Can I work?
All students must maintain a full course of study (minimum 12 credit hours) and have valid documentation to work on campus.
On-campus employment takes place within the University of North Georgia, and the paycheck is issued by the university. If you are applying for a job on campus and learn that an entity other than the university is going to pay you, you must receive approval from your International Student Advisor.
F-1 Students are permitted to work up to 20 hours per week during fall and spring semesters. Students are not permitted to work more than 20 hours when classes are in session. Full time employment (21-40 hours) is allowed only during vacation periods for enrolled and continuing students.
If your DS-2019 is issued by the University of North Georgia, then your ability to work on campus is the same as that of an F-1 student. However, if your DS-2019 is issued by another agency, then you must obtain written authorization from the program sponsor allowing you to work on the UNG campus.
important note: working off campus is not permitted without special permission from U.S. citizenship & immigration services.
- How do I find a job?
- I found a job! Now what?
- Hiring Paperwork
- Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
- Optional Practical Training (OPT)
To look for job postings, visit the Student Employment section of the Human Resources page, and look under the "How to Apply for a Job" header. Make sure that you choose "student" and the appropriate campus. As an international student, you should only be looking for jobs that are 20 hours/week or less, are on campus, and are listed as “institutional” positions. International students are NOT ALLOWED to work in Federal Work Study positions. You can also visit your academic department, or other offices on campus, and inquire about any job openings.
In order to accept your on-campus employment, you will need to apply for a Social Security Number, you will need to complete the following steps:
- Confirm that you do have a job on campus. Your supervisor should make you an official offer.
- Print the Employment Verification Form.
- Have your employer/supervisor complete Section 1 of the Employment Verification Form.
- Make an appointment with your International Student Advisor with Section 1 of your Employment Verification Form completed. Your International Student Advisor will sign Section 2 of the form.
Once you have your completed Employment Verification Form, you will need to go to a Social Security Administration Office. The Social Security Administration requires the following items in order to apply for a Social Security Number:
- Current Form I-20
- Completed Employment Verification Form
- Proof of Residency (any documentation with you name and address such as a bill or statement)
- I-94 Form or Card
- Completed SS5 Form which is available online or at the Social Security Administration Office
- Note: When completing the SS5 Form, if your parents do not have Social Security Numbers, leave that section blank. However, you must include your parent's names and as much of the information as possible.
- All documents must be original. Photocopies or notarized copies of documents will not be accepted or reviewed.
First time applicants must go to a Social Security Office with the required documentation. Offices are walk-in only and do not have appointments. You may go to any Social Security office in the area. If you would like to find the closest office for you, use the Social Security Administration Office locator.
Once you receive your Social Security Number by mail you must complete the following tasks at UNG:
- Go in person to the Registrars Office to update your Student Record with UNG
- Provide a copy of your Social Security card to the Center for Global Engagement to be added to your student file
Identity Theft and Your Social Security Number
Be careful with your Social Security card and number. Show your card to your employer when you start a job so your records are correct. Provide your Social Security number to your financial institution(s) for tax reporting purposes. Keep your card and any other document that shows your Social Security number on it in a safe place. DO NOT routinely carry your card or other documents that display your number. There are numerous resources online with information and tips for keeping your identity safe and secure.
Upon accepting employment and income, the following forms will need to be completed. Some of these forms are already in your Human Resources (HR) paperwork packet. Others you will need to request if the situation applies to you.
- Form I-9: This form is in your HR packet.
- Form W-4: Because the instructions on this form only apply to US citizens, you should use the following instructions.
- On line #3, check only "Single" marital status (regardless of your actual marital status).
- On line #5, claim only one allowance, unless you are a resident of Canada, Mexico, Japan, Korea, a US national (US Virgin Islands, American Samoa, or the Northern Marianas Islands), or a student from India.
- On line #7, do not claim "Exempt" withholding status.
- Form 8233: If a tax treaty between the US and your country provides an exemption from withholding from your wages, you should complete this form to claim the benefits of the treaty. You will also need to complete the Foreign Information Collection Form. You will need to ask HR for both of these forms, as they are not included in your packet. You can find out more information on tax treaties and whether your country has a tax treaty on the IRS website.
- Form W-8BEN: This is a form that you will submit to your bank. You will need to ask the bank for the form. You should also use this form the claim a tax treaty benefit from the University before receiving payments from a scholarship or fellowship.
Curricular practical training is defined to be alternative work/study, internship, cooperative education, or any other type of required internship or practicum that is offered by sponsoring employers through cooperative agreements with the school. An F-1 student may be authorized by the International Student Advisor to participate in a curricular practical training program that is an integral part of an established curriculum.
Requirements for CPT Eligibility
- The student must have been enrolled as a full-time student for one full academic year prior to applying for CPT.
- The job must be an integral part of student’s degree program
- The student must have an official offer from an employer offering work or training that qualifies as curricular practical training.
Necessary Paperwork to Process Curricular Practical Training
- Transcript (for full academic year)
- Valid I-20 (showing degree and major)
- Employment offer (including dates of employment, hours, location, and a job description)
Optional Practical Training (OPT) gives F-1 students an opportunity for work experience in the U.S. before and/or after completion of a degree. It is limited to a total of twelve months for each degree level in a field directly related to the student's course of study. Unlike Curricular Practical Training (CPT), OPT does not have to be included as a required internship listed in your plan of study.
Types of Optional Practical Training (OPT)
Completed before student’s program end date
Done after the student’s program end date, after completing their academic objective
17-month STEM Extension OPT
A special 17-month extension of post-completion OPT for graduates of a bachelor's degree or higher in science, technology, engineering, or math field on DHS’s STEM Designated Degree Program
- The student must have been enrolled as a full time student in the US for one full academic year
- Employment must be directly related to student’s field of study
- The OPT must be recommended in SEVIS by the International Student Advisor
OPT I-765 Deadlines
- For Post-Completion OPT, the application must be submitted to USCIS no sooner than 90 days before the program end date and no later than 60 days after the program end date. In addition, the Form I-765 must be received by the USCIS Service Center no later than 30 days after the International Student Advisor submits the OPT recommendation to SEVIS
- The student is not required to have a written job offer to apply for OPT, but must not accumulate more than 90 days of unemployment once post-completion OPT is effective
Documents Required to Apply for OPT
- Completed I-765 Form
- Copies of passport, most current visa, and the front and back of the I-94 card
- Copy of new I-20 with OPT endorsement signed by the International Student Advisor
- Copies of all previous I-20 forms
- Two passport-sized color photographs
- Application fee check
OPT Application Process
- Gather documents
- Make an appointment with your International Student Advisor to review eligibility for OPT
- The International Student Advisor will process and issue the OPT I-20
- Submit the OPT application to USCIS (no sooner than 90 days before or 60 days after program end date or employment start date)