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Employment for International Students

International students are limited in the type and amount of employment.  During the academic year, international students may only work 20 hours per week.  During vacation periods, student may work full time.  All off-campus employment requires special permission.  Contact an International Advisor for details.

  • On-Campus Employment

    On-campus employment refers to employment where a student is hired by an office or department of the University of Northern Colorado campus and paid by the university. A new F1 or J1 student can begin working as early as 30 days prior to the start date on their F1/J1 immigration document, the form I-20/DS-2019. Students who are transferring their F1 or J1 records to UNC can start working once their F1 or J1 transfer has been accepted by the university.

    F1 and J1 international students maintaining status at UNC can work on campus a maximum of 20 hours per week during school and full time during the breaks (e.g., winter or summer) if they are returning to classes the following term. An F1 or J1 student who works more than 20 hours a week on campus when school is in session could jeopardize their F1 or J1 immigration status.

    To obtain a social security number (SSN), an F1/J1 international student needs a letter from the Office of Global Engagement verifying their eligibility, which CIE issues when a student submits the Employment Letter form and the job offer letter. An F1/J1 international student must have a legitimate job offer in order to apply for an SSN as well as the letter from CIE.

  • Off-Campus Employment

    International students wishing to work off campus must obtain permission before doing so. Any work they do must be directly related to their area of study. 

    Students studying in the US on an F1 Visa have three programs they can utilize to work off campus: Curricular Practical Training (CPT), Optional Practical Training (OPT), and Severe Economic Hardship. CPT is approved by one of the International Advisors at the Office of Global Engagement. OPT and Severe Economic Hardship are approved by the United States Department of Homeland Security. 

    Students studying in the US on a J1 Visa have one program they can utilize to work off campus: Academic Training (AT).  Academic Training is available for students part-time while they are in school or full-time during vacation periods. In some cases, students may interrupt study to work full-time. AT must be approved by one of the International Advisors at the Office of Global Engagement. 

  • Center for Career Readiness

    Need help finding a job?  Visit Center for Career Readiness to learn how they can help you look for employment opportunities.