International Student Employment


If you are legally maintaining status as an F-1 or J-1 student, you are eligible to work no more than 20 hours (on-campus) per week. You may be employed full time during holidays and vacation periods, including summer vacations, provided you are eligible and intend to register for the next school term.

Working improperly or without authorization is a serious violation of your status. It is your responsibility to comply with all immigration and employment regulations which apply to F-1 and J-1 exchange students. Failure to comply with these regulations could result in the cancellation of your F-1 or J-1 visa and/or being barred from re-entering the U.S. for period of up to 10 years.

PSU has an excellent support network in place for international student employees through the Global Engagement Office (GEO). We work closely with PSU’s Human Resources Office.   Contact Dr. Barbara Lopez-Mayhew at the Global Engagement Office 535-3372 for detailed information.  Additional information about International Employment can be found on the Resources for Students page.

On-Campus Employment

Both F-1 and J-1 students are allowed to work on-campus while attending Plymouth State University, up to 20 hours per week during academic terms and full time (more than 20 hrs) during vacation periods.  Students are responsible for securing their own employment on campus, and may begin working as soon as a University international student advisor has approved the required paperwork.

Optional Practical Training (OPT) and Curricular Practical Training (CPT) (F-1 students only)

OPT gives F-1 students the opportunity to gain paid practical experience in their field of study. OPT is available to students for up to 12 months after each educational level (i.e. undergraduate, graduate, post-graduate). OPT is usually done after completion of a degree program.  OPT is authorized and awarded only through the US Dept of Homeland Security.  CPT is authorized for any student granted an internship or practicum as part of their degree completion.  CPT is authorized by the Director of the Global Engagement Office.   Please refer to the CPT and OPT webpage.

Social Security Numbers/Cards

Social Security numbers, for many reasons, have become part of living in the U.S. You must have already secured a job on campus in order to apply, and the GEO Director must have already updated your immigration record in SEVIS.  To apply for a number you will need to complete an Application for a Social Security Card (Form SS-5).  Take the completed application to the local Social Security office in Concord or Littleton, NH along with original documents to include: I-20, I-94, passport, Student work authorization form, and a letter from an international student advisor recommending employment. Work eligibility means evidence of employment such as letter from employer which describes your job, your start date, number of hours working, supervisor’s name and phone.


If you are allowed to work in the U.S. and get paid for your services, you are required to pay taxes in the U.S. regardless of the type of visa that you have. Taxes are withheld regularly from each paycheck.  Visit the International Taxpayer section at the United States Department of Treasury Internal Revenue Service site  to find out the required information on filing taxes.