Hiring International Students


SSN vs. ITIN

International students in F-1 or J-1 status are only eligible for a Social Security Number (SSN) if they have an official job offer in the U.S. AND the employment start date (or EAD start date for students on OPT) is no more than 30 days in the future. Information on SSN application process and timeline can be found here.

International students who will receive a Fellowship/Scholarship payment, but have not secured employment in the U.S. can apply for an Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN) in order to receive payment. Current ITIN applications take approximately 6 weeks to process. UCSC cannot pay the individual until an ITIN number is received. More information on ITIN and ITIN applications can be found on the IRS website.

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F-1 Students

F-1 students studying at UCSC are allowed to engage in on-campus employment for up to 20 hours per week cumulative during school terms and may work full-time during vacation breaks. Teaching or research assistantships, working as a library aide or at the university bookstore, or, in general terms, receiving a UCSC paycheck are all considered on-campus employment.

Work authorization from an International Student Advisor or the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is not required as long as the student is in valid F-1 student status and pursuing a full-course of study. Students may produce the following documents to identify them as an F-1 student in valid status:

  1. Certification of Eligibility (Form I-20) with a future end date (see section 5 of the form), AND the student is currently enrolled/will be enrolled in full-time units;
  2. Arrival/Departure Record (Form I-94), or print-out of Form I-94 from the CBP website denoted F-1 D/S;
  3. Entry/Admission stamp in passport marked F-1 D/S;
  4. F-1 visa stamp (can expire as long as I-20 is valid and the student is maintaining status).

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F-1 Students on Optional Practical Training

F-1 students who will soon complete their course of study may apply for employment authorization from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to conduct Optional Practical Training (OPT) after graduation. F-1 students on OPT may only work in positions that directly relate to their field of study. The length of employment authorization is typically 12 months, but may vary due to amount of time requested by the student or the amount of time determined by USCIS, as indicated on their Employment Authorization Document (EAD). Students may produce the following documents to identify them as an F-1 student on OPT:

  1. Certification of Eligibility (Form 1-20) that states "OPT Employment Requested", or "OPT Employment Approved" on 3rd page of the form;
  2. Valid EAD;
  3. Arrival/Departure Record (Form I-94), or print-out of Form I-94 from the CBP website denoted F-1 D/S;
  4. Entry/Admission stamp in passport marked F-1 D/S;
  5. F-1 visa stamp (can expire as long as the student is maintaining OPT status).

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F-1 Students on Optional Practical Training STEM Extension

F-1 student who are on Optional Practical Training (OPT) may apply for OPT STEM Extension if the degree they have applied for OPT on is in certain STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) fields AND their employer is enrolled in E-Verify. F-1 students on OPT STEM Extension may only work in positions that directly relate to their field of study. The length of OPT STEM Extension is 24 months, as indicated on their Employment Authorization Document (EAD). Students are authorized to work up to 180 days following their original EAD expiration date while their OPT STEM Extension application is pending with USCIS. Students may produce the following documents to identify them as an F-1 student on OPT STEM Extension:

When OPT STEM Extension application is pending:

  1. Certification of Eligibility (Form 1-20) that states "OPT Extension Requested/Pending" on 2nd page of the form;
  2. Expired EAD;
  3. Arrival/Departure Record (Form I-94), or print-out of Form I-94 from the CBP website denoted F-1 D/S;
  4. Entry/Admission stamp in passport marked F-1 D/S;
  5. F-1 visa stamp (can expire as long as the student is maintaining OPT STEM Extension status).

When OPT STEM Extension application is approved:

  1. Certification of Eligibility (Form 1-20) that states "OPT Extension Requested", or "OPT Extension Approved" on 2nd page of the form;
  2. Valid EAD;
  3. Arrival/Departure Record (Form I-94), or print-out of Form I-94 from the CBP website denoted F-1 D/S;
  4. Entry/Admission stamp in passport marked F-1 D/S;
  5. F-1 visa stamp (can expire as long as the student is maintaining OPT STEM Extension status).

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J-1 Students

UCSC-sponsored J-1 students are eligible to engage in on-campus employment for up to 20 hours per week cumulative during school terms and may work full-time during vacation breaks. Teaching or research assistantships, working as a library aide or at the university bookstore, or, in general terms, receiving a UCSC paycheck are all considered on-campus employment.

Work authorization must be granted from an International Student Advisor from ISSS before employment can begin. J-1 on-campus employment authorization application process can be found here.

Some J-1 students are not sponsored by UCSC but by an outside agency like Fulbright. Employment authorization must be granted by the program sponsor before employment can begin.

Students may produce the following documents to identify them as J-1 students with work permission:

  1. Completed J-1 On-Campus Employment Authorization Form signed by an International Student Advisor from ISSS, or work authorization issued by the sponsoring agency if the student is not sponsored by UCSC;
  2. Certification of Eligibility (Form DS-2019) with a future end date (see section 3 of the form) AND the student is currently enrolled/will be enrolled in full-time units;
  3. Arrival/Departure Record (Form I-94), or print-out of Form I-94 from the CBP website denoted J-1 D/S;
  4. Entry/Admission stamp in passport marked J-1 D/S;
  5. J-1 visa stamp (can expire as long as DS-2019 is valid and the student is maintaining status).

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J-1 Students on Academic Training

J-1 students who will soon complete their course of study may be eligible to apply for work authorization to conduct Academic Training after completion of study program. J-1 students on Academic Training may work on-campus as long as the work is related to their field of study.

Students may produce the following documents to identify them as J-1 students with work permission:

  1. Certification of Eligibility (Form DS-2019) with a future end date(see section 3 of the form) AND Academic Training authorization with employer name and valid dates (can be found on DS-2019);
  2. Arrival/Departure Record (Form I-94), or print-out of Form I-94 from the CBP website denoted J-1 D/S;
  3. Entry/Admission stamp in passport marked J-1 D/S;
  4. J-1 visa stamp (can expire as long as DS-2019 is valid and the student is maintaining Academic Training status).

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