Hiring an F-1 or J-1 Student

Hiring international students is a great way to bring diversity and new perspectives to your department. Employment is an important way for international students to become adjusted to American culture, and you can be part of that growing experience.

Students on F-1 and J-1 visas are eligible to work on-campus, but limitations apply.

Learn about employment regulations for F-1 students» Learn about employment regulations for J-1 students»

Students on an F-1 or J-1 visa are limited to working 20 hours/week during the fall and spring semesters. They can work full-time on their summer, winter and spring breaks.

Hiring Process

Hiring an F-1 or J-1 international student will be the same as hiring any other student with a few exceptions.

  • The student may not have a social security number yet

  • The student will not be eligible for work study

  • The student may be exempt from the criminal background check process.

Social Security Numbers

F-1 and J-1 students become eligible for an SSN when they receive an offer of employment. If this is the student’s first job, then they will need to apply for their SSN. They will require an employment letter from you on departmental letterhead in order to do so. The SSN application process should take about 2 weeks. The student may begin working without the SSN as long as a criminal background check is not required.

Download a template for the employment letter»

Criminal Background Checks

According to IU Human Resources policy, criminal background checks are only required for foreign nationals who have been present in the United States for more than one year. If a background check is required, then you will need to wait for the student to obtain an SSN before conducting the background check.

Completing the I-9

Filling out the I-9 for international students is different from American hires. You will need a copy of the student’s I-20 (F-1 students) or DS-2019 (J-1 student) to fill out the form. Any questions about how to fill out the various fields on the I-9 should be directed to Human Resources staff.

Supervising International Students

Supervising international students will bring new opportunities and challenges to your work place. OIA is able to offer workshops to IUPUI departments on “Working with International Students”. Please contact us if you would like to request a presentation.