On-Campus Employment

Eligible F-1 and J-1 students may work on-campus as student assistants, tutors, teaching assistants, etc. SF State student employees may work up to 20 hours per week (part-time) during the Spring and Fall semesters and up to 40 hours per week (full-time) during Summer sessions and semester breaks.

General Information

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 and J-1 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 Campus

In certain situations, students may work for private third-party companies on campus. Third-party companies include the SF State bookstore, cafeterias, and various on-campus cafes and restaurants. Such roles qualify for "on-campus employment" work authorization as long as the employer provides direct services to students. For example, employment at the SF State bookstore or cafeteria, both of which provide direct services to students, is acceptable. On the other hand, working for a construction company, even if that work will be done on campus, is not acceptable because the construction company does not provide direct student services.

Off-Campus Work that May Qualify for On-Campus Employment

Certain off-campus work opportunities may also qualify for on-campus employment. USCIS regulations allow international students to work at an off-campus location provided that:

  1. The location is educationally affiliated with the school. 
  2. The educational affiliation is associated with the school's established curriculum or is related to a graduate-level research project that the school has been contracted to perform.
  3. The work is integral or important to the student's program of study. For example, if the student's field of study is marine biology, and the university has an off-campus marine biology research facility, the student may be eligible to work there. In this case, that employment would be defined as "on-campus".
F-1 and J-1 students are not eligible to work in jobs that are classified as "work-study" positions. "Work-study" is part of the U.S. federal financial aid program, for which international/exchange students are ineligible.

Students May Work on Campus if:

  1. They are maintaining F-1 or J-1 status. 
  2. They are enrolled full-time or have been approved for Full-Time Equivalency (FTE) or Reduced Course Load (RCL) due to Completion of Study (F-1 only).
  3. They agree to work up to 20 hours per week (part-time) during the Spring and Fall semesters, or up to 40 hours per week (full-time) during summer sessions and semester breaks. Students may only work during summer sessions and semester breaks if they are eligible and intend to register for classes during the next available semester.
  4. They are physically in the U.S. during the semester they wish to work on campus.

Students MAY NOT Work on Campus if:

  1. Their SEVIS record and I-20 or DS-2019 have been terminated by an F-1 or J-1 advisor or if the student has failed to maintain F-1 or J-1 status.
  2. The program end date on the student's I-20 or DS-2019 has passed or if the student has graduated from SF State.
  3. The student has been approved for Reduced Course Load (RCL) due to Academic Difficulty or Medical Condition.
  4. F-1 students only: Students who have transferred their SEVIS record and I-20 to other schools.
  5. J-1 students only: Students are failing to meet all Exchange Program terms, as agreed upon in the Exchange Program application.
Employment can be a valuable experience that enriches students' studies. However, students should NOT come to SF State with the intention of relying on on-campus employment income to cover all tuition and living expenses in San Francisco.

Prior to beginning their program of study, both F-1 and J-1 students are required to prove that they have sufficient funding to support their studies at SF State, whether employed or not.
  1. Apply for on-campus jobs.
  2. Receive an on-campus job offer.
  3. Submit an On-Campus Employment Certification (OCEC) and the on-campus job offer letter (if needed to apply for an SSN).
  4. Receive email confirmation verifying eligibility to work on campus.
  5. Complete the I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification. If no SSN, apply for a Social Security Number (SSN)
  6. Complete payroll (SPAR) forms.

Please see the chart below for further details about when students may work full-time (up to 40 hours) and part-time (up to 20 hours):



Semester begins

Semester ends


Winter 2024

December 28, 2023

January 23, 2024


Spring 2024

January 24, 2024

May 31, 2024


Summer 2024

June 1, 2024

August 13, 2024


Fall 2024

August 14, 2024

December 26, 2024




Semester begins

Semester ends


Winter 2025

December 27, 2024

January 21, 2025


Spring 2025

January 22, 2025

May 30, 2025


Summer 2025

May 31, 2025

August 19, 2025


Fall 2025

August 20, 2025

December 30, 2025


Students may pursue full-time on-campus employment during Spring recess and Thanksgiving break.

Complete SPAR Every Semester

  • Students who have worked on-campus do not need to complete I-9 or submit OCEC every semester.
  • Students who have worked on-campus must complete payroll (SPAR) forms every semester.

No Longer in F-1 Status?

Students must update their I-9 and payroll forms if their circumstances have changed, such as changing from F-1 status to another non-immigrant/immigrant status.

All international students, scholars, and their dependents present in the U.S. during any part of the previous calendar year must file annual tax forms between January 1 and April 15 with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). 

Where to Get Tax Forms

Tax forms are available at most banks and post offices and can be downloaded from the U.S. Government Services and Information website. Detailed instructions accompany these forms. 

How to Get Tax Filing Advice

International and exchange student advisors and the University Tax Specialist do not offer tax advice. Students are advised to seek assistance from the IRS or a reliable tax consultant due to the complexity of income tax laws.

We encourage students to consult with a tax preparation service, professional tax accountant, or tax attorney who is knowledgeable about nonresident tax law.  

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA)

The VITA IRS-certified volunteers offer FREE tax preparation services to qualified individuals. SF State’s VITA program is sponsored by the IRS and the University’s Beta Alpha Psi - Beta Chi Chapter, an international honor society for business majors.

Applying for On-Campus Employment

Students may utilize Career and Leadership Development (CLD) resources to help them find a job on-campus, as well as tips for job interviews, resumes, etc. 

On-campus positions for students are listed on Handshake, SF State's online job listing service. Students can also contact the on-campus departments where they 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. Only SF State students and alumni are eligible to view job listings.

When applying for on-campus jobs, students may indicate "yes" to the question "Do you have U.S. work authorization" if they have been maintaining full-time study and are in F-1 or J-1 status. Students will officially receive on-campus work authorization only after receiving an on-campus job offer.

Another resource may be friends who may already be working on campus. They may be able to help you learn about jobs in the departments/offices where they presently work.

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

  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 developers, machine operators, Help Desk consultants, etc. Students must have good communication skills in English. To obtain a job application, they 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 the 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 of 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.

To obtain authorization to work on campus, students must:

  • Students will receive an email confirmation verifying their eligibility to work on campus in two (2) business days.
  • Students who upload the on-campus job offer letter will receive a digital SSN support letter with the email confirmation.

International students must have an SSN to get paid. Students who have SSNs: Skip this step and move on to Step 4. Students who are applying for SSN: Complete I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification (Step 4) while waiting for SSN to be issued.

  • Students must be in a valid F-1 or J-1 status and physically present in the U.S.
  • According to the Social Security Administration’s request for a Social Security number page, students may apply online, and then go to a local Social Security Administration office in person to provide the following documentation:
  • F-1 international students

    • I-20
    • passport
    • I-94
    • On-campus job offer letter.
    • SSN support letter
  • J-1 exchange students:
    • DS-2019
    • passport
    • I-94
    • On-campus job offer letter
    • SSN support letter

Once the SSN application is approved, students should receive a Social Security card with an SSN by mail. It may take several weeks to receive an SSN.

While waiting for their SSNs, students should complete their I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification by completing the following steps.

Student Assistants

  • I-9 verification must be completed in person with the Division of Campus Safety, located at 100 North State Drive, San Francisco, CA, 94132. To start the process, students must first email Student_i-9@sfsu.edu for instructions.
  • Follow the "F-1 and J-1 Visa Status I-9 Verification and Hire Process" posted on the Division of Campus Safety's website: Student I-9 Verification and Hire Process.

Graduate Assistant (GA) or Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA)

  • GA and GTA will complete the I-9 with their hiring departments.

Auxiliary Positions

  • Complete I-9 with the on-campus employer.
  • Auxiliary positions refer to positions at Sodexo, Associated Students, Inc., University Cooperation (U-Corp), SFSU Bookstore, or any other on-campus commercial employers.

Students who work in auxiliary positions (Auxiliary positions refer to positions at Sodexo, Associated Students, Inc., University Cooperation (U-Corp), SFSU Bookstore, or any other on-campus commercial employers) will complete this step with their on-campus employers instead of the University Tax Specialist.

Students who work as student assistants, GA, and GTA must have SSNs and receive the "payroll action request form" from their on-campus employers to complete this step.

  • Email Celine Luo, the University Tax Specialist at wenshu@sfsu.edu with the following information:

    • Full name
    • SF State ID
    • SF State email (No personal emails)
  • Students will receive email instructions from the Tax Specialist to access Sprinta Calculus, a tax compliance system. Students will need to upload the required documentation at Sprinta Calculus.


  • The University Tax Specialist DOES NOT provide tax preparation assistance to students. 
  • Sprinta Calculus is a tax compliance system, it is different from Sprintax, the U.S. income tax software. 
  • SF State students do not have access to Sprintax. Students are encouraged to contact the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) for tax preparation assistance.

On-Campus Employment FAQ

New Students

Students who have been issued an initial I-20 or initial DS-2019 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 or J-1 status may begin to work on campus as soon as they have completed all the required documentation.

Students Who are Changing 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 the change of status application is pending.

Yes, if students work within the maximum number of hours allowed per week. See Eligibility Requirements for specific dates.  

Students may work on campus if they are registered full-time (or have their FTE/RCL due to Completion of Studies approved). 

They may not work on campus after completing their degree or exchange programs.


Students must update their I-9 and payroll forms if their personal circumstances have changed, such as changing from F-1 status to another non-immigrant/immigrant status.

Last updated: January 2024

For PDF files, Adobe Acrobat 5.0 or above is required to view it. Adobe Acrobat Reader it's available free from Adobe (link is external).

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 website 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 Division of International Education is responsible for any errors or omissions contained in this website, or for the results obtained from the use of this information.