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On Campus Employment

International students in F-1 status are eligible to work on-campus without prior authorization from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). On-campus employment includes assistantships and other work on campus that is not considered work study. However, students are limited to 20 hours of work per week except for summer, winter break and spring break vacation periods during which time they are eligible to work up to 40 hours per week.

J-1 students in certain circumstances can also work on campus. They should first speak to someone in the OIP before accepting employment. If deemed eligible for on-campus employment, PRIOR authorization is required before beginning employment. Anyone in the F-2 immigration status is ineligible to accept employment (see Dependents below).

A work week is considered as Sunday at 12:00 a.m. to Saturday at 11:59 p.m. Please keep this in mind when your hours are scheduled.

It is very important to only work 20 hours or less per week during the academic year.  Please note that working more than 20 hours per week during the academic year (except winter and spring break) will result in termination of your F-1 or J-1 record resulting in your required departure from the United States.  If a violation occurs, we are notified by the NDSU Human Resources and Payroll Office.  At that time, you will be contacted and asked to meet with your international student advisor about your options.

Graduate Students

Many graduate students have assistantships during the academic year that are 20 hours per week, therefore, making them ineligible for additional work on-campus. However, if a graduate student has an assistantship that is 10 hours of work per week, then he/she is eligible for an additional 10 hours of work.


Many students have their spouse and children with them in the U.S. Spouses and children of F-1 or J-1 students are classified as F-2 or J-2 respectively. People in the F-2 category are NOT able to accept assistantships or any other type of employment. If an F-2 is offered an assistantship or other employment they must change their status to F-1 before they begin employment.

For the change of status, the F-2 should make an appointment with an adviser in the OIP in order to complete the paperwork. It may take up to 3 to 4 months for immigration to process the papers. Meanwhile, the F-2 must wait until the change of status to F-1 has been approved prior to beginning any employment. Once the F-2 has been granted an approval by USCIS to become an F-1, he/she cannot be paid for the time he/she was an F-2. The first day of payment should commence on the first day the student is an F-1.

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Documents needed for Working on Campus

  • Complete a W-4 and an I-9 form on or BEFORE the first working day. These forms are located in the Office of Human Resources/Payroll at the SGC Building, Suite #102, 1919 University Dr N.

  • Documentation you need to bring with you in order to complete the above forms.

    • Passport
    • Social Security card. You must have a social security number before a payroll check can be issued to you.
    • Individuals on a F-1 visa: bring your I-20 and I-94 card.

      • Individuals on F-2 visa status are not eligible to work.

    • Individuals on a J-1 visa bring your DS-2019 and I-94 card.

      • Before beginning your on-campus employment, it must be authorized in SEVIS. You must provide a copy of the offer letter to your international student advisor complete with dates of work, pay, and number of hours per week of work.  J-1 students sponsored by another organization such as IIE, Fulbright or ISEP, for example, must check with their sponsor to determine if they are eligible for on-campus employment.  Again, all J-1 on-campus employment authorization must be approved and entered on the DS-2019 PRIOR to beginning any on-campus employment.

    • Individuals on a J-2 visa bring your employment authorization card.
    • Individuals on a H-1 visa bring your I-797 notice of action form

      • Individuals on a H-4 visa status are not eligible to work.

    • F-1 students can work no more than 20 hrs a week while school is in session.

      • An individual who is on a graduate research assistantship or a graduate teaching assistantship and is being paid for 10 hours can work another 10 hours in another department, for example, because NDSU is considered one employer.
      • An individual who is a graduate research assistant or a graduate teaching assistant and is being paid for 20 hours can not work in another department.

    • Any time you have a change in your immigration status or you receive an extension on your stay, you need to bring in your new documentation to the Payroll Office.
    • If you have any questions please call the Payroll Office at (701) 231-8961.

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Office of International Student and Study Abroad Services
North Dakota State University
Phone: +1 (701) 231-7895 - Fax: +1 (701) 231-1014
Campus address: Memorial Union 116
Physical/delivery address: 1401 Administration Ave / Memorial Union 116, Fargo, ND  58102
Page manager: International Student and Study Abroad Services

Last Updated: Thursday, September 24, 2015 4:58:41 PM