Skip to Content Skip to Footer

There are two types of employment opportunities that exist for F-1 students:

  • On-campus employment
  • Off-campus employment

Each type of employment has specific rules and regulations that international students must abide by. Before beginning any employment you must receive the appropriate approval from your DSO.

Working improperly or without authorization is a serious violation of your F-1 status. You should consult your DSO if you have any questions regarding employment. It is your responsibility to comply with all immigration regulations which apply to F-1 students. If you fail to comply with your responsibilities, you may not be eligible for benefits normally granted to F-1 students.

On-Campus Employment

There are few opportunities for on-campus employment at WesternU.

On-campus employment is limited to 20 hours per week while school is in session. Full-time employment is permitted during official school breaks, annual vacations, and holidays. Students must be pursuing a full course of study, or, if employed during annual vacation, intend to register for the next academic term.

On-Campus Employment Procedures

Once you have secured employment on-campus, you will need to submit a letter of employment to your DSO. The letter should include:

  • Campus department where you will be working
  • Type of employment
  • Beginning date of employment
  • Number of work hours per week
  • Name of supervisor

After submission of your employment letter, you will be notified by your DSO whether or not you can begin working. Please be sure to allow 1-2 weeks for processing prior to the start date of employment.

If you change employer or terminate your employment with an employer you must notify your DSO.

Off-Campus Employment

F-1 students may not work off-campus during the first academic year. After the first academic year, F-1 students may engage in two types of off-campus employment:

Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
Optional Practical Training (OPT) (pre-completion or post-completion)
  • Social Security

    A Social Security number (SSN) is only assigned to F-1 students who are authorized to work in the U.S. Social Security numbers are used to report your wages to the government and determine eligibility for Social Security benefits.

    Social Security numbers are not required to conduct business with a bank, apply for a California Driver’s License, register for school or apply for educational tests, obtain private health insurance or secure housing.

    To apply for a Social Security number you must first provide your DSO with a letter of employment. The letter must be typed or written on official school or company letterhead and include the following information:

    • DateName of student
    • Job description
    • Employment start date (start date cannot be more than 30 days from your application date)
    • Number of expected work hours
    • Employer identification number (EIN)
    • Employer contact information, including telephone number and name of immediate supervisor
    • Original signature
    • Signatory’s title

    Once it has been determined that you are authorized to work, your DSO will prepare a letter of support for you to take to the Social Security office. You will be notified by email when your letter of support is ready.

    Information and instructions on completing your application can be found on the Social Security website. The Social Security Office in Pomona is located at 960 W. Mission Blvd., Office hours are Monday to Friday 9:00AM – 4:00 PM.

  • Taxes

    Annual income tax filing is required of all individuals earning income in the U.S. The deadline to file California State Income Tax and Federal Income Tax s is April 15th. Special rules with respect to filing income tax can be found on the website.