International Student Services


Eligibility & Permission

Your F-1 student status permits you to work on campus at the university that issued your I-20 while you are enrolled in a full course of study.

Your UW I-20 is your proof of work eligibility for part-time on-campus employment at UW only. Pre-approval from ISS is not required for part-time on-campus employment (review the “Time Limits” section below).

You must maintain F-1 status to be eligible for this employment benefit; maintaining status means that you are a full-time registered student (except for approved exceptions) in good academic standing with a valid I-20.

Definition of “On-Campus” Employment

On-campus employment includes:

  • Employment for the UW
    Examples: teaching assistant, research assistant, library student worker, etc.
  • Work performed in a campus location for a commercial firm providing direct services to students
    Example: University Bookstore branch in the HUB (but not on the Ave)
  • Employment at an off-campus location which is educationally affiliated with the UW. The educational affiliation must be associated with your academic department’s established curriculum or related to contractually funded projects at the post-graduate level, and be an integral part of your educational program. If you are not sure whether the employment opportunity would meet the definition of “on-campus” employment, please:
    1. Print and complete the On Campus Employment Assessment Form  with your employer.
    2. Upload the form below; ISS will review and provide guidance about the position:

Upload On Campus Employment Assessment Form

ISS interprets this to mean that the employment itself must be an integral part of your established curriculum. If the work is related to a contractually funded project, it should be under the guidance of a UW professor affiliated with the off-campus location. This particular definition of on-campus employment is very rarely applied. Given the size of UW and its various connections with many local and national organizations, it can be challenging to determine if this definition is applicable. Please note that ISS advisers do not authorize on-campus employment. While ISS advisers can provide guidance/opinions, the final hiring decision is made by the employer.

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: if you have a teaching or research assistantship, this reaches the 20-hour-per-week limit to 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.

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. As an F-1 student, generally you 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 website that discusses helpful resources and tips related to finding campus jobs.

Your Responsibility: 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

Do I need a Social Security Number?

Yes, you will need a Social Security Number in order to be paid.

If I am employed, will I pay any income tax?

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.