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.


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, work 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 inelligible.

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 session and semester breaks if they are eligible and intend to register in 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 required documents to OIP
  4. Receive Work Authorization from OIP.
  5. Apply for a Social Security Number (SSN).
  6. After receiving SSN, complete I-9 paperwork.
  7. Complete campus payroll forms with the Tax Specialist (ADM 358).
  8. Begin work.
  9. At the beginning of each semester, schedule an appointment with the Tax Specialist to complete new payroll 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):





Winter 2022 December 29, 2021 January 18, 2022 Full-Time
Spring 2022 January 19, 2022 May 27, 2022 Part-Time
Spring Break 2022 March 20, 2022 March 25, 2022 Full-time
Summer 2022 May 28, 2022 August 16, 2022 Full-time
Fall 2022 August 17, 2022 December 28, 2022 Part-Time
Winter 2023 December 29, 2022 January 17, 2023 Full-Time
Spring 2023 January 18, 2023 May 26,2023 Part-Time

Students only need to complete the OCEC form and I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification once, but will need to complete payroll forms with the Tax Specialist again each semester.  

Applying for On-Campus Employment

To request on-campus employment authorization, students must email the required documents to their OIP advisor from their SF State email account:

OIP accepts digital signatures, scanned copies, and high resolution/clear pictures of the completed form and documents. OIP will review the request and email the approval to them in 1 business day.

Required Documents

  • A completed and signed OIP On-Campus Employment Certification (OCEC) Form.
  • An on-campus job offer letter. This letter is required for students who need to apply for a Social Security Number (SSN). Students must be physically in the U.S. in order to be eligible to apply for a SSN.

Process Time

2 Business Days

Method of Pick Up

F-1 International Students (please specify your desired method of pick up in the email with your documents)

  1. Receive by email (recommended if student already has a SSN)
  2. Receive by physical mail (OIP mails documents by regular mail with no tracking number. We are unable to guarantee the shipping time. Please make sure your mailing address in your student center is accurate)
  3. Pick up from OIP during OIP Front Desk Hours*

J-1 Exchange Students: Pick up from OIP during OIP Front Desk Hours*

OIP Front Desk Hours:

  • Monday - Thursday
  • 9:30 a.m. - 12 p.m.
  • 2 p.m. - 4 p.m.
Students who already have an SSN can skip Step 2 and move on to Step 3.

Students must receive work authorization in order to be eligible to apply for a SSN. Students must be physically in the U.S. in order to be eligible to apply for a SSN. See the SSN information page for more information.

Find the nearest Social Security Administration office at https://www.ssa.gov/locator/. Contact them to make an appointment.

On the day of the appointment, bring the following documents:

  • F-1 international students
    • I-20
    • passport
    • I-94
    • on-campus job offer letter.
  • J-1 exchange students:
    • DS-2019
    • passport
    • I-94,
    • on-campus job offer letter
    • SSN support letter from OIP (given after OCEC approval).

It may take several weeks for students to receive their SSN. Students must have an SSN in order to complete their I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification and work legally in the United States. 

Upon receiving their Social Security Number, students should complete their I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification by completing the following steps.

Students who will work as Student Assistants:

The I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification must be completed by Dean of Students during the Student I-9 Authorization hours. Please check their website for available hours and additional instructions.

Bring the following documents:

  • Original OCEC form
  • Original Passport (not a photocopy)
  • Original Social Security Card (not necessary if students have memorized their SSN)

ATTENTION students who will work as a Graduate Assistant (GA) or Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA): Skip Step 3. Proceed to Step 4.

ATTENTION students who will work for an auxiliary (such as Associated Students, Inc. or University Cooperation) or any other on-campus commercial employer (such as the SF Bookstore, Café 101, or Taqueria): Complete I-9 Employment Eligibility Authorization with the employer. 

AFTER completing the I-9 Employment Eligibility, students should schedule an appointment online with the University Tax Specialist to complete their payroll forms.

Students must bring the following documents to their appointment:

  1. A photocopy of their OCEC form.
  2. A copy of their I-94 arrival record.
  3. Their on-campus job offer letter.
  4. A photocopy of their passport and visa.
  5. A photocopy of their Social Security Card.
  6. Photocopies of their I-20 or DS-2019.

During the appointment, students will receive their payroll forms. Students should give these forms to their on-campus employers. Once this is done, they may begin working!

NOTE: Students must repeat STEP 4 every semester to maintain their on-campus employment status and payroll.

On-Campus Employment FAQ

Students may utilize Career Services and Leadership Development resources to help them find a job on-campus, as well as tips for job interviews, resumes, etc. OIP cannot find students jobs. 

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.

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 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.

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

Students may work on campus as long as 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.

No. Students have received a signed On-Campus employment form before, they do not need to complete OCEC nor go through the I-9 process again. However, they must schedule an appointment with the Tax Specialist and bring their payroll forms back to their 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 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 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: May 2022

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