Employment Information for F-1 Students | Admission & Aid | Pepperdine University

Employment Information for F-1 Students

In order to maintain a valid F-1 status, a student must not work in the United States, unless the employment is specifically authorized under the regulations. Any unauthorized employment by F-1 students constitutes a failure to maintain status and will result in termination of the student's SEVIS record and F-1 status. The student must obtain an authorization from his/her DSO before engaging in any type of work (paid or unpaid). Four types of employment opportunities are available for F-1 students.

Employment Categories

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.
  • A Social Security Number (SSN) is required in order to receive payment and report your income to the US government agencies for tax purposes. See instructions below.

Instructions

  • Upon securing your job, contact the Student Employment Office (310-506-4177) to request a letter addressed to the US Social Security Administration (SSA). Please wait 24 hours before pickup.
  • Contact the Office of International Student Services  (310-506-4246) to request a letter  addressed to the  US Social Security Administration. Please wait 24 hours before pickup. Bring the letter from the Student Employment Office with you. If you wish to have the letter mailed to you, send a copy of the letter from Student Employment to the OISS.
  • Follow the instructions on the Social Security Administration website on how to apply for a SSN. Obtain a letter or receipt from the SSA, so that you may work while your SSN application is being processed. NOTE: You cannot apply for a SSN more that 30 days before the employment start date. Bring the following items:
  • Passport
  • Form I-20 & Form I-94
  • Letters you obtained from the Student Employment Office and the Office of International Student Services.

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

  • Student Employment Office
  • Payroll office

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 students if the employment is an integral part of an established curriculum and if the position directly relates to the major area of study.
  • Final internship employment authorization is granted 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 (up to 20 hours per week).
  • Twelve or more months of full-time CPT will make you ineligible for optional practical training(OPT).

Optional Practical Training (OPT)

 

  • Optional practical training (OPT) is an opportunity for F-1 students to obtain temporary employment authorization for practical training in a position that is directly related to their major area of study.
  • An application for OPT is filed with the United States Department of Homeland Security and requires careful timing, planning and compliance with federal regulations. Read carefully each page of each section in the OPT Manual, which provides the information and instructions you will need.
  • You should begin the process of applying for OPT about 4 months prior to your program end date. The OISS recommends that you read the OPT Manual as early as possible in order to take full advantage of the benefits and options available to you.

U.S. Social Security Number

U.S. Social Security Number

General Information

  • An F-1 student who obtains employment authorization in the United States (U.S.) under the provisions of the F-1 regulations must apply for a Social Security Number (SSN) to report income and pay the required taxes to the U.S. government.
  • The SSN is not required for other purposes, such as opening a bank account or renting an apartment off campus. To establish your identity, banks will ask for a taxpayer identification number, such as a SSN. In the absence of a SSN, you may provide a passport number. If you are asked for a SSN by a prospective landlord, cell phone company, or other private businesses, you may provide alternate evidence of your identity and records of your financial transactions.
  • Do not apply for a SSN until you have fulfilled the initial reporting requirement at the Office of International Student Services (OISS) to have your SEVIS record activated, and until you have obtained the necessary employment-authorization documents.

How long will it take to get a SSN?

This depends on how long it takes for the Social Security Administration (SSA) to verify your immigration documents before assigning a SSN. If the SSA receives immediate online verification from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), your SSN will arrive in about 2 weeks.

WARNING: Do not become a victim of identity theft.

Do not provide your SSN, credit card information, password, or other personal information through unverified, unsecured sites on the Internet or over the telephone. If someone has misused your SSN or other personal information to create credit or other problems for you, the SSA cannot resolve these problems. You should contact the Federal Trade Commission at or call 1-877-IDTHEFT (1-877-438-4338).

You also should monitor your credit report periodically. Free credit reports are available online at www.annualcreditreport.com.

How To  Apply

Follow the instructions on the Social Security Administration website on how to apply for a Social Security Number. NOTE: You cannot apply for a SSN more than 30 days before the employment start date.
Take the following documents with you to the SSA office:

  • Passport
  • Form I-20 & Form I-94
  • Documentary evidence of employment authorization

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

For More Information
www.ssa.gov

For more information:

United States Code of Federal Regulations, Title 8, Sec. 214.2(f)
www.studyinthestates.dhs.gov