J-1 students are eligible to work on-campus during their academic program if they are maintaining their J-1 status. The work does not need to be related to the student’s field of study; however, special authorization from the International Student Services Office is required.
- On-campus employment includes work done as a teaching, research or graduate assistant as well as jobs in the university library, dining facilities located on campus, laboratories, and administrative offices.
- On-campus also includes employment with on-location commercial firms which provide services for students on campus, such as stores or restaurants physically located at the University.
- You must be maintaining status and in good academic standing.
- You must have a job offer from an employer located on-campus and the job must meet the requirements listed above.
- You must receive work authorization in writing from an Alternative Responsible Officer (ARO) BEFORE starting employment. If your DS-2019 was not issued by the University at Buffalo (refer to #2 on page 1 of your DS-2019), you must contact your sponsor to request and receive permission before your employment start date. Additional information on how to apply for work authorization (for UB sponsored students) is below.
- The work takes place before completing your degree or program objectives. J-1 students are not permitted to work on-campus after their degree conferral date or program completion date.
- You cannot exceed the number of hours you are permitted to work (see Time Limits below)
- International students are not eligible for work-study jobs. The work-study program is for domestic students only.
On-Campus Work Start & End Dates
- For students with an "initial" attendance DS-2019, work cannot begin more than 30 days before the Program Start Date on your DS-2019.
- Students who completed a degree at UB and who will continue at UB in a new degree program are permitted to work during the break between semesters.
- For example: Student completes degree in Spring and has a new degree program starting in Fall = student can work on campus during the summer.
- Students who transfer in to UB from another U.S. school cannot begin work more than 30 days before the Program Start Date on their DS-2019.
During the Fall/Spring semesters:
Part-Time (20 hours per week or less) is permitted.
During your annual vacation (summer) or winter term:
Full-Time (more than 20 hours per week) is permitted.
If summer is your first or final semester, on-campus employment is limited to 20 hours per week.
More than one on-campus job is permitted, so long as you do not exceed the permitted number of hours per week explained above.
If you are authorized for Pre-Completion Academic Training during the Fall/Spring semester, you may not exceed 20 hours per week between both Academic Training and any on-campus employment.
Requesting On-Campus Employment
Before beginning any on-campus employment, J-1 students with DS-2019s issued by the University at Buffalo must submit an employment offer letter to the International Student Services Office. Please send the letter via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Your employment letter must include the following information:
- The nature of your employment (job title and duties)
- The beginning and ending dates of your employment
- The name and contact information (phone number or e-mail address) of your supervisor
- The number of hours per week you are working
- Employer's address
Within 5-7 business days, ISS will provide you with a letter authorizing on-campus employment.
You may not begin working until you receive this work authorization letter and the start date has passed.
Expiration of On-campus Employment Eligibility
Your on-campus employment eligibility ends:
- When your work authorization expires. Refer to the end date on your work authorization approval letter. If you want to continue working past that date, you must submit a new work authorization request and receive approval.
- When you graduate or complete your academic program. You may not work on campus after your degree/ academic program completion, even if your DS-2019 expiration date is in the future.
- If you transfer to another university; your work authorization automatically expires on the day of your SEVIS record is released to the new school.
- If you violate your J-1 status.
Social Security Numbers
Any student who will work in the U.S. must apply for a Social Security Number. The employer must use the SSN to report wages and taxes to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Social Security Administration (SSA). J-1 students are eligible to apply for an SSN even if they do not have employment. Please read our Social Security page for information on how to apply.
After receiving your SSN, you must report it to the University using Form W-9(S).
Finding an On-Campus Job
We recommend using the Career Services' job search tool, Handshake. This database advertises both on-campus and off-campus jobs. Filter your search to only look for on-campus jobs, since off-campus work requires separate authorization. The Career Services website also offers helpful tips for your job search, how to apply, accept an offer and more.