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F-1 Visa Holders

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F-1: On Campus Employment

There are strict rules defining when employment is permitted for a student in F-1 status. On-campus employment means JMU campus only (no other university) and is limited to 20 hours per week. Please contact ISSS for any questions you may have before accepting on-campus employment. In addition, you are encouraged to attend the International Employment Workshops that ISSS hosts each semester. This workshop will provide information about writing resumes, finding jobs after graduation, completing OPT applications, etc.

On-campus during school

International students holding F-1 visas are eligible for any employment on JMU campus while they remain full-time students in good status, provided their program sponsor approves this employment. Any employment must be limited to 20 hours per week while school is in session, but you may be permitted to work full-time during all school breaks. The rules apply equally to both undergraduate and graduate students and for all types of campus employment, from dining hall services to graduate assistant positions.

The three main employers of on-campus jobs are JMU, Aramark (dining services) and Follet Higher Education Group (bookstore.) JMU on-campus jobs listing can be found on the Student Work Experience Center's homepage. International Students holding F-1 visas are restricted to Institutional Employment jobs only (marked with an IE). Application information for Aramark to work for dining services and employment information for Follet to work for the bookstore

Following are the steps needed once you have secured employment on campus:

For individuals without a social security number:

  • Download the Letter to the Social Security Office
  • Have the supervisor complete the blank spaces found in the Letter to the Social Security Office and sign it
  • Bring the completed and signed letter to the ISSS Office (JMAC6 Suite 23)
  • Go to the Social Security Office to apply for a social security number which will then typically be sent 7 to 10 business days to the applicant's address. The following documents should be taken to the Social Security Office when you apply for your number:
    • The completed letter signed by your department and ISSS
    • Your I-20, passport, and I-94

For everyone:

  • Bring passport and immigration documents to the ISSS Office (JMAC6 Suite 23) to update SEVIS records
  • Complete an I-9 Form with your employer (ISSS completes these forms if JMU if the employer)
  • Meet with the payroll office of your employer (For JMU, the contact person is Sherry Willis in Payroll Services Office, Massanutten Hall 241 - Tel: (540) 568-8034)