On Campus Employment

About 'On Campus' Employment

'On campus employment' is work that is paid for directly by the University of Chicago or an approved, close educational affiliate (explained below).  Students who are maintaining F-1/J-1 status are eligible to work on campus while they remain students at the University.

Please note that the following information is for immigration purposes only and only applies to maintaining your F-1 or J-1 immigration status.  In addition to immigration regulations, your employer will also have internal HR and personnel policies to which you must adhere.

Eligibility for On Campus Employment

To be eligible for on campus employment work authorization, you must:

  • Be in valid F-1/J-1 status currently
  • Have checked in at OIA at the beginning of your program
  • Still be a full-time registered student (you are not eligible for on campus employment after your I-20/DS-2019 end date)
  • Work for an 'on campus' employer as described beow
  • Otherwise maintain your F-1/J-1 status (e.g. remain full-time enrolled, report any changes,etc)

What is considered 'on campus' employment?

For immigration purposes, 'on campus employment' is quite narrowly defined and may be different from how other entities at the University define 'on campus' employment. 'On campus employment' includes:

On Campus employment where review by OIA is not typically needed:

  • Work done on campus and paid for by the University directly

Check with OIA to confirm it is considered 'on campus' before accepting:

  • Work done on school premises that provides direct service to students (such as working in the bookstore or a restaurant in Hutch)
  • Work performed on or off campus at an approved, close educational affiliate of the University (such as UChicago hospitals or Argonne)

Generally, if you are getting paid by The University of Chicago directly and the work takes place on campus, then your work is considered on-campus employment. If you are not sure is a job is considered 'on campus' for immigration purposes, contact OIA before accepting it.

Authorization and Applying to On Campus Jobs

For F-1 visa holders, on-campus employment does not require any authorization, permission, or additional documentation to or from OIA as it is an automatic benefit. For J-1 visa holders, we are required to collect information about your on-campus employment (e.g. assistantships, fellowships, paid positions, etc.) before you begin working; this can be done through our J-1 On-Campus Employment Report Form. Contact OIA if you need help figuring out whether or not the job would be considered 'on campus'.

Although you do not require additional work authorization for on campus jobs, you will require a Social Security Number (SSN) when you begin work.  If you do not already have one, an on campus position makes you eligible to apply for an SSN.  Application information and instructions are on our website through the link above.

How to Find On Campus Employment

On-campus jobs can be found through your department, by networking with professors and friends, and through the student jobs website. Not all of the jobs listed on the student jobs website will be considered 'on campus' for immigration purposes, so make sure to review the opportunities closely.

When you go to the job website, you will see that some jobs are classified as 'work study' or 'ws'. International students are not eligible for federal work-study jobs. Work-study is a type of federal financial aid which subsidizes campus jobs, and is only available to U.S. citizens or permanent residents as part of their financial aid package. 

Review the criteria on this page for eligibility information and contact OIA if you have any questions.

Timing and Limits for On Campus Employment

Start Date and End Date

You are eligible to start on campus employment after you submit your online check in form with OIA, and if you are a J-1 visa holder once you submit the J-1 On-Campus Employment Report Form. Your eligibility for on campus employment ends on your I-20/DS-2019 end date.  As long as your status remains valid and you are otherwise maintaining status, you can work on campus year round.

Any changes in your I-20 end date will also impact your eligibility for on campus employment.  For example, if you graduate earlier than expected and your I-20 is shortened, your eligibility for on campus employment will be shortened, as well.

Hour Limitations

During The School Year

  • Up to 20 hours/week total while school is in session

You are permitted to engage in on campus employment for maximum of 20 hours per week while classes are in session.

During academic breaks (Thanksgiving, Winter Break, Spring Break, and Summer term)

  • There is not limitation on the number of hours worked.

If you are working for the University of Chicago, you can review the relevant student employment policies in the student handbook.  Please follow up directly with your employer if you have any questions about hour limitations or employment restrictions.