F-1 On-Campus and Affiliated Employment

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International Services

The Office of

F-1 On-Campus and Affiliated Employment

On-campus Employment

If you are an F-1 student, and you have maintained full-time student status and are in good academic standing, you are eligible to work on the Teachers College / Columbia University campus (or at one of the Columbia University affiliates). However, you must meet these requirements: 

  • You must have valid F-1 documents, including an unexpired passport, valid I-20, and an I-94 annotated "F-1 D/S"
  • If you are new to U.S. higher education and are beginning your studies at TC, you are required to complete at least one semester of study before you accept on-campus employment. For exceptions to this policy, speak to the OIS. 
  • You can work on a part-time basis (a maximum of 20 hours per week) during the fall and spring semesters and full-time (over 20 hours per week) during summer and school vacations. Employment may never exceed 20 hours in any given week during the academic year.
  • You can work for different on-campus employers, but the cumulative total must never exceed 20 hours per week during the school year. 
  • The on-campus employment position must not be college work-study (CWS) . CWS is a government-funded financial aid program for US citizens and US permanent residents only. International students are not permitted to accept CWS positions 
  • The employment may but does not need to be related to your field of study.

Employment at Teachers College

If you have been offered a job on Teachers College campus, you will need to:

  1. Report to the Office of Human Resources at Teachers College to follow all appropriate hire procedures.
  2. If necessary, obtain a Social Security number.  If you do not have a Social Security number, please refer to the Social Security instructions in this web site.
  3. Maintain full-time student status (12 points or the equivalent) while you are working.

Employment at Columbia (or Columbia affiliate)

If you have been offered a job on the Columbia campus or a Columbia affiliate, you will need to:

  1. Obtain an authorization letter from the Office of International Services. The OIS will need to verify with TC Human Resources whether or not you are working on the TC campus and if so, the number of hours per week you are working. If you are working at TC and at Columbia, the total number of hours worked per week cannot exceed more than 20 during the academic year.
  2. If you have been offered employment at Columbia and you have received an OIS authorization letter, go to Kent Hall located at Columbia University to complete an I-9 Form. Take the authorization letter as well as your passport, I-94 and I-20. Note: If you have been offered employment at a Columbia affiliate, speak to your hiring department regarding completion of the I-9 Form. 
  3. Obtain a Social Security number if necessary (see #5, above).
  4. Maintain full-time student status (12 points or the equivalent) while you are working.

After completing your course of study (i.e., completing all requirements for the degree indicated on your I-20) you may continue on-campus employment only if you have been issued a new I-20 for a new degree program. All on-campus employment must otherwise cease upon completion of studies.

Current F-1 regulations allow for part-time employment "at an off-campus location which is educationally affiliated with the school." This means that you may be eligible to work at an off-campus site or for an off-campus employer as long as the work is carried out under the supervision of a TC faculty member who is conducting research pursuant to a contractually-funded grant. The faculty member is permitted to 'hire' a TC student, even if the work takes place at an off-campus site, as long as the work is affiliated with the curriculum of your TC program and/or is being carried out pursuant to a contractually-funded research project.

To be authorized for "Affiliated" employment, bring the following to the Office of International Services:

    1. A letter from your advisor offering you the position which includes job description and describes how the proposed employment is an integral part of your educational program. The letter should be issued by the TC faculty member who is participating in the research project and who is responsible for supervising your work.
    2. Come to the OIS with the letter. If approved, the OIS will provide written authorization allowing you to accept the employment.
    3. Take the OIS letter (as well as your I-20, passport and I-94 card) to the off-campus employer to complete an I-9 Form
    4. If necessary, apply for a Social Security number (see above).