Working as an International Student
International students attending Occidental on an F1 student visa are allowed to work under certain conditions.
On Campus Employment
Federal regulations state international students on F visas can work ONLY on the college campus where they attend classes. Any off-campus employment requires special permission from the Federal Government and official endorsement by IPO.
International students at Oxy are allowed to work part time during academic terms and full time during winter and summer breaks ON CAMPUS ONLY. You should be aware that although Federal Regulations allow students to work twenty hours a week while in school, Occidental College policy allows students to work fifteen hours/week while classes are in session. Students are allowed to work up to 40 hours/week during breaks.
No special authorization is required for on campus employment. Job openings are posted outside the Financial Aid Office in the Arthur G. Coons Administrative Center and on the Human Resources web page. Almost all departments and offices on campus require the help of student workers. Some examples are: the Career Development Center, Campus Dining, the Library and the Language Departments. Qualifications and salaries for different jobs vary, and hiring for some positions is more competitive than for others.
Required Social Security Number
Once you have found a job on campus, you will need to report to the Human Resources Office with your immigration documents to complete paperwork. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with the following information: job title, supervisor name and dates of employment. IPO will produce a letter for your supervisor to sign. Instructions for applying for a social security card.
Additionally, you will need to apply for a Social Security Card within one month of starting work at the Social Security Administration office in Pasadena. Take the following documents with you:
- Completed Social Security application
- Letter from IPO signed by supervisor
After you apply, you will receive a letter certifying that you have applied and that you will receive the number in the mail within 6 weeks. Take that letter to the Human Resources Office. Once you receive the social security card with the number, present this to the Human Resources Office. You may begin working without the social security number, but must discontinue work if you do not apply for the number within a month. Keep the card with the social security number with your other important documents. Contact IPO with questions.
There are limited options for off campus employment: Permission for off campus employment is granted for very specific reasons and must be approved by IPO and USCIS. Students are required to be in valid F-1 status for at least nine months to be eligible. In most cases, permission for paid work off campus must related to your field of study for a specific period of time. It may be part-time during the school year or full-time during vacation periods. Please see a DSO in International Programs for details.
See below for details on Optional Practical Training under "After Graduation" and Curricular Practical Training under "Internships."
*Remember, off-campus employment without permission from IPO and immigration authorities is illegal. See an IPO advisor for further information.*
American companies and employers place a lot of weight on internships when evaluating their applicants. Internships are available on and off campus, please contact the Career Development Center for more information. You cannot be compensated in any way for your internship without it being considered employment. Contact IPO with any questions or concerns.
Current international students may be eligible to participate in Curricular Practical Training (CPT) for a paid internship. To qualify, students must have been enrolled at the College for nine months, maintained lawful status and be a degree seeking student. The internship must be integral to the students program of study. Students must comply with all Oxy internship requirements of the College; the Career Development Center will have more information. Paid internships may be available during the summer. Please make an appointment with a DSO.
CPT is approved by a Designated School Official in the IPO. Find instructions on applying for CPT here.
Current tax codes require residents and non-residents of the U.S to file income tax return forms. All F-1 students, even those with no income from U.S sources, are expected to file tax returns by April 15 every year. Sources of U.S. income include employment (on-campus or otherwise), scholarships, fellowships, assistantships, practical or academic training, and any compensation received for labor. Portions of scholarships or fellowships applied to your tuition fees, books, and supplies are not counted as income. Be sure to inquire about the applicability of any tax treaty that might exist between your country and the U.S.
At the beginning of your program, you will be contacted by the International Tax Specialist in the Business Office. The Business Office uses a system called Glacier to ensure proper compliance with tax and labor laws. Glacier is the Online Nonresident Alien Tax Compliance System which designed to:
- Allow the foreign national to enter information directly into the system via the internet
- Obtain instant tax residency and tax withholding determination
- Complete all necessary forms
- Create an individual record with the college
There will be a tax workshop held in late February or early March each year. Look for more information about Glacier and taxes upon arrival at Occidental. Questions about Glacier can be answered by the Tax Specialist in the Business Office.
- Email: email@example.com
- Phone: (323) 259-2533
- Visit: McKinnon Center for Global Affairs Johnson 102