On-Campus Employment

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Student stares at the camera in front of his office in SIU Carbondale campus.

While you are studying in the U.S. as an F-1 or J-1 international student, it is important to remember that you are not able to work off-campus; however, these student visa classifications do all for employment on-campus. At SIU, students are able to be employed in the student employment program and as a graduate assistant (teaching, research, administrative, etc.) for graduate level students. 

J-1 Visa holders must obtain permission from their sponsor to work on-campus. If SIU is your immigration sponsor, you may obtain approval from your Responsible Officer (RO) at the Center for International Education (CIE) and the visa status verification issued  will serve as your written permission to work. If your sponsor is not SIU but another agency like IIE, LASPAU, USAID, CAPES, AMIDEAST, et cetera, then you will need to obtain written permission from that agency to work. This written permission must provided to the RO at CIE to obtain a visa status verification authorizing your employability on-campus. For any questions, please email issinfo@siu.edu

 

On-Campus Employment Guidelines:

  • Must be present in the U.S to hold an on-campus employment position.
  • Permitted to work only for the duration of your I-20/DS-2019 program dates.
  • DO NOT exceed the maximum number of hours allowed for the semester: 20 hours per week while school is in session and 37.5 hours per week during break periods with more than 5 consecutive days. The full-time work allowance during break periods is not applicable for graduate assistants with 25% or 50% FTE appointments.
  • Maintain a valid passport and Active F-1 or J-1 immigration status.

 

Student Employment Program:

The student employment program was designed to provide students with part-time employment experience, supplemental income, and educational benefits outside the classroom. Student employment also offers opportunities to make contacts with role models in their respective fields and to secure employment references.

SIU Carbondale is known nationwide for its extensive student employment program. SIU Carbondale's students fill over 2,000 jobs on campus each semester. 

Student employment jobs are posted to the on-campus filter in Hire a Saluki powered by Handshake

  • When applying for student employment jobs on-campus, international students may retrieve the student work referral from SalukiNet.siu.edu. 
  • After obtaining a job offer, international students may begin hiring paperwork with the unit offering them a position. One additional item that you may need is a social security (SSN) letter (applicable only if you do not already have a social security number). The social security letter will require endorsement from the hiring unit and will need to be submitted to the International Tax Specialist at the Center for International Education, International Tax office.
  • Once complete, you will bring the SSN letter to the CIE office and request a visa status verification form. If you already have a social security number, you may skip the SSN letter step and directly request the visa status verification. The visa status verification is required to finalize your hiring paperwork with the unit that is hiring you. To request the visa status verification, the CIE office will need to review your I-20/DS-2019, passport, and I-94.
  • When obtaining the visa status verification form, additional paperwork related to international tax may also be completed with the international tax office. This does not require an appointment; however, if you would like to schedule a time, you may do so by emailing jbuenker@siu.edu.   

For more information, please review the student employment handbook or the Student Employment office's website.

 

Graduate Level Assistantships:

Graduate assistants are assigned to an academic department or administrative office on-campus, usually relating to the student's area of study or skillset. Eligible students can benefit from an assistantship because the experience serves as a contribution to a graduate student's intellectual development. An assistantship also entitles a graduate assistant to a tuition waiver and a stipend. A student may be offered an assistantship upon admission or after arrival on-campus. 

  • To apply for graduate assistantships, you may browse available postings here. Be sure to review the qualifications and pay specific attention to the instructions on how to apply set forth by the hiring unit.
  • After obtaining a job offer, international students may begin hiring paperwork with the unit offering them a position. One additional item that you may need is a social security (SSN) letter (applicable only if you do not already have a social security number). The social security letter will require endorsement from the hiring unit and will need to be submitted to the International Tax Specialist at the Center for International Education, International Tax office.
  • Once complete, you will bring the SSN letter to the CIE office and request a visa status verification form. If you already have a social security number, you may skip the SSN letter step and directly request the visa status verification. The visa status verification is required to finalize your hiring paperwork with the unit that is hiring you. To request the visa status verification, the CIE office will need to review your I-20/DS-2019, passport, and I-94.
  • When obtaining the visa status verification form, additional paperwork related to international tax may also be completed with the international tax office. This does not require an appointment; however, if you would like to schedule a time, you may do so by emailing jbuenker@siu.edu.  

For more information, please review the graduate assistantships website.

 

Social Security Number (SSN)*:

Appointments with the Social Security Administration are by appointment only at the local Social Security Office in Carbondale. Contact Julie Buenker at jbuenker@siu.edu if you are needing to schedule an appointment to apply for an SSN.

A Social Security Number (SSN) is a unique, nine-digit identification number issued by the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA). An SSN is a requirement for all persons who work and receive pay in the U.S. The SSN is used to report wages to the government and is issued to track earnings over a worker's lifetime. The SSN itself is not a work permit. 

Students holding F-1 and J-1 status who are employed in the U.S. must apply for an SSN. Once you have an SSN, it will never expire. Even if your employment is discontinued or you leave the U.S. for a few years and return, you will keep the same number.

It is very important that you do not share your SSN with anyone else, as this can lead to identity theft. Do not carry your social security card in your wallet. Do not give out your SSN to anybody unless it is absolutely necessary. It is recommended to memorize your SSN!

Dependents in F-2 status are not eligible for a SSN. (Students who will not work on campus but who receive a taxable scholarship can apply for an Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN) for tax purposes).

The nearest Social Security Administration office to the SIU Carbondale campus is located downtown at 250 W Cherry St, Carbondale, IL 62901.

*F-1 & J-1 students only

For more information, please visit our website.

 

Additional Items:

Information related to International Tax for international students in the U.S. is available on our website. Additional information and helpful resources will be sent out throughout the year.

If you are an athlete receiving an NCAA scholarship, you may need to apply for an ITIN for taxation purposes. Please contact Julie Buenker at jbuenker@siu.edu for more information.

 

For additional questions related to international students working on campus and any of the items noted above, please email issinfo@siu.edu