On-Campus Employment

Your F-1 student status permits you to work at SF State campus while you are enrolled in a full course of study.  It is your responsibility to research and understand your on-campus work eligibility.  Be sure to consult the F-1 International student advisors at OIP if you have any concerns or questions.

Special instruction during COVID-19
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all F-1 advisors are serving students remotely.  To protect your personal data, we are not requesting students to email us documents with sensitive personal information. Please make sure to fill out the forms carefully using the instructions on our website under “Applying for Work Authorization For the First Time”. 

To request an on-campus employment authorizaiton, email the following documents to f1@sfsu.edu from your SF State email account.  We accept digital signatures, scanned copies, and high resolution/clear pictures of the completed form and documents.  We will review your request and email the approval to you in one business day:

  1. Complete a OIP On-Campus Employment Certification (OCEC) form  (PDF, 143 KB).
  2. On campus job offer letter (See template, Microsoft Word, 14KB): Job offer letter is required for students who need to apply for Social Security Number (SSN).

On-Campus Employment Facts

SF State students may work on campus such as student assistants, tutors, teaching assistants…etc.  SF State student employees are limited to work up to 20 hours (part-time) per week during the Spring and Fall semesters, and up to 40 hours per week (full-time) during Summer sessions and semester breaks.

Even if you can obtain a job on campus, do not rely on the income to cover all of your tuition and living expenses in San Francisco.  F-1 international students are required to have sufficient fund to support their studies at SF State.  

You may work on campus provided:

  1. You are maintaining F-1 status
  2. Enrolled full-time, or have been approved for Full-Time Equivalency (FTE) or Reduced Course Load (RCL) due to Completion of Study
  3. You may work up to 20 hours per week (Part-Time) in the Spring and Fall semesters, or up to 40 hours (Full-Time) per week during Summer sessions and semester break, provided you are eligible and intend to register for the next semester

You MAY NOT work on campus if:

  1. Your SEVIS record and I-20 has been terminated by F-1 International student advisors.
  2. The program end date on your I-20 has passed or you have graduated from SF State.
  3. You have been approved for a Reduced Course Load (RCL) due to academic difficulty or medical condition.
  4. You have transferred your SEVIS record and I-20 to another school.
 Semester Semester Begins Semester Ends Work Hours
Spring 2020 January 22, 2020 May 29, 2020 Part Time (20 hours a week)
Spring break 2020 March 23, 2020 March 28, 2020 Full Time (up to 40 hours a week)
Summer 2020 May 30, 2020 August 18, 2020 Full Time (up to 40 hours a week)
Fall 2020 August 19, 2020 January 4, 2021 Part Time (20 hours a week)
Winter break January 5, 2021 January 19, 2021 Full Time (up to 40 hours a week)
Spring 2021 January 20, 2021 May 28, 2021 Part Time (20 hours a week)
Spring break 2021 March 22, 2021 March 27, 2021 Full Time (up to 40 hours a week)

New Students

Students who have been issued an initial I-20 and intend to enroll for the next regular academic semester at SF State may work up to 5 days prior to the semester start date.

Current Students

Current students in valid F-1 status may begin to work on campus as soon as you have completed all the required documentation.

Students who applied to change status to F-1

Students whose F-1 status has been approved by USCIS may work on campus from the F-1 validation date printed on the approval notice. Students may not work on campus while change of status application is pending.

Employment by SF State

On-campus work performed for SF State is usually acceptable, whether it is employment in the library, the computer center or the housing office or work required by a scholarship, fellowship or assistantship. F-1 visa international students are only eligible to work in jobs that are classified as "student assistant" positions (and not "work study" jobs that are part of US federal financial aid programs).

Other Employment on SF State’s Premises

Work performed on SF State’s grounds is "On-campus employment" as long as the employer provides direct services to students. Employment in SF State bookstore or cafeteria, both of which provide direct services to students, is acceptable even if the bookstore or cafeteria is operated by a private, commercial firm. Work for a construction company which is erecting a campus building is not acceptable since the construction company does not provide direct student services.

Work Off Campus Which Qualifies as On-Campus Employment

USCIS regulations allow you to work at an off-campus location provided:

  1. The location is educationally affiliated with the school
  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
  3. The work is an integral or important part of your program of study. For example, if your field of study is marine biology and your school has an off-campus marine biology research facility, you may work there and that employment will be defined as "on campus".

On-campus positions for students are listed on Handshake, our online job listing service. You can also contact the on-campus department where you would like to work.  

Handshake provides student assistant (non work-study), part-time, full-time, temporary and internship opportunities targeted to SF State students and alumni by employers. Only SF State students & Alumni are eligible to view job listings.  Ask your friends who may already be working on-campus! They are also good resources to learn about jobs in the departments/offices where they presently work.

Visit Career Service and Leadership Development (CSLD) for job interviews and resume writing tips.

Places to look for part-time on-campus jobs are:

  1. Mashouf Wellness Center.
  2. Sodexo dining services hires students to fill positions in the Residential Dining Halls, and in the snack bars in the residential areas.
  3. The Information Technology Services (ITS) hires students on a part-time basis for a variety of positions, including web developer, machine operators, Help Desk consultants, etc. You must have good communication skills in English. To obtain a job application, you may pick one up at the Help Desk located in OLD ADM 110.
  4. Health Promotion & Wellness program.
  5. The J. Paul Leonard University Library.
  6. The SF State campus bookstore.
  7. Disability Programs & Resource Center (DPRC)
  8. The Learning Assistance Center (LAC) in HSS 348 generally needs tutors in a variety of subjects.
  9. Audio-Visual Services hires students to assist with maintenance and delivery of equipment on campus, including overhead projectors and video monitors. Located on the ground floor of the J. Paul Leonard Library.
  10. Various faculty members in the Department or Foreign Language & Literatures (HUM 475) often hire international students who are native speakers of languages that are taught at SF State as teaching assistants.
  11. SF State Housing hires students for Resident Assistant and other positions to work in the University's various on-campus housing facilities. Visit the Housing & Residential Services Office located on the ground floor of Mary Ward Hall.
  12. The University Police Department (UPD) also hires students at the beginning of each semester to serve as "student escorts" during the evening hours accompanying students from various campus locations to their car, on-campus residence, etc. Visit their office located in the Corporation Yard on the west side of campus near Lake Merced Blvd. and the student parking garage.

Please note that inclusion on the above list does not mean that the offices are currently hiring students, only that they have previously hired students for part-time positions.

Applying for On-Campus Work Authorization

Step 1: Obtain Authorization to Work on Campus

To request an on-campus employment authorizaiton, email the follwing documents to f1@sfsu.edu from your SF State email account.  We accept digital signatures, scanned copies, and high resolution/clear pictures of the completed form and documents.  We will review your request and email the approval to you in one business day:
  1. Complete a OIP On-Campus Employment Certification (OCEC) form  (PDF, 143 KB)
  2. On campus job offer letter (See template, Microsoft Word, 14KB): Job offer letter is required for students who need to apply for Social Security Number (SSN).

Step 2: Apply for SSN (Skip this step if you already have an SSN)

  • Find the nearest Social Security Administration office at https://www.ssa.gov/locator/ and contact them for next steps on how to apply for a SSN.
  • Bring I-20 or DS-2019, passport, I-94, and on campus job offer letter with you. 
  • It may take a few weeks for you to receive a SSN.  You must have a SSN in order to complete I-9. See Social Security Number for more details.  It may take a few weeks for you to receive an SSN.  You must have an SSN in order to complete I-9.

Step 3: Complete I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification

If you are working as a Student Assistant:

I-9 can only be completed during the Student I-9 Authorization hours.  Please check the hours and the next steps at dos.sfsu.edu/content/student-tool-kit

Bring the following documents:

  • Original OCEC form
  • Original Passport (No photocopy)
  • Original Social Security Card (Not necessary if you have memorized your SSN)
If you are working as a Graduate Assistant (GA) or Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA): Skip Step 3. Proceed to Step 4.
If you are working with auxiliary (such as Associated Students, Inc. or University Cooperation), or any other on campus commercial employers (such as SFSU Bookstore, Café 101 or Taqueria): Skip Step 3. Complete I-9 with your employer then proceed to Step 4

Step 4: Complete Payroll Forms

  • Schedule an appointment online with the University Tax Specialist
  • You must complete I-9 BEFORE your appointment
  • Bring the following documents to your appointment:
  1. Photocopy of the OCEC form                                    
  2. I-94 arrival record                                                           
  3. On campus job offer letter         
  4. Photocopy of your passport and visa
  5. Photocopy of your Social Security Card
  6. Photocopies of I-20 or DS-2019
  • You will receive your payroll forms at the end of the appointment. Bring the forms back to your on campus employers and start working!
  • NOTE: You will need to repeat STEP 4 every semester to maintain your employment status and payroll.


You do not need to complete OCEC nor I-9 again.  Schedule an appointment Attention with the Tax Specialist and bring the payroll forms back to your employer.

It is your responsibility to comply with all U.S. Immigration regulations which apply to F-1 students.  If you fail to comply with your responsibilities, you may not be eligible for benefits normally granted to F-1 students and, in some situations, you may be subject to deportation.

Frequently Asked Questions

OIP cannot find you a job, you may utilize Career Services and Leadership Development resources to help you find a job on-campus.

Current students may start working upon completion of the payroll forms.  First time new students can only start working on campus 5 days prior to the start of the Fall or Spring semester.

Yes, as long as you work within the maximum number of hours required per week. See Eligibility Requirements for specific dates.

You may work on campus as long as you are registered full-time (or have your FTE/RCL approved). You may not work beyond your graduating semester (see Eligibility Requirements for specific dates)

No, if you have received a signed On-Campus employment form before, you do not need to complete OCEC nor I-9 again. You must schedule an appointment with the Tax Specialist and bring the payroll forms back to your employer for each semester.

The information contained in this website is provided as a service to the international students, faculty, staff, employees and administrators of San Francisco State University, and does not constitute legal advice on any immigration, tax or other matter. We try to provide useful information, but we make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to this web site or any associated site. As legal advice must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case, and laws are constantly changing, nothing provided herein should be used as a substitute for the advice of competent counsel. Neither San Francisco State University nor the Office of International Programs is responsible for any errors or omissions contained in this website, or for the results obtained from the use of this information.


Last updated: June 2020


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