Undergraduate Employment Options F-1 Work Options
The most important employment issue to keep in mind is the issue of legal, or "authorized," versus illegal, or "unauthorized," employment. It is your responsibility to make sure that you only obtain legal employment or that which qualifies under USCIS regulations as permissible for F-1 students. Any unauthorized, illegal employment even if you were not aware the job was illegal, renders you out of status and terminates your stay in the United States. Make sure you have the necessary employment authorization before your begin work. Get approval from the liaison before working for any off-campus employer to ensure you do not break the law.
Before you can start working you must obtain a Social Security Number. The liaison can help determine your eligibility to apply for an SSN. Your campus ID is not the same as an SSN. It is a 9 digit code issued by the Social Security Administration for record keeping purposes and is required for employment. When the application process begins it is important to remember to apply in both your home country as well as your desired residence. For more information about appropriate paperwork please visit the International Student page.