International Center Employment
According to the the Office of Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS)…
INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS WHO WORK WITHOUT PERMISSION ARE SUBJECT TO DEPORTATION.
If you are thinking about working, your first step is to discuss your idea/plan with the International Office Director. This includes on or off-campus employment including what some people call "internships."
BEFORE accepting or committing to any type of employment, make sure that it is allowable!
While most students come to the United States with sufficient financial support to complete their studies, some students may come anticipating that they will be permitted at some time during their education to work to help support themselves or to gain work experience. They may have known members of their family or friends who studied in the United States and worked while they were here. It is, therefore, confusing when the United States Consul who issues their visas tells students that they may not be eligible to work while they are in F-1 or J-1 status, and that if they do work without permission, they will be subject to deportation. Further confusion arises when students see that Americans value hard work and greatly respect those individuals who take the initiative to “work their own way through school.” What seems like a contradiction is really a means of guaranteeing the rights of US citizens to be employed at a time when jobs are scarce.
Twenty years ago, the US job market was more flexible than it is today and fewer international students were attending American universities. The flow of international students into this country has increased at the same time that there has been an influx of refugees and changes in economic circumstances that have worked to tighten American attitudes toward so-called illegal aliens. The Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Service of the US Government is now strictly enforcing the laws which call for immediate deportation of students who have violated the terms of their non-immigrant status by working illegally.
Because of these circumstances it is easy to understand why work permission is difficult to obtain and why it must be strictly monitored when it is authorized. Despite these problems, international students have access to employment when faced with unforeseen financial problems or sometimes when work experience can provide an opportunity to strengthen the students’ educational experience. These privileges can be secured only if students comply with the rules and regulations, justify and document their cases carefully, and above all, do not work illegally. Virtually NO assistance can be given to those who violate the law through illegal employment.
F-1 VISA HOLDERS: Eligible to accept employment as follows:
ON CAMPUS: While an enrolled student, an F-1 visa holder need not obtain CIS approval for on-campus work at Wabash College, which is considered “school aid” by CIS. Permission to work on campus must be requested from the International Office. Therefore, the Business Office will require verification of your F-1 status. Also you must be currently enrolled as a full-time student in the fall or spring semester if employment is sought on-campus in the summer. Also you must be in good academic standing and not displace a US citizen or permanent resident. F-1 visa holders may work on-campus up to 20 hours a week during the fall and spring semesters and full-time (40 hours) during the summer vacation period and holidays. Wabash guidelines may supercede those of CIS. For example, ESH hours are limited to 14 hours for freshmen.
OFF-CAMPUS EMPLOYMENT / PRACTICAL TRAINING: Permission for off-campus employment must be obtained from CIS. (see Amy Weir) Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is permission to work part-time or full-time in a job related to your field of study while you pursue your degree. CPT has never been authorized by Wabash College because the training must be an integral part of the established curriculum required for your degree and that has never been the case.
FOR J-1 VISA HOLDERS: Eligible to accept employment as follows:
ON-CAMPUS EMPLOYMENT: A J-1 student may be authorized to accept part-time employment on campus if he or she has the written permission of the J-visa sponsor (the issuer of the DS-2019). The same conditions apply for summer and vacation employment.
ACADEMIC TRAINING: Upon completion of the academic program, the exchange visitor may request up to 18 months of academic training. The program sponsor recommends training by issuing a new Form DS-2019, specifying the training to be undertaken and the original period recommended.
FULL COURSE OF STUDY: International students holding F-1 and J-1 visas are required to be full-time students in the fall and spring semesters.
The College and CIS define “full-time” as follows:
- You must have been authorized by CIS to attend Wabash College. This means that you received a form I-20 from Wabash College and used it to enter the US, or followed proper transfer procedures to transfer from another US institution to Wabash College.
- Do not begin working without consulting the Office of International Students.
- You must be a full-time student in good academic standing.
- You may not be employed for more than 20 hours per week while school is in session. This includes all paid work you perform, even if you are working for more than one Wabash College department or office. During holiday periods and during your annual vacation you may work full-time provided you are eligible and intend to register at Wabash College for the next semester, and Wabash approves it.
- You must be maintaining your legal status in the US. This means that in addition to 1, 2, and 3 above, you must keep your passport valid at all times, and you must request an extension of stay if you have been in the US for longer than eight years or if you have overstayed the period specified on the original I-20 issued for your current program level.
Review the above conditions carefully. If you have any questions about any item, schedule an appointment with the Office of International Studies. If at any time during your employment you have concerns about your employment eligibility, see Amy Weir immediately. You are responsible for your own legal employment status; violation of immigration regulations with regard to employment could result in serious consequences.
FOR F-1 AND J-1 VISA HOLDERS:
- A social security number is required for all employees. You must apply before work begins.
- Changes of address must be made at both the Registrar’s Office and the Office of International Students as well as with CIS.
- Exemption from federal tax is not automatic, and may not be allowable depending on your visa designation. Please see Sandy Booher in the Business Office.
- Direct Deposit is required at Wabash College. A U.S. bank account will be necessary if employed at the College.
- Working in multiple departments is allowable, but each employer must be informed as to how many departments are involved in a multiple employment situation. The 20 hour limit must be strictly maintained among all departments according to federal law. The ultimate responsibility for tracking lies with the student.
- If you are leaving Wabash College for another college, please communicate with the Business Office regarding your final work period and final deposit. If you work beyond the authorized period, you may not be paid.