment in their major area of study. A specific job offer is not needed to apply for OPT, but the employment must be directly related to your major area of study.
  • You may be granted a maximum of 12 months of OPT in one educational level, and you may apply for another 12 months of OPT in a higher educational level. For example, if you were granted 12 months of OPT in conjunction with a bachelor's degree, you may apply for another 12 months of OPT for a master's degree.
  • You may split your 12 months into pre-completion and post-completion OPT, but you must file the applications separately.
  • An application for Pre-completion OPT applications may be submitted as early as 90 days prior to completing one full academic year. For example, if you enrolled in the fall term, you may submit an application for OPT 90 days prior to the end of the subsequent spring term to be able to receive work authorization in time to begin employment in the summer. Pre-completion OPT may only be authorized part-time (up to 20 hours a week) while school is in session. Part-time pre-completion OPT is deducted from the available 12 months of OPT at one-half the full-time rate. For example, if you receive 12 months of part-time pre-completion OPT, only 6 months will be deducted, leaving 6 months of full-time OPT after completion of study.
  • An application for post-completion OPT must be received by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) no later than 60 days after your program end date.  You should file the application as early as possible, but not more than 90 days before the program end date.   Begin the application procedure outlined in the OPT Manual one month before filing your application for OPT with the USCIS.

For more information:

United States Code of Federal Regulations, Title 8, Sec. 214.2(f)(10)(ii)

www.uscis.gov

http://www.ice.gov/sevis/operating-instructions/

For more information:

United States Code of Federal Regulations, Title 8, Sec. 214.2(f)(9)(i)
www.ice.gov
www.ssa.gov
www.irs.gov

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