International Student Employment

Employment On Campus

F-1 students in lawful status who have been issued a form I-20 by IPO and are enrolled full-time (12 semester hours in the Day Program) at Methodist University may work up to 20 hours per week on campus while school is in session. Full-time enrollment is required during the Fall and Spring semesters. On-campus employment may be full-time during holidays and annual summer vacations if you are not registered for courses during the summer but are pre-enrolled or intend to enroll for the Fall.

International students on F-1 status who will be employed are required to have a social security number (SSN) and open a bank account so Methodist University can deposit the wage directly to students’ accounts. Students must apply for SSN in person at the local Social Security Office at least 10 days after the IPO staff updates their SEVIS record. SSN is required for payroll and tax withholding purposes.

What do you need to apply for Social Security Number?

  • Passport
  • Visa stamp
  • I-94 record (Please print your I-94 directly from CPB website; your class of admission is F-1)
  • Form I-20 (new CONTINUED ATTENDANCE I-20)
  • A letter of eligibility from the IPO
  • A letter from your employer(s) stating the nature of the job and hours on the company’s letterhead

It is necessary for students to complete tax withholding forms at International Programs Office.

Important Restrictions

  1. F-1 students may not work more than 20 hours per week during the semester
  2. F-1 students must be in lawful F-1 status, in good academic standing, and enrolled full-time at Methodist University.
  3. F-1 students must stop working if the employment interferes with their studies.
  4. All off-campus employment must be authorized in writing by IPO prior to working

Employment Off Campus

F-1 students are allowed to enter the United States for academic studies. They are required to show that they will be able to afford the costs of school and living expenses prior to entry and should not plan on being allowed to work off-campus. Off-campus employment is authorized only in cases of severe economic hardship occurring subsequent to a student’s enrollment in an academic program. Off-campus employment is a case-by-case exception made for students who can show that new, unexpected circumstances beyond the student’s control have created severe economic hardship. These may include:

  • Loss of financial aid or on-campus employment — if it is not the student’s fault
  • Large increases in tuition or living costs
  • Substantial decrease in the relative value of currency the student depends upon to pay expenses
  • Unexpected changes in the financial conditions for his or her sources of financial support
  • Unexpectedly large medical bills not covered by medical insurance; or
  • Other substantial, unexpected expenses

F-1 students must have been enrolled for at least one academic year and be in good academic standing before they can be authorized to work off-campus.

The F-1 student must file a Form I-765 and pay a fee. A new I-20 endorsed for OPT would be issued by IPO, this form is only valid for 30 days. Employment Authorization Document (EAD) takes about 90 days to get processed by USCIS and it costs $410. If the application is approved, the student will receive an EAD card and can begin working.

Approval for off-campus employment is good for one year. If the F-1 student needs to continue working off-campus, you must reapply.


Internship with an International Organization

If you are offered employment in the form of an internship by a recognized international organization, you may accept such employment upon receipt of authorization from the Immigration Service. Examples of recognized organizations include the United Nations, the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, etc.