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International Students

Information for F-1 Visa Holders

Processing for SSN and On-Campus Employment

  • Student must have an Employment Verification Letter from employer and Employment Authorization Form (from WSU Career Services) or GA Letter (from WSU Graduate Studies/Records Office)

        • Student fills out a request form at the UCIE front desk asking for a Social Security Letter – also fills out request for Employment Authorization on-campus

        • Attach Student Employment Authorization Form from Career Services or GA letter from Graduate Studies to the completed Employment Authorization.

        • Attach copy of class registration

        • Attach Employment Verification Letter from employer

        • Must have given the WSU Registrar's office their Local Address

        • UCIE will process above request and insure that student is registered in SEVIS

        • UCIE will authorize the on-campus employment and email student when complete for pick-up at UCIE front-desk.

        • Student will use letters (UCIE and hiring department's letters plus class registration copy (from wingsexpress), passport, I-20, I-94 etc.) to prove eligibility for SSN to Social Security Administration.

        • Complete SSN application found on website below http://www.socialsecurity.gov/online/ss-5.pdf PDF

        • After employment authorized Student may complete on-campus employment processing at WSU Career Services or the Graduate Studies Office.

    Click here PDF to get more information for "the employer letter" which is required for the Social Security Card application.

Employment Options for F-1 Students

  • PDF New OPT Rules

    Information on Employment Options for F-1 Students

    This section provides you with an introduction to employment issues and options for international students in F-1 status. The most important employment issue that you always need to keep in mind is the issue of legal (or "authorized") versus illegal (or "unauthorized") employment. You must always make sure that any employment you plan to engage in is legal and not illegal employment, since any illegal employment even for one day, even if you did not know it was illegal - poses a grave threat to your ability to remain in or return to the United States. And you must always make sure that you have the necessary employment authorization before you begin work, since starting work without prior authorization even if you receive authorization later constitutes illegal employment. Illegal, or unauthorized, employment renders you illegally present in the U.S. (Depending on how recent changes to the immigration will be interpreted, it may also immediately void the F-1 visa in your passport and prevent you from obtaining a new visa anywhere except in your home country; and it may start the count toward 183 and 365 days of illegal presence which will bar you from reentering the U.S. for three years and ten years, respectively.)

    You should always consult with an UCIE advisor before beginning any employment. This is the only way to be sure that you won't engage in illegal employment, with all of its adverse consequences for your future in the United States.

    Eligibility Requirements

    Different requirements exist for each type of F-1 employment, but there are basic requirements which must be met for any F-1 employment:

    1. You must be enrolled for a full course of study (or have recently completed study, for post completion optional practical training).

    2. You must be authorized by INS or the UCIE to attend Wright State University.

    Once employment is authorized you must maintain eligibility or you may lose your right to continue employment, even if it was authorized in writing.

    Definition of Employment

    Employment is any type of work performed or services provided in exchange for money, tuition, fees, books, supplies, room, food or any other benefit. If you receive no pay or other benefit for the work performed, this activity is not defined as employment, but is considered to be volunteer work.

    Categories of F-1 Student Employment

    On Campus Employment

    Work on WSU's campus is usually permissible if it meets certain requirements. The authorization for on campus employment must be obtained from UCIE; INS authorization is not necessary. Work on campus is limited to 20 hours per week when school is in session but may be full time during holiday and vacation periods.

    INS defines on campus employment as the following:

    Type 1: Employment by Wright State University. Any on campus work for which you receive a paycheck (or other compensation, such as room and board, etc.) from Wright State University.

    Type 2: Other Employment on WSU's Premises. This includes work on WSU's campus for an outside contractor if this work provides direct services to students.

    Type 3: Certain Off Campus Employment where there is an official educational relationship between WSU and the off campus employer. INS regulations allow work at an off campus location provided (1) the location is educationally affiliated with WSU, (2) the educational affiliation is associated with your school's established curriculum or is related to a graduate level research project which your school has contracted to perform, and (3) the work is an integral or important part of your program of study.

    Internship with an International Organization

    If you are offered employment in the form of an internship by a recognized international organization, you may accept such employment upon receipt of authorization from the Immigration Office. Examples of recognized organizations include the United Nations, the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, etc. For more information consult with an UCIE advisor.

    Curricular Practical Training

    Some work experiences which are an integral part of your program of study may be the basis for curricular practical training employment authorization. These experiences may include alternate work/study programs, internships, cooperative education programs and practicum experiences which are either (1) a required part of your academic program, or (2) work for which you receive academic course credit.

    Optional Practical Training

    F-1 students are eligible for twelve months of optional practical training (OPT). OPT provides an opportunity to apply theoretical knowledge obtained in an academic program to a practical work experience. This employment opportunity must be directly related to your major field of study. It may, in certain circumstances, be full or part time and may take place anywhere in the U.S. You may apply to use OPT during your vacation periods, during the academic year, or when you complete your studies. OPT requires authorization from the Citizenship and Immigration Service before you can start to work (this authorization typically takes four to twelve weeks to obtain).

    Social Security Numbers and Taxes

    If you plan to work in the U.S. (including on campus) you will need a Social Security Number (a WSU ID is not a Social Security Number). Please visit UCIE office or web site for instructions on how to apply for a Social Security Number. The Social Security Administration will process your application and a number will be sent to you in about one month.

    In general, F-1 students who have been in the U.S. for less than five years are exempt from social security (also known as FICA) and Medicare taxes. You should be sure to bring this to the attention of your employer because many employers are not familiar with this provision of the tax laws. If you need more information about the F-1 social security and Medicare tax exemption, please contact UCIE. Students in F-1 status are subject to all other taxes that may apply: federal, state and local.

    Employment Eligibility Verification

    Within the first three days of beginning work you and your employer must complete a form called an Employment Eligibility Verification Form (INS Form I-9). This form will be kept on file by your employer and must be updated each time you receive a renewal of your work permission.

Curriculum Practical Training (CPT)

  • The purpose of practical training is to allow F-1 students the opportunity to apply theoretical knowledge obtained in academic programs to a practical work experience. There are two different types of practical training: curricular practical training and optional practical training. This handout discusses the rules and procedures that govern curricular practical training. For information on F-1 optional practical training, please see the UCIE handout, Information on F-1 Optional Practical Training. (Please note that students in English language programs are not eligible for either type of practical training.)

    Find more information and applications on the CPT page.

Optional Practical Training (OPT)

  • Optional Practical Training (OPT) regulations are intended to allow F-1 students to apply knowledge gained in the classroom to a practical work experience off campus. There are two types of practical training: optional practical training and curricular practical training. This page discusses the rules and procedures that govern optional practical training. Please note that students in English language training programs are not eligible for either type of practical training.

    As an F-1 student, you are entitled to up to 12 months of optional practical training (OPT) for each degree level you complete with the exception that if you have used 12 months or more of fulltime curricular practical training you will not be eligible to receive any optional practical training. You may obtain authorization for optional practical training either before or after completion of a course of study, but all authorized practical training will be counted toward your 12 month limit.

    Find more information and applications on the OPT page.

F-1 Hardship Employment

  • Immigration regulations allow an F-1 student who experiences unforeseen financial problems while studying in the U.S. to obtain off campus employment permission under certain conditions. This handout discusses the requirements and limitations of F-1 economic hardship employment authorization. This off campus employment permission may provide real help in difficult circumstances by allowing a student to supplement his or her income enough to meet some living expenses. Economic hardship employment authorization will not, however, enable a student to earn enough to bear the cost of the full time course of study required to maintain F student status. It should not be thought of, then, as a solution for serious financial difficulties.

    Eligibility

    If you are an F-1 student who is experiencing economic hardship due to an unforeseen change in your financial situation, you may qualify for off campus employment authorization under relevant immigration regulations. (You must, of course, be a full time student in valid F-1 status to qualify for this, as for any other benefit of F status.) If employment authorization is granted you will be able to work off campus for up to 20 hours per week while school is in session and full time during vacation periods. Economic hardship employment authorization which allows you to work in any job, related or not related to your studies will be granted for one year or for the remainder of your academic program, whichever period is less.

    When considering your eligibility for hardship employment authorization the most important point to keep in mind is that for you to qualify an adverse change in your financial situation must have been unforeseen, or to be more accurate it must have been unforeseeable, when you first came to the U.S. to study. Immigration regulations provide that the unforeseen circumstances "may include loss of financial aid or on campus employment without fault on the part of the student, substantial fluctuations in the value of currency or exchange rate, inordinate increases in tuition and/or living costs, unexpected changes in the financial conditions of the student's source of support, medical bills, or other substantial and unexpected expenses. "Only unforeseen problems can be the basis for hardship employment authorization because, as you will recall from the process of obtaining your I-20 and visa to enter the U.S., students must first demonstrate that all of the financial resources needed for their program of study are available before they are able to obtain F-1 status.

    If you believe that your circumstances may qualify you for hardship employment authorization, please meet with an UCIE advisor. If it appears that you are eligible for hardship employment authorization, the advisor will ask you to (1) write a letter in which you describe in some detail the circumstances that support your request for hardship employment authorization, and (2) ask you to provide documentation confirming these circumstances (for example, a letter from your department to document the loss of a scholarship, or exchange rate data showing a currency devaluation, or a letter from an accountant confirming unexpected business losses). When the need for hardship employment authorization is well documented the UCIE advisor will help you prepare an employment authorization application to be submitted to the Citizenship and Naturalization Service (CIS).

    Employment Authorization Application

    For your employment authorization application you will need to present to UCIE:

        • your letter and supporting documentation, as described above
        • completed INS FormI-765 (available from UCIE); write "(c)(3)(iii)" in item 16 of Form I-765 and use an address on Form I-765 where you can receive mail over the next three or four months)
        • two identical color photographs, in three-quarter right front profile, with your right ear showing (To insure the proper pose, look 45º to the left of the camera.)

    The photographs must have a white background, be taken less than 30 day sago, be unmounted, printed on thin, glossy paper and be unretouched; Immigration Service regulations also require that you not wear jewelry in the photograph and that your head be uncovered unless you wear a headdress for religious reasons; the photographs should not be larger than 1½ X 1½ inches and the distance from the top of the head to just below the chin should be approximately 1¼ inches.

    (WSU-Media Services Photo Office (phone 775-3388) is familiar with the photo requirements; tell them or another photographer that you need photographs for an Employment Authorization Document or "Green Card style "photographs.)

    You should print your name lightly in pencil on the back of the two photographs (include the number on your previous EAD if you have one from an earlier period of optional practical training).

        • a personal check or money order for $120 payable to "INS" (A personal check is preferable because, if necessary, you will be able to determine if it has been cashed.)
        • a photocopy for the front and back of your I-20 Form
        • a photocopy of the front and back of your I-94 card (white card, usually stapled in your passport)
        • a photocopy of your passport information page (and the page including your photograph, if different)
        • a photocopy of the visa page in your passport (except Canadian citizens, who have no visa)
        • if you have had a previous period of employment authorized by INS, a photocopy of your previous Employment Authorization Document (photo ID card)

    Your application will then be submitted by mail to the regional office of the Citizenship and Immigration Service in Nebraska for CIS consideration. CIS will first mail a receipt to you, to the address you wrote on your Form I-765, and will later mail notice of the CIS decision to you at this address. If CIS approves your application they will send you an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) as evidence of your permission to be employed. Please note that INS processing usually takes 30 to 60 days and may take up to 90 days. You may not begin employment before you receive an EAD from INS; working before receipt of an EAD constitutes illegal employment that renders you illegally present in the U.S.

    Social Security Numbers

    Before you begin work you will need a valid Social Security number (your WSU ID is not a valid Social Security Number). If you do not already have one, please obtain application instructions and directions to the Social Security Office from UCIE. The Social Security Administration will process your application and a number will be sent to you in about one month.

    Taxes

    In general, F-1 students who have been in the U.S. in less than six calendar years are exempt from social security (FICA) and Medicare taxes. You should be sure to bring this to the attention of your employer because many employers are not familiar with this provision of the tax laws. If you need more information about the F-1 social security and Medicare tax exemption, please contact UCIE.

    Students in F-1 status are subject to all other taxes that may apply: federal, state and local (but check with UCIE to see if your country is one of the few that has a tax treaty with the U.S. allowing students to exclude a limited amount of earned income from federal taxation).

INS Mail Address for PT and Change of Status Applications

  • Completed applications should be mailed to:

    Regular Mail Address

    Overnight Mail Address


    U.S. Department of Homeland Security
    Citizenship and Immigration Services
    Nebraska Service Center
    P.O. Box 87765
    Lincoln, NE 68501-7765

    U.S. Department of Homeland Security
    Citizenship and Immigration Services
    Nebraska Service Center
    850 S Street
    P.O. Box 87765
    Lincoln, NE 68501-7765
    Phone: (402) 323-7830

     

    Change of Status Applications

    Addresses for mailing completed applications: 

    Regular Mail Address

    Overnight Mail Address


    USCIS California Service Center
    PO Box 10539
    Laguna Niguel, CA 92607-1053


    USCIS California Service Center
    24000 Avila Road, 2nd Floor, Room 2312
    Laguna Niguel, CA 92677
    Phone: (949) 389-8604
    Phone: (949) 389-3089

Information for J-1 Visa Holders

Employment Options for J-1 Students

  • On Campus Employment

    J-1 students may work on campus part time (20 hours per week maximum) while school is in session and full time during vacation periods, with the written permission of their J-1 program sponsor. Your program sponsor is the institution or agency that prepared yourDS-2019 form. For most J-1 students, UCIE/WSU is the program sponsor.

    Off Campus Employment

    Academic Training

    J-1 academic training is designed to allow J-1 students the opportunity to apply knowledge gained in the classroom to a practical work experience off campus. Academic training is available to J-1 students during the course of study and after completion of studies. As long as you stay within the stipulated time limits, academic training allows you to work part-time when classes are in session and full-time during vacation periods; and under certain conditions you may interrupt study to work full-time, for example, while you are writing a thesis. J-1 students in non degree programs are also eligible for academic training. Academic training cannot exceed 18 months in length (36 months for post-doctoral training) or "the period of full course of study" whichever is shorter.

    Economic Hardship Employment

    Students who experience serious unexpected financial difficulties may obtain permission from their J-1 program sponsor to work off campus.

    Work Permission

    Remember that working before obtaining proper authorization is a serious violation of your J-1 status that renders you illegally present in the U.S., beyond the ability of UCIE or Citizenship and Immigration Services to restore your legal status.

    Employment for Dependents

    Spouses and children who hold J-2 visas may accept employment only if they have applied for and received permission to do so from the Immigration Office

Academic Training for J-1 Students

  • J-1 academic training is designed to allow J-1 students the opportunity to apply knowledge gained in the classroom to a practical work experience off campus. This handout discusses the rules and procedures that govern academic training.

    Academic training is available to a J-1 student during the course of study and after completion of studies. As long as you stay within the stipulated time limits, academic training allows you to work part-time while classes are in session and full-time during vacation periods; and, under certain circumstances you may interrupt study to work full-time, for example while you are writing a thesis. J-1 students in non degree programs are also eligible for academic training.

    Academic training cannot exceed 18 months in length (36 months for post-doctoral training) or "the period of full course of study" whichever is shorter.

    Your J-1 Responsible Officer

    To qualify for academic training, you must first obtain approval in writing from your J-1 Responsible Officer, who represents your J-1 sponsor and issues your Forms DS-2019. He or she must evaluate the proposed employment in terms of your program of study and your individual circumstances, and then decide whether it would be appropriate or not. If WSU is your J-1 sponsor, then your J-1 Responsible Officer is one of the UCIE advisors. If your J-1 sponsor is an agency, and if you are uncertain how to reach your J-1 Responsible Officer, an UCIE advisor will help you find out, but has no authority to grant employment permission.

    Eligibility

    To be eligible for academic training you must meet the following conditions:

        • You must be in good academic standing at the school named on your Form DS-2019
        • The proposed employment must be directly related to your major field of study.
        • Throughout your period of academic training you must maintain permission to stay in the United States, in J-1 student status, and apply for extensions as necessary.
        • You must maintain health insurance coverage for yourself and any J-2 dependents throughout your academic training period.

    Duration of Academic Training

    Your employment may be authorized for a period of time necessary to complete the goals and objectives of the training as approved by your academic advisor, or academic dean, and your J-1 Responsible Officer. It may not exceed "the period of full course of study" or 18 months, whichever is shorter. If you receive a Ph.D., however, your post-doctoral training may be authorized for as long as 36 months. Additional academic training, beyond the 18 or 36 month limit is allowed only if the training is required for the degree. Part-time employment for academic training counts against the 18 or 36 month limit the same as full-time employment. Any academic training approved prior to the completion of your program must be deducted from the total period available.

    Application Process

    You must apply for "academic training" employment authorization a minimum of 30 days before completing your degree requirements. Before you can commence employment under the provisions of academic training, you must first have authorization from your academic advisor and your J-1 Responsible Officer.

    Job Offer

    The regulations, which govern academic training, require that authorization only be given for "firm job offers." Additionally, you must receive a job offer within 30 days of your graduation date, although your actual employment may begin later. If you do not have a firm job offer within 30 days of graduation, your J-1 status ends and you lose the opportunity for academic training.

    Academic Advisor Recommendation

    The regulations also require that your academic advisor supply a detailed rationale for any period of academic training. You can provide your advisor with a copy of UCIE's Preparing Letters of Recommendation for J-1 Academic Training. To meet these requirements the letter from your academic advisor or dean must state the following:

        • Your name, certification of full-time status, major field of study and expected completion date of study.
        • The goals and objective of the specific training program (i.e., the employment).
        • How the training relates to your major field of study.
        • Why the training is an integral or critical part of your academic program.
        • A description of the training program (position title and responsibilities), including its location, the name and address of the training supervisor, number of hours per week, and starting and ending dates of the training.

    To assist your advisor in writing this letter, it may be helpful to provide him or her with a copy of your letter of offer from your prospective employer that includes the information outlined above.

    J-1 Responsible Officer Authorization

    When this letter is complete, bring it to your J-1 Responsible Officer (an UCIE advisor if WSU is your J-1 sponsor) along with your letter of offer from your prospective employer. Note: You cannot be authorized for academic training without a "firm job offer". Your J-1 Responsible Officer will evaluate your request for academic training to determine whether it is warranted, appropriate and in compliance with the regulations. If so, he or she will prepare a letter of approval. If necessary, you will also be issued a new Form DS-2019 which will extend your stay to cover the period of authorized academic training.

    Travel Abroad and Reentry

    If you plan to leave the U.S. after you complete your program of study and reenter the country for J-1 academic training, you must obtain academic training before you leave. Otherwise you may have trouble reentering the U.S. Consult your J-1 Responsible Officer.

    Extending J-1 Academic Training Authorization

    The regulations governing academic training require that the J-1 sponsor evaluate the "effectiveness and appropriateness" of your academic training. UCIE will authorize the initial six months of the academic training period for students sponsored by WSU. Along with your letter of authorization you will receive a J-1 Student Academic Training Evaluation Questionnaire which you must complete and return to UCIE before the remaining period of academic training can be authorized.

    Other Considerations

    Social Security Number

    In order to work in the U.S. you will need a valid Social Security number (your WSU ID number is not a valid Social Security number). To apply, please obtain instructions and directions to the Social Security Office nearest WSU from UCIE. The Social Security Administration will process your application and a number will be sent to you in about one month.

    Taxes

    In general, F-1 students who have been in the U.S. less than six calendar years are exempt from social security (FICA) and Medicare taxes. You should bring this to the attention of your employer because many employers are not familiar with this provision of the tax laws. If you need further information about the J-1 student social security and Medicare tax exemption, please contact UCIE.

    Students in J-1 status are subject to all other taxes that may apply: federal, state and local (but check with UCIE to see if your country is one of the few that has a tax treaty with the U.S. allowing students to exclude a limited amount of earned income from federal taxation). Also, you may be able to treat a period of academic training as an extended business trip and substantially reduce your federal taxes by deducting "travel expenses" (amounts for housing, transportation and a per diem food allowance) from your income. You should consult an accountant or tax attorney to see if you can deduct travel expenses in your circumstances.

    Employment Eligibility Verification

    Within the first three days of beginning work you and your employer must complete an INS Form I-9 entitled Employment Eligibility Verification. This form will be kept on file by your employer and must be updated each time you receive a renewal of your work permission.

    Failure to Comply with Employment Regulations

    It is your responsibility to comply with all immigration regulations which apply to J-1 students, including employment regulations. Working without proper authorization is a serious violation of your student status. If you fail to comply with your responsibilities, you may not be eligible for benefits normally granted to J-1 students and, in some situations, may be subject to deportation. Prior to accepting any employment in the U.S., we strongly urge you to consult with the Office of International Programs.

Guidelines for Academic Advisors in Preparing Letters of Recommendation for J-1 Academic Training

  • J-1 academic training is designed to allow holders of a J-1 student visa the opportunity to apply knowledge gained in the classroom to a practical work experience off campus. For a J-1 student to obtain authorization for academic training he or she must have a job offer and a letter from his or her academic advisor or dean recommending the student for academic training. For authorization to work after graduation, the student must receive a firm job offer within 30 days of his or her graduation date, although employment may begin later. These requirements are part of the regulations governing J-1 students issued by the U.S. Department of State.

    Whether the period of academic training will occur during or following the student's completion of studies at the University, the academic advisor's letter should provide a detailed rationale for any off campus employment related to the J-1 student's field of study. To meet the requirements of these regulations the recommendation letter must state the following:

    1. the student's name, certification of full-time status, major field of study and expected completion date of study;

    2. the goals and objective of the specific training program (i.e., the employment);

    3. how the training relates to the student's major field of study;

    4. why the training is an integral or critical part of the academic program; and

    5. a description of the training program (position title and responsibilities), including its location, the name and address of the training supervisor, number of hours per week, and starting and ending dates of the training.

    Departments may use uniform, field-of-study-specific explanations for points 2 and 4 above. Students should furnish advisors with the information, required in point 5, preferably in the form of a written position description. The advisor can then integrate the necessary information for point 5 into the letter.

    Letters of recommendation must be on University letterhead. The beginning of the letter may read as follows:

    DATE

    STUDENT NAME is a full-time student in the DEPARTMENT. He/she is working for the DEGREE in FIELD OF STUDY, which he/she expects to receive in COMPLETION MONTH & YEAR. I recommend that STUDENT NAME be authorized to engage in a period of academic training employment. The goals and objectives of the academic training are….

    Points 2,4, and 5 should then follow, closing with the signature of the academic advisor, department chair, or the academic dean.

J-1 Hardship Employment

  • U.S. Department of State regulations allow a J-1 student who experiences unforeseen financial problems while studying in the U.S. to obtain off campus employment permission under certain conditions. This handout discusses the requirements and limitations of J-1 student economic hardship employment authorization. This off campus employment permission may provide real help in difficult circumstances by allowing a student to supplement his or her income enough to meet some living expenses. Economic hardship employment authorization will not, however, enable a student to earn enough to bear the cost of the full time course of study required to maintain J student status. It should not be thought of, then, as a solution for serious financial difficulties.

    Eligibility

    If you are an J-1 student who is experiencing economic hardship due to an unforeseen change in your financial situation, you may qualify for off campus employment authorization under relevant immigration regulations. (You must, of course, be a full time student in valid J-1 status to qualify for this, as for any other benefit of J status.) If employment authorization is granted you will be able to work off campus for up to 20 hours per week while school is in session and full time during vacation periods. Economic hardship employment authorization which allows you to work in any job, related or not related to your studies will be granted for one year or for the remainder of your academic program, whichever period is less.

    hen considering your eligibility for hardship employment authorization the most important point to keep in mind is that for you to qualify an adverse change in your financial situation must have been unforeseen, or to be more accurate it must have been unforeseeable, when you first came to the U.S. to study. This is because J regulations provide that hardship employment authorization must be "necessary because of serious, urgent, and unforeseen economic circumstances which have arisen since acquiring exchange visitor status." Elsewhere, immigration regulations note that unforeseen circumstances "may include loss of financial aid or on campus employment without fault on the part of the student, substantial fluctuations in the value of currency or exchange rate, inordinate increases in tuition and/or living costs, unexpected changes in the financial conditions of the student's source of support, medical bills, or other substantial and unexpected expenses."

    If you believe that your circumstances may qualify you for hardship employment authorization, please meet with an UCIE advisor. If it appears that you are eligible for hardship employment authorization, the advisor will ask you to (1) write a letter in which you describe in some detail the circumstances that support your request for hardship employment authorization, and (2) ask you to provide documentation confirming these circumstances (for example, a letter from your department to document the loss of a scholarship, or exchange rate data showing a currency devaluation, or a letter from an accountant confirming unexpected business losses).

    Authorization

    When the need for hardship employment authorization is well documented the UCIE advisor will if Wright State University is the institution that issued your DS-2019 issue an employment letter to you authorizing your off campus employment. The authorization will be for part time employment while school is in session and full time employment during vacation periods (this authorization will be for a maximum of one year or for the remainder of your academic program, whichever is less). If Wright State University is not the institution that issued your DS-2019, the UCIE advisor will refer you to the institution that did in order to request hardship employment authorization. (The institution that prepared your DS-2019 is your J-1 "program sponsor." You need your program sponsor's permission to engage in any type of J-1 employment, including economic hardship employment.)

    Please remember that your employment authorization will be limited in duration and, during the school year, in number of hours per week. Any employment that you have before or after the authorized period, or in excess of the 20 hour per week limit during the school year, will be illegal employment that renders you illegally present in the U.S. and beyond the power of UCIE or the Immigration Service to regularize your situation.

    Social Security Numbers

    Before you begin work you will need a valid Social Security number (your WSU ID is not a valid Social Security Number). If you do not already have one, please obtain application instructions and directions to the Social Security Office from UCIE. The Social Security Administration will process your application and a number will be sent to you in about one month.

    Taxes

    In general, J-1 students who have been in the U.S. in less than six calendar years are exempt from social security (FICA) and Medicare taxes. You should be sure to bring this to the attention of your employer because many employers are not familiar with this provision of the tax laws. If you need more information about the J-1 social security and Medicare tax exemption, please contact UCIE.

    Students in J-1 status are subject to all other taxes that may apply: federal, state and local (but check with UCIE to see if your country is one of the few that has a tax treaty with the U.S. allowing students to exclude a limited amount of earned income from federal taxation).

    Employment Eligibility Verification

    Within the first three days of beginning work you and your employer must complete a form entitled Employment Eligibility Verification (INS Form I-9). This form will be kept on file by your employer and must be updated each time you receive a renewal of your work permission.

    Failure to Comply with Employment Regulations

    It is your responsibility to comply with all immigration regulations which apply to J-1 students, including employment regulations. Working without the proper authorization is a serious violation of your student status. If you fail to comply with your responsibilities, you may not be eligible for benefits normally granted to J-1 students and, in some situations, may be subject to deportation. Prior to accepting any employment in the U.S., we strongly urge you to consult with the University Center for International Education.

J-1 Student Temporary Suspension of Employment and Enrollment Requirement

  • On June 24, 1998 the United States Department of State temporarily suspended certain requirements governing program status as well as on campus and off campus employment for students whose financial supports come from Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Thailand, and the Philippines. The allows:

        • Full-time on campus employment while school is in session

        • Full-time off campus employment for the duration of the employment authorization

        • Reduction in enrollment to no less than 3 courses per semester for undergraduate students and no less than 1 course for graduate students, ONLY if you have been granted employment authorization under the Relief program. Reduction in enrollment DOES NOT apply to non degree and language programs.

    Eligibility Requirements

    To be eligible, you must meet the following requirements:

        • Your source of financial support comes from any of the following countries: Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Thailand, and the Philippines

        • You must demonstrate severe economic hardship resulting from the economic crisis

        • You received J-1 status and engaged in studies prior to June 10, 1998

        • You are currently in status and carrying a full course of study

    Employment Authorization Application

    For employment authorization application you need to present to UCIE:

        • A written statement, which includes a summary of your financial situation, a budget, or any additional information that demonstrates severe economic hardship

        • Your original DS-2019 Form

    After reviewing these documents to confirm your eligibility, an UCIE advisor will endorse your DS-2019 Form item number 4, make copies of documentation to be kept on file, and return your DS-2019 Form to you. If you plan to work off campus, a work authorization letter will be issued by UCIE to accompany your DS-2019 Form.

    Social Security Numbers

    Before you begin work you will need a valid Social Security number (your WSU ID is not a valid Social Security Number). If you do not already have one, please obtain application instructions and directions to the Social Security Office from UCIE. The Social Security Administration will process your application and a number will be sent to you in about one month.

    Taxes

    In general, J-1 students who have been in the U.S. in less than six calendar years are exempt from social security (FICA) and Medicare taxes. You should be sure to bring this to the attention of your employer because many employers are not familiar with this provision of the tax laws. If you need more information about the J-1 social security and Medicare tax exemption, please contact UCIE.

    Students in J-1 status are subject to all other taxes that may apply: federal, state, and local (but check with UCIE to see if your country is one of the few that has a tax treaty with the U.S. allowing students to exclude a limited amount of earned income from federal taxation).

Information on Incidental Employment for J-1 Scholars

  • Information below is designed for J-1 professors and research scholars. It will explain the regulations which permit J-1 professors and research scholars to participate in occasional lectures and short-term consultations.

    Your J-1 Responsible Officer

    To work for any employer other than Wright State University in the position described on your DS-2019 Form, you must first obtain approval in writing from your J-1 Responsible Officer, who represents your J-1 sponsor and issues your Forms IAP-66. He or she must evaluate the proposed employment in terms of your program objectives and your individual circumstances, and then decide whether it would be appropriate or not. For most J-1 professors and scholars at WSU, the University is your sponsor and your J-1 Responsible Officer is one of the UCIE advisers. If your J-1 sponsor is an agency, and if you are uncertain how to reach your J-1 Responsible Officer, an UCIE adviser will help you find out, but has no authority to grant employment permission.

    The proposed employment:

        • Must be directly related to the objectives of your Exchange Visitor program;

        • Must be incidental to your primary program activities; and

        • Must not delay the completion of your Exchange Visitor program.

    Procedures

    To obtain authorization for incidental employment, you should present the following to your J-1 Responsible Officer:

        • A letter of offer from the prospective employer describing the terms and conditions of the proposed employment, including the duration, the number of hours, the field or subject, the amount of compensation, and a description of the activity for which you are being hired.

        • A letter from your department head or supervisor:

        a) referring to the letter from the prospective employer;

        b) confirming that the employment is directly related to your principal activity, is indeed incidental, and will not delay completion of your program;

        c) explaining how the proposed activity would enhance your Exchange Visitor program;

        d) recommending approval of the employment.

    If your J-1 Responsible Officer approves, he or she will authorize the employment in writing.

    Authorization to Work

    If the employment is a lecture or consultation, you will be working not as an employee but as an independent contractor, meaning that you will not have a sustained employer employee relationship with the person or institution paying you, and will not complete Form I-9, "Employment Eligibility Verification," in order to start work. In that situation your authorization will take the form of a letter to you from your J-1 Responsible Officer, which your employer may ask to see, and which you should keep permanently.

    If the incidental employment is sustained, for example if you will be teaching a course at another school that lasts an entire term, then your authorization will be a new Form DS-2019, issued by your present J-1 Responsible Officer, showing the name of the employer (as well as the institution of your principal affiliation), and the amount you will be paid. Your Responsible Officer will send the yellow copy of that Form DS-2019 to the United States Information Agency in Washington, as notification that the incidental employment has been authorized, and will give you the pink copy to use as documentation when you and your employer complete Form I-9, "Employment Eligibility Verification," before you start work.

    Social Security and Other Taxes

    Social security taxes.

    In general, as a J-1 scholar, you will be exempt from Social Security (F.I.CA.) taxes for the period of time you are classified as a non-resident for U.S. federal income tax purposes. This normally refers to the first two tax years in which you are in the United States. (See Internal Revenue Service Publication 519 "U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens.")

    Federal, state and local taxes.

    Unless you qualify under a tax treaty between the United States and your home government, your earnings as a J-1 scholar will be subject to applicable federal, state and local taxes, and employers may or may not be required by law to withhold these taxes from your paycheck, but in any case you will still have tax liabilities on your earnings from incidental employment.

    A Note of Caution

    As a J-1 scholar your options for incidental employment are limited. Please remember that employment without proper authorization is a serious violation of your status. Before you begin any kind of employment, you must first consult your J-1 Responsible Officer, whose written approval is necessary in advance.

Incidental Employment for J-1 Scholars

  • Information below is designed for J-1 professors and research scholars. It will explain the regulations which permit J-1 professors and research scholars to participate in occasional lectures and short-term consultations.

    Your J-1 Responsible Officer

    To work for any employer other than Wright State University in the position described on your DS-2019 Form, you must first obtain approval in writing from your J-1 Responsible Officer, who represents your J-1 sponsor and issues your Forms IAP-66. He or she must evaluate the proposed employment in terms of your program objectives and your individual circumstances, and then decide whether it would be appropriate or not. For most J-1 professors and scholars at WSU, the University is your sponsor and your J-1 Responsible Officer is one of the UCIE advisers. If your J-1 sponsor is an agency, and if you are uncertain how to reach your J-1 Responsible Officer, an UCIE adviser will help you find out, but has no authority to grant employment permission.

    Conditions

    The proposed employment:

        • Must be directly related to the objectives of your Exchange Visitor program;
        • Must be incidental to your primary program activities; and
        • Must not delay the completion of your Exchange Visitor program.

    Procedures

    To obtain authorization for incidental employment, you should present the following to your J-1 Responsible Officer:

        • A letter of offer from the prospective employer describing the terms and conditions of the proposed employment, including the duration, the number of hours, the field or subject, the amount of compensation, and a description of the activity for which you are being hired.

        • A letter from your department head or supervisor:

        a) referring to the letter from the prospective employer;

        b) confirming that the employment is directly related to your principal activity, is indeed incidental, and will not delay completion of your program;

        c) explaining how the proposed activity would enhance your Exchange Visitor program;

        d) recommending approval of the employment.

    If your J-1 Responsible Officer approves, he or she will authorize the employment in writing.

    Authorization to Work

    If the employment is a lecture or consultation, you will be working not as an employee but as an independent contractor, meaning that you will not have a sustained employer employee relationship with the person or institution paying you, and will not complete Form I-9, "Employment Eligibility Verification," in order to start work. In that situation your authorization will take the form of a letter to you from your J-1 Responsible Officer, which your employer may ask to see, and which you should keep permanently.

    If the incidental employment is sustained, for example if you will be teaching a course at another school that lasts an entire term, then your authorization will be a new Form DS-2019, issued by your present J-1 Responsible Officer, showing the name of the employer (as well as the institution of your principal affiliation), and the amount you will be paid. Your Responsible Officer will send the yellow copy of that Form DS-2019 to the United States Information Agency in Washington, as notification that the incidental employment has been authorized, and will give you the pink copy to use as documentation when you and your employer complete Form I-9, "Employment Eligibility Verification," before you start work.

    Social Security and Other Taxes

    Social security taxes.

    In general, as a J-1 scholar, you will be exempt from Social Security (F.I.CA.) taxes for the period of time you are classified as a non-resident for U.S. federal income tax purposes. This normally refers to the first two tax years in which you are in the United States. (See Internal Revenue Service Publication 519 "U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens.")

    Federal, state and local taxes.

    Unless you qualify under a tax treaty between the United States and your home government, your earnings as a J-1 scholar will be subject to applicable federal, state and local taxes, and employers may or may not be required by law to withhold these taxes from your paycheck, but in any case you will still have tax liabilities on your earnings from incidental employment.

    A Note of Caution

    As a J-1 scholar your options for incidental employment are limited. Please remember that employment without proper authorization is a serious violation of your status. Before you begin any kind of employment, you must first consult your J-1 Responsible Officer, whose written approval is necessary in advance.

Maintaining Your J-1Scholar Status

  • Information below is designed for J-1 professors and research scholars. It will explain the regulations which permit J-1 professors and research scholars to participate in occasional lectures and short-term consultations.

    Your J-1 Responsible Officer

    To work for any employer other than Wright State University in the position described on your DS-2019 Form, you must first obtain approval in writing from your J-1 Responsible Officer, who represents your J-1 sponsor and issues your Forms IAP-66. He or she must evaluate the proposed employment in terms of your program objectives and your individual circumstances, and then decide whether it would be appropriate or not. For most J-1 professors and scholars at WSU, the University is your sponsor and your J-1 Responsible Officer is one of the UCIE advisers. If your J-1 sponsor is an agency, and if you are uncertain how to reach your J-1 Responsible Officer, an UCIE adviser will help you find out, but has no authority to grant employment permission.

    Conditions

    The proposed employment:

        • Must be directly related to the objectives of your Exchange Visitor program;
        • Must be incidental to your primary program activities; and
        • Must not delay the completion of your Exchange Visitor program.

    Procedures

    To obtain authorization for incidental employment, you should present the following to your J-1 Responsible Officer:

        • A letter of offer from the prospective employer describing the terms and conditions of the proposed employment, including the duration, the number of hours, the field or subject, the amount of compensation, and a description of the activity for which you are being hired.
        • A letter from your department head or supervisor:
    a) referring to the letter from the prospective employer;
    b) confirming that the employment is directly related to your principal activity, is indeed incidental, and will not delay completion of your program;
    c) explaining how the proposed activity would enhance your Exchange Visitor program;
    d) recommending approval of the employment.
    If your J-1 Responsible Officer approves, he or she will authorize the employment in writing.

    Authorization to Work

    If the employment is a lecture or consultation, you will be working not as an employee but as an independent contractor, meaning that you will not have a sustained employer employee relationship with the person or institution paying you, and will not complete Form I-9, "Employment Eligibility Verification," in order to start work. In that situation your authorization will take the form of a letter to you from your J-1 Responsible Officer, which your employer may ask to see, and which you should keep permanently.

    If the incidental employment is sustained, for example if you will be teaching a course at another school that lasts an entire term, then your authorization will be a new Form DS-2019, issued by your present J-1 Responsible Officer, showing the name of the employer (as well as the institution of your principal affiliation), and the amount you will be paid. Your Responsible Officer will send the yellow copy of that Form DS-2019 to the United States Information Agency in Washington, as notification that the incidental employment has been authorized, and will give you the pink copy to use as documentation when you and your employer complete Form I-9, "Employment Eligibility Verification," before you start work.

    Social Security and Other Taxes

    Social security taxes.

    In general, as a J-1 scholar, you will be exempt from Social Security (F.I.CA.) taxes for the period of time you are classified as a non-resident for U.S. federal income tax purposes. This normally refers to the first two tax years in which you are in the United States. (See Internal Revenue Service Publication 519 "U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens.")

    Federal, state and local taxes.

    Unless you qualify under a tax treaty between the United States and your home government, your earnings as a J-1 scholar will be subject to applicable federal, state and local taxes, and employers may or may not be required by law to withhold these taxes from your paycheck, but in any case you will still have tax liabilities on your earnings from incidental employment.

    A Note of Caution

    As a J-1 scholar your options for incidental employment are limited. Please remember that employment without proper authorization is a serious violation of your status. Before you begin any kind of employment, you must first consult your J-1 Responsible Officer, whose written approval is necessary in advance.

Medical Insurance Requirements for J-1 Students & Scholars

  • Students and visiting scholars who hold J-1 status are required to have medical insurance coverage for themselves and their dependents throughout their stay in the U.S.

    The United States Information Agency (USIA) has mandated that any insurance plan purchased by a J-1 visa holder meet the following criteria:

        • medical benefits of at least $50,000 per accident or illness
        • repatriation of remains in the amount of $7,500
        • medical evacuation to the home country in the amount of $10,000
        • a deductible (the amount for which you are responsible before insurance coverage becomes effective) not to exceed $500 per accident or illness
        • co-payment of medical expenses (the portion not covered by insurance that the insured pays him or herself) or no more than 25%.

    Most J-1 students will enroll themselves and their families in Wright State University's Student Health Insurance Plan. J-1 scholars are not eligible for this plan but may be eligible for coverage provided to WSU staff, and have the opportunity to purchase coverage for their families through the University.

    Those scholars who are not able to purchase a University insurance plan should consult an UCIE advisor for information on acceptable alternative insurance coverage.

J-1 Two Year Foreign Residency Requirement Waiver

  • What is the Two-Year Home Country Physical Presence Requirement?

    It's exactly what it sounds like. Some J-1 exchange visitors, depending on their field of study/research, and their J-2 dependents are required to return to their home country at the end of their program for a period of two years. The intent of this requirement is to have the home country benefit from the Exchange Visitor's experience in the United States. Exchange Visitors come to this country for a specific objective such as a program of study or a research project. The requirement is intended to prevent a participant who is subject from staying longer than necessary for the objective, and to ensure that he or she will spend at least two years in the home country before coming back to the United States for a long-term stay.

    Terms of the Requirement

    If you are subject to the requirement, then you must "reside and be physically present" for a total of two years, in either your country of nationality or your country of legal permanent residence, in order to be eligible for:

    An H, L, or immigrant visa, or for H, L, or immigrant status in the United States. H includes temporary workers, trainees, and their dependents. L includes intracompany transferees and their dependents. An immigrant is the same as a permanent resident, or holder of a "green card." A change of your status, inside the United States, from J to any other nonimmigrant classification except A or G. The A classification includes your home government's diplomats and representatives to the United States government, and their dependents. The G classification includes your government's representatives to international organizations, such as the United Nations, and their dependents.

    Who is Subject to the Requirement?

    You are subject to the Requirement if:

        • Your J-1 participation is or was funded in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, by your home government or the United States government;
        • As a J-1 Exchange Visitor, you are acquiring a skill that is in short supply in your home country, according to the United States government's "Exchange Visitor Skills List."
        • You have participated as a J-1 in a graduate medical education or training program, i.e. a residency, internship, or fellowship, sponsored by the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates; or
        • You are the J-2 dependent of an Exchange Visitor who is subject to the requirement.
        • If you have ever been subject to the requirement in the past, and have neither obtained a waiver nor fulfilled it by spending two years in your country, it still holds - even if a more current Form DS-2019 reflects no basis for such a requirement.

    Preliminary endorsements

    The visa stamp in your passport, or your Form DS-2019, or both, may show an indication, by a consular officer or an the Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) inspector, that you are or are not subject to the requirement. These indications, labeled "preliminary endorsement" on Form DS-2019, are usually accurate but are not legally binding. Even though these endorsements are not final, CIS usually accepts indications that the Exchange Visitor is subject.

    If you are unsure whether or not you are subject, consult the Wright State University UCIE staff or your J-1 Responsible Officer. Be sure to take your passport, all of the pink copies that you have of Forms Form DS-2019, your I-94 Departure Record card, and copies of prior I-94 cards if they are available. The UCIE staff or your Responsible Officer can often tell from the source of funding, or the Exchange Visitor Skills List, whether the requirement applies or not.

    If you are still uncertain, you can write to the United States Department of State, which is responsible for the administration of the Exchange Visitor program and the two-year requirement. Address your letter to:

    U.S. Department of State
    Office of Exchange Coordination and Designation
    Waiver Review Branch
    301 Fourth Street, S.W.
    Washington, D.C. 20547.

    Enclose photocopies of all of your forms IAP-66 and/or Ds-2019 and, in a cover letter, explain why you are uncertain whether you are subject or not, and ask for Department of State's advisory opinion.

    You may also review the Department of State Web site at: http://travel.state.gov/visa/temp/info/info_1296.html

    Waivers of the Requirement

    There are four grounds for waiver of the requirement:

        • Exceptional hardship to your spouse or unmarried minor child who is a citizen or permanent resident of the United States. If, for example, you had a child who was born in the United States and was therefore a citizen of this country, and if the child had a serious medical condition that could not be treated in your country, you might obtain a waiver because the child would suffer a hardship by going there with you to live. You would apply to INS on Form I-612, "Application for Waiver of the Foreign Residence Requirement of Section 212(e) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, as Amended" ( Form is commonly referred to as Form I-612).

        • Fear of persecution. If you can demonstrate that, because of your race, religion, political opinions, or nationality, you would face persecution by your home government if you went back to your country, you might qualify for a waiver. You would apply to CIS on Form I-612.

        • Interest of a United States government agency. If your participation in research or a project sponsored by a United States government agency is of sufficient importance to that agency, it can apply to Department of State for a waiver for you - in its interest, not yours.

        • A "no-objection" statement (not permitted for medical trainees). Your country's embassy in Washington can indicate in a direct letter to Department of State that it has no objection to your receiving a waiver, or the foreign ministry in your capital at home can write to the United States embassy there. A "no-objection" statement will usually not lead to a waiver if the Exchange Visitor has received more than $2,000 in funding from the United States government.

    A Word of Caution

    This information is intended only to help you understand the nature of the requirement, not to serve as a legal reference. Consult the Wright State University UCIE staff or your J-1 Responsible Officer if you are unsure whether or not you are subject.

    If you need more information please refer to the Exchange Visitor Program Information at U.S. Department of State website: http://exchanges.state.gov/jexchanges/index.html

Information for Potential Employers

J-1 Two Year Foreign Residency Requirement Waiver

  • The University Center for International Education provides this information to help prospective employers understand the work options available to our students and to offer assistance in clarifying or verifying a student's employment authorization status.

    In support of the continued career success of our students, the UCIE will be happy to discuss these options with you and to provide additional information if possible. If your company or institution is not familiar with various visa categories, you or the student may wish to seek the advice of a competent immigration attorney before attempting to process a change of visa class. One caution, certain students in J-1 status are subject to the "two-year home country physical presence requirement." This special provision of law means that they are not permitted to have H, L, or lawful permanent resident (green card) status until they have been physically present in the home country for two years. This requirement does not affect F-1 students. The two-year requirement however my be waived by the Department of State through application process.

    Many employers are concerned about liability related to the employment of international students in the United States due to changes in federal laws governing non-citizens, particularly the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA) and the Immigration Act of 1990 (IMMACT90). This summary addresses concerns employers might have about international students and work.

    Getting permission for international students to work in the U.S. is not as difficult as many employers think. Most international students are in the U.S. on non-immigrant student visas (F-1 and J-1), and these international students are eligible to accept employment under certain conditions.

    Practical training for F-1 students

    Practical training is a legal means by which F-1 students can obtain employment authorization in areas related to their academic field of study. Students, in general, must have completed one academic year (complete 3 quarters of academic study) and must maintain their F-1 status to be eligible for practical training. There are two types of practical training:

        • Optional Practical Training
        • Curricular Practical Training

    Optional Practical Training (OPT)

    OPT must be authorized by the Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) based on a recommendation from the designated school official (DSO) at the school which issued the form I-20 (a government document which verifies the student's admission to that institution.) The term "optional" means that students can opt to use all or part of their total practical training allotment of a maximum of 12 months. OPT can be authorized by the CIS: (1) during vacation when school is not in session -full time employment is allowed; (2) for part-time work, a maximum of 20 hours per week, while school is in session; (3) after completing all course requirements for the degree; or (4) full-time after completion of the course of study. Students who have received OPT permission will be issued an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) by the CIS. Their name, photo and valid dates of employment are printed on the EAD. Employers should note that the average processing time for Citizenship and Immigration Services to issue the EAD is two or three months, and students may begin employment only after they receive the EAD which will indicate the starting and ending dates of employment authorization.

    Curricular Practical Training

    CPT may be authorized by the institution (NOT by CIS) for F-1 students participating in curricular-related employment such as cooperative education, work study, practicum and internship programs. Authorization is written on the back of the I-20 student copy and will include the name of the company, beginning and ending date, and signature of the designated school official (DSO). Since each institution has different policies related to curricular-related employment, students should speak to the DSO at their institution. Processing time for the authorization of CPT varies at each institution. Employers should check with the student's institution for an approximate turn-around time.

    International students on F-1 visas are eligible for both curricular practical training before finishing their studies, as well as 12 months of OPT. However, students who work full-time on curricular practical training for one year or more are not eligible for OPT. Those engaging in OPT prior to graduation may work for a maximum of 20 hours per week during their school term and 40 hours during their break period.

    Academic training for J-1 students

    Exchange students enter the U.S. on a J-1 visa. Practical training is called "academic training" for J-1 visa students. International students on J-1 visas are eligible for up to 18 months of academic training. Post-doctoral students are permitted three years. Some J-1 program participants are also allowed to work part-time during the academic program. Academic Training is granted in the form of a letter by the Responsible Officer (RO) or Alternate Responsible Officer (ARO). Students should consult with the RO or ARO at their institution.

    Minimal paper work for the employer

    Fortunately, there is little paperwork for an employer who hires F-1 or J-1 students. All paperwork is handled by the students, the school, and CIS. For curricular practical training, the school will make a notation on the students' copy of the I-20 form indicating that curricular practical training has been authorized, and specifying the duration and place of employment. Students authorized for optional practical training are required to apply to CIS (through the school) for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD).

    Continuing employment after the practical/academic training period

    Federal regulations require that employment terminate at the conclusion of the authorized practical or academic training. However, students on an F-1 visa, or students on a J-1 visa who are not subject to a two-year home residency requirement, may continue to be employed, if they receive approval for a change in visa category-usually to H-1B. Students must have a minimum of a bachelor's degree in order to qualify for H-1B status.

    Under an H-1B visa individuals may work in the United States for a maximum of six years. This visa is valid only for employment with the company that petitioned for them. They must re-apply to the CIS if they wish to change employers. As soon as the initial job offer is made, the company should begin petition process for an H-1B visa if employment is likely to extend beyond the practical training period.

    What about taxes?

    Unless exempted by a tax treaty, F-1 and J-1 students earning income under practical training are subject to applicable, federal, state, and local income taxes. Information on tax treaties may be found in Internal Revenue Services Publication 519, U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens, and 901, U.S. Tax Treaties.

    Generally, F-1 and J-1 students are exempted from social security and Medicare tax requirements. However, if F-1 and J-1 students are considered "resident aliens" for income tax purpose, social security and Medicare taxes should be withheld. Chapter 1 of Internal Revenue Services Publication 519, U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens explains how to determine the residency status of international students.

    More information on social security and Medicare taxes can be found in Chapter 8 of Internal Revenue Services Publication 519, U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens and in Section 940 of Social Security Administration Publication No. 65-008, Social Security Handbook.

    H-1B Temporary Worker Visa Class

    This visa permits the activities normally associated with the job title or appointment. It is also available to any professionals with at least bachelor's degree who will engage in the practice of the profession for which she or he was trained. the H-1B can be extended for a total length of six years. it requires an approved Labor condition application from the department of Labor (DOL), an approved visa petition from the CIS and the payment of a processing fee to CIS.

    For your reference

    The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Title 8 and Title 22 citation numbers for regulations governing practical training are as follow:

        • F-1 Students: 8CFR 214.2 (f) (9) & (10)

        • J-1 Students: 22CFR 62.23 (f)

    CFR Title 8 citation governing IRCA requirements are:

        • F-1 Students: 8CFR 274a.12 (b) (6) (iii) and 8CFR 274a.12 (c) (3) (i)

        • J-1 Students: 8CFR 274a.12 (b) (11)

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Isn't it illegal to hire international students because they do not have a green card?

    No. Federal regulations permit the employment of international students on F-1 and J-1 visas within certain limits. These visas allow students to work in jobs related to their major field of study. F-1 students can work on "practical training." J-I students may work on "academic training."

    Even if it's legal to hire international students, won't it cost a lot of money and involve a lot of paperwork?

    No. The only cost to the employer hiring international students is the time and effort to interview and select the best candidate for the job. The international student office handles the paperwork involved in securing the work authorization for F-1 and J-1 students. In fact, a company may save money by hiring international students because the majority of them are exempt from Social Security (FICA) and Medicare tax requirements.

    How long can international students work in the United States with their student visa?

    F-1 students are eligible for curricular practical training before completing their studies, as well as an additional 12 months of optional practical training, either before or following graduation, or a combination of the two. However, if they work full-time for one year or more of curricular practical training, they are not eligible for Optional Practical Training.

    Students with a J-1 visa are usually eligible to work up to 18 months following graduation. They may also be eligible to work part-time during their program of study. The Responsible Officer (RO) or Alternate Responsible Officer (ARO) will evaluate each student's situation to determine the length of time for which they are eligible to work.

    Don't international students need work authorization before I can hire them?

    No. International students must have the work authorization before they begin actual employment, but not before they are offered employment. In fact, J-1 students must have a written job offer in order to apply for the work authorization. Many F-1 students will be in the process of obtaining work authorization while they are interviewing for employment. Students can give employers a reasonable estimate of when they expect to receive work authorization.

    What does the work authorization look like?

    For Optional Practical Training, F-1 students receive from CIS an Employment Authorization Document (EAD), a small photo identity card that indicates the dates for which they are permitted to work. For Curricular Practical Training, F-1 students receive authorization from the school (NOT from CIS) on the back of the student's I-20. "No Service endorsement is necessary" - per 8CFR 274a.12(b)(6)(iii). J-1 students receive work authorization in the form of a letter issued by the RO or ARO at their institution.

    What if I want to continue to employ international students after their work authorization expires?

    With a bit of planning ahead, an employer can hire international students to continue to work for them in the H-1B visa category for a total of six years (authorization is granted in two three-year periods). The H-1B is a temporary working visa for workers in a "specialty occupation." The application procedure to the CIS is straightforward. The job must meet two basic requirements:

        • The salary must meet the prevailing wage as defined by the Department of Labor

        • A bachelor's degree is a minimum normal requirement for the position.

    Doesn't an employer have to prove that international students are not taking jobs from a qualified American?

    No. American employers are not required to document that a citizen of another country did not take a job from a qualified American if that person is working under a F-1, J-1 or H-1B visa. Employers must document that they did not turn down a qualified American applicant for the position only when they wish to hire foreign citizens on a permanent basis and sponsor them for a permanent resident status ("green card").

    Can I hire international students as volunteer interns?

    Yes. If the internship involves no form of compensation and is truly voluntary, the students may volunteer without having to do any paperwork with the CIS. If, however, the internship provides a stipend or any compensation, students must obtain permission for practical training or academic training prior to starting their internship.

Contact information

You can contact us by using the information below.

  • Wright State University
    University Center for International Education
    E190 Student Union
    3640 Colonel Glenn Hwy.
    Dayton, OH 45435-0001
  • Phone: 937-775-5745
  • Fax: 937-775-5776
  • Email: askucie@wright.edu
  • Hours: 8:30 A.M. - 5:00 P.M.

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Last updated: Fri. Jul-11-14, 16:52
Please send comments to: uciewebmaster@wright.edu

Wright State University