Skip to main content

Coronavirus Updates: Visit Cornell’s Coronavirus Resources and Updates for campus-wide information. Visit COVID-19 FAQ for Cornell's International Community for summer resources, immigration information, visa status, and more.

On-Campus Work

As an F-1 or J-1 student, your paid work in the United States is restricted by law. While you are registered, on-campus work is done for Cornell and paid for by the university. 

F-1 students do not need special authorization to work on campus. You can work at any type of job on campus. It does not have to be in your field of study.

J-1 students must obtain a J-1 student on-campus employment authorization letter from the Office of Global Learning before starting work. Authorization can only be given for 12 months at a time, so you will need to renew this authorization letter annually.

Can I get a work-study job?

Foreign national students don’t qualify for Federal Work Study, but you will find many campus jobs are open to anyone. 

How many hours can I work?

You can work a maximum of 20 hours each week while classes are in session or if you are registered during the summer. During your vacations, you may work full-time (any amount over 20 hours per week). 

What if I work more than 20 hours a week? 

If you work over 20 hours a week at any time while you are a registered student  and classes are in session, it is a serious violation of your immigration status.  If you think you may have worked over 20 hours in a week—even one time—speak to an immigration advisor at the Office of Global Learning immediately.

What to Do When You Get a Campus Job 

F-1 Students 

  1. Get SSN

  2. Complete I-9

Get your SSN.

 

2 Fill out an I-9 form.  

You need to fill out an I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification form with your hiring department after you are hired but before you start work.  

 Why do I need an I-9?  

The I-9 establishes your identity and your eligibility to work in the United States. Everyone who works in the country must fill out an I-9. 

Should I come to you for help with my I-9? 

No. Your hiring department will help you fill out the I-9. You do not need to complete any paperwork with the Office of Global Learning. 

J-1 Students 

  1. Get Letter

  2. Complete I-9
  3. Get SSN

1 Get a J-1 student employment letter. 

Your on-campus employment must be authorized by your sponsoring institution before you start working.

  • If you are a J-1 student on a Cornell DS-2019 form, get your J-1 student employment authorization letter from the Office of Global Learning. Email us to request a J-1 student on-campus employment letter.

  • If a different sponsor, such as Fulbright, issued your DS-2019, you need to get an authorization letter directly from your sponsor. 

2 Fill out an I-9 form

You need to fill out an I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification form with your hiring department after you are hired but before you start work.  

Why do I need an I-9?  

The I-9 establishes your identity and your eligibility to work in the United States. Everyone who works in the country must fill out an I-9. 

Should I come to you for help with my I-9?

No. Your hiring department will help you fill out the I-9. You can only be authorized to work on-campus employment for up to 12 months, so your I-9 will have to be updated annually.

3 Get your SSN.

To work in the United States, you will need a Social Security number (SSN).  An SSN is used by employers and employees to report an employee’s earnings to the U.S. government for tax purposes.  Learn more about how to get your SSN.

    Next Up: J-1 Academic Training