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International Student Services

On-Campus Employment for F-1 Students

Eligibility & Permission

Students with F-1 visas are eligible to work on their home campuses while studying in the U.S. A student can begin working up to 30 days before the start date on their I-20. Students may only work on campus while they maintain status. A valid I-20 document serves as proof of work eligibility for on-campus employment.

What is on-campus employment?

ISS defines on-campus employment as work at the University of Washington that is on the physical campus in Seattle and is affiliated with the University of Washington. A good way for students to determine if a job is on-campus is to ask the employer if they will be paying from the University of Washington’s payroll. Sometimes, jobs from third parties may also be considered on-campus. For example, students working at a Husky Game may have an on-campus job as part of a security unit that is contracted by the University of Washington.

How do I know if my job is on campus?

ISS has written some guiding questions to help you understand if your job is considered to be on campus.

  • Is the job located on the University of Washington’s campus in Seattle?
    • Jobs at the Bothell or Tacoma campus are not considered on-campus for students with I-20s from Seattle.
  • Are you paid by the University of Washington?
  • Is the employment providing direct service to the University of Washington?
  • Is the job a contractually funded research project at the post-graduate level?

If you answered yes to these questions, ISS believes your job may be on-campus.

If your answers to these questions left you concerned that your job is not on-campus, please apply for the appropriate off-campus authorization for your visa type. Additionally, you can consult with an immigration attorney on campus through Student Legal Services.

Can ISS help me better understand if my job is considered on-campus?

ISS does not have the authority to determine whether a job is on or off campus but rather provides students with the information to understand if a job is on or off campus. Students who are concerned about whether their employment is on or off campus should read about the different employment opportunities for their visa type and see where the employment fits.

Time Limits

You are allowed to work:

  • part-time (20 hours per week or less) during your regular full-time quarters (quarter dates are set by the UW academic calendar and include finals week).
  • full-time (more than 20 hours per week) between quarters.
  • full-time (more than 20 hours per week) during your annual vacation quarter.

Graduate students: with a teaching or research assistantship meet the 20-hour-per-week limit for on-campus employment. If you have an opportunity for additional employment on campus, you must consult your primary ISS adviser about additional work authorization.

Expiration of On-campus Employment Eligibility

Your on-campus employment eligibility ends:

  • When you graduate. It expires the last day of your final quarter (per UW calendar), even if your I-20 expiration date is in the future.
  • If you transfer to another university; your work authorization expires on the day of your SEVIS record release date.
  • If you violate your F-1 status and your SEVIS record is terminated.

Work Study

Some campus jobs are designated as work-study positions. The job description might include a statement such as: “position open only to UW students who qualify for work-study awards.” Work-study awards are part of federal financial aid packages and are only available to U.S. citizens and permanent residents. F-1 students, generally, are not eligible for a work-study position and should not apply.

However, there are some cases where the term work-study might be used in a more general sense and not necessarily refer to a financial aid award. You can contact the office that posted the job opening to confirm whether or not you must have a work-study award to be eligible for the job.

Finding a Campus Job

Use the UW Career & Internship Center’s job search tool, Handshake. This database advertises both on-campus and off-campus jobs. Filter your search to only look for on-campus jobs. On-campus jobs are also advertised on flyers posted around campus—in elevators, office bulletin boards, etc. The Career & Internship Center also has a Campus jobs website that discusses helpful resources and tips related to finding campus jobs.

Know the Rules

It is your responsibility to research and understand your on-campus work eligibility. It is generally not the job of UW staff outside of ISS to thoroughly know the immigration regulations. It is possible you will be offered employment that you are not eligible to accept or for your employment eligibility to expire without your payroll coordinator notifying you. Be sure to review all information provided by ISS and consult ISS if you have any concerns or questions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, you will need to request a Social Security Number.

Taxes in the U.S. vary greatly from student to student. Treaties between a student’s home country and the U.S. government can affect income tax requirements. Since this topic is complex, UW provides some helpful tools.

All foreign nationals employed by UW will need to set up an account in the UW’s online Glacier Tax Compliance system. This program is software used by UW to do tax status evaluations and withholding for UW’s foreign employees.