On-Campus Employment

Below you will find very important information about on-campus employment for students in F-1 and J-1 status. Specific rules for students in each status can be found below.

Important Payroll Work Week Information

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.

How many hours can I work on-campus each work week?

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.

Dates to Watch

Sunday, January 10 - Saturday, May 15, 2021
SPRING SEMESTER: 20 hours per week maximum (school in session)

Sunday, March 14 - Saturday, March 20, 2021
SPRING BREAK:  40 hours per week maximum allowance due to official break period

Sunday, May 16 - Saturday, August 21, 2021
SUMMER BREAK:  40 hours per week maximum allowance due to official break period

Sunday, August 22 - Saturday, December 18, 2021
FALL SEMESTER: 20 hours per week maximum (school in session)

Specific Rules for International Students depending on Visa Status

On-Campus Employment Rules for J-1 Students: Prior Permission Needed

J-1 students in certain circumstances can work on campus but need prior authorization before beginning any work. On-campus employment includes assistantships and other work on campus. However, please note 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. Working on-campus before obtaining the prior authorization from the ISSAS office will result in an infraction on your SEVIS record and can jeopardize your J-1 status.

  • J-1 students must submit an offer letter with requested start date to their international student advisor in the ISSAS office. Wait to hear from your international student advisor - they will let you know by email when the work permission has been granted and then you may start work.
    • Letter should be on letterhead paper from the department where you will be working and include the following information: Your name, Student ID number, job title, start date (and end date if known) and hourly pay. Letter should also include NDSU's Employer Identification Number (EIN) as this letter can then be used for your Social Security card application.
    • Keep the original for your records and for your Social Security application - and provide the ISSAS office with a copy. We must keep it in your file. You can also ask for 2 originals - one for Social Security and one for ISSAS.
  • If you are a J-1 student with a DS-2019 that is not issued by NDSU, you will need to gain approval from your sponsor prior to beginning work.
    • If on-campus work is allowed by your sponsor, you will be required to submit an application to your sponsor for their approval of the on-campus work experience, and a letter will be issued by them confirming your authorization when approved.
    • Some sponsors do not allow any on-campus work.

Remember, if deemed eligible for on-campus employment, PRIOR authorization is ALWAYS REQUIRED for J-1 students before beginning on-campus employment. Starting work without getting the appropriate prior authorization can lead to issues with your immigration status.

On-Campus Employment - F-1 Students

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.

Other Important Information

A Note for 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.

Students with More than 1 On-Campus Job

Be very careful about working two jobs on-campus during the academic year. Even working one or two hours over in a work week can harm your status, so please be very careful.

Even staying a few minutes late over the course of a week can add up - so please watch your hours closely.

Please tell all of the departments in which you are working that you have other campus jobs, so that when you are scheduled by your supervisor that he/she is aware of your situation.

You cannot exceed a total of 20 hours between both of your jobs during the academic year.

During official school breaks (Summer, Winter and Spring Break), you cannot exceed 40 hours total between the positions.

Paychecks from NDSU and your Bank Account Upon Leaving the United States

If you have a job on NDSU’s campus and will receive payments for work after your employment has been terminated or after you have left the country, we recommend you keep your accounts open (and direct deposit settings active) until all final paychecks have been deposited, which can be one to two pay periods after last day worked.  Please work with your individual bank to find out the proper procedure to close out your account after your final checks have been deposited.   

Documents needed for Working on Campus

  • If you are a new or rehired employee your hiring department will notify you of the date that you can begin to work.  You will receive an email link to online onboarding and the Form I-9.  You will need to complete section 1 of the online Form I-9 no later than your first day of work.  After you submit section 1 of your online Form I-9 you will receive an email thanking you for completing section 1 and telling to visit the HR/Payroll Office to complete section 2.  This must be done within 3 business days of your first day of employment.  Please note Section 1 has to be completed online prior to going to the HR/Payroll Office to complete section 2.  The Offices of Human Resources and Payroll Services is found in Hastings Hall, located at 1320 Bolley Drive (north of Facilities Building) or can be reached by phone at (701)-231-8961.
  • Documentation you need to bring with you include:
    • Unexpired Foreign Passport
    • Social Security card. You may begin working without this number as long as you have completed your Form I-9.
    • 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.

Sample Employment Letter Template

Click here for a sample employment letter that your hiring department can use, for purposes of getting a social security card - or for J-1 students who need to submit a job offer letter to the ISSAS office for on-campus employment.

Top of page