This page explains how "on-campus employment" is defined by U.S. immigration, which is different in some important respects from commonly held definitions—conditions which must exist for employment to be lawful and employment regulations which cover special circumstances. Please consult the ISSS staff if you have questions about this topic.
Jobs Which Qualify as On-Campus Employment
On-Campus Employment, School Transfer and Completion of Study
Foreign National Information Request
Employment Eligibility Verification
Social Security and Other Taxes
A Note of Caution
Failure to Comply with Federal Regulations
Further Information on Job Opportunities
In general, you may work on campus provided (1) you are maintaining F-1 status, (2) you do not work more than a total of 20 hours per week while school is in session and (3) you do not displace a U.S. resident. You may be employed full time during holidays and vacation periods, including summer vacations, provided you are eligible and intend to register for the next school term. The 20-hour-per-week limit on your employment while school is in session applies to all types of on-campus employment discussed in this section. A 20-hour-per-week graduate assistantship, for example, would exhaust your academic year on-campus work eligibility.
On-campus work performed for the school is usually acceptable, whether it is employment in a department, the gym, dining halls, library or work required by an assistantship. These positions are usually listed as “College Roll” at Florida Tech.
Work performed on the school's grounds is "on-campus employment" as long as the employer provides direct services to students. For example, employment in the school bookstore, which provide direct services to students, is acceptable even if it is operated by a private, commercial firm. Work for a construction company that is erecting a campus building is not acceptable since the construction company does not provide direct student services.
Students transferring from one school to another may only engage in on-campus employment at the school having jurisdiction over the student's SEVIS record. For this reason, it is critical for transfers to be closely coordinated between the international office of the current school and the new school. Please note that if you do not intend to continue further study in the United States, you may not be employed on campus after you have completed a program of study unless you have applied for and been granted written permission to engage in a type of employment the USCIS calls "optional practical training."
If you are considered a Nonresident Alien (NRA) by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and become employed by Florida Tech or are a student with taxable scholarships, you will be subject to entering personal information into a software provided by the university called Foreign National Information System (FNIS).
The Controller's Office will enter information into FNIS which will generate an email to you with a link to the system and your user ID and password. The email will be sent to your @my.fit.edu email. Please check your @my.fit.edu email account for this email. After you have completed the information, please send an email to email@example.com stating that you have completed this process.
Click here for detailed instructions on how to complete the FNIS Request.
When you begin work, you and your employer must complete a form entitled "Employment Eligibility Verification" (Form I-9). The I-9 must be updated each time you renew your work permission. Instructions for filling out the I-9 are available from Human Resources.
In general, F-1 students who have been in the United States less than five years are exempt from Social Security (F.l.C.A.) withholding.
The earnings of F-1 students are subject to applicable federal, state and local taxes, and these amounts should be withheld from paychecks. You must file an income tax return on or before April 15 of each year, which will determine if any of the withheld taxes can be reclaimed.
While immigration regulations provide a variety of opportunities for you to be employed during your time in F-1 status, working without authorization is a serious violation of your status. You should therefore consult with the ISSS staff before accepting any employment.
It is your responsibility to comply with all immigration and employment regulations which apply to F-1 students. Failure to comply with these regulations could result in serious consequences.
Additional information on employment opportunities is available from the Career Management Services Office. You can also view "Job Search for the International Student" for more information about on-campus employment, including FAQ's, job search tips, and a sample resume. Please contact ISSS for further counseling and assistance on all federal regulations related to maintaining your student status.