On Campus Employment

F-1 Employment

On-campus Employment

On-campus employment is employment at TC or a TC affiliate, such as Columbia University, Barnard College, ect. You can work on-campus if: 

  • You have valid F-1 status
  • You are enrolled full-time in a TC program
  • You have an unexpired passport
  • You have a valid, unexpired Form I-20
  • you have an I-94 record annotated "F-1 D/S"

Requirement of On-Campus Employment

  • Your employment may take place at any TC office or department, or a commercial firm located at TC that provides direct services to students. On-campus employment also includes graduate assistantships or fellowships. For a listing of job opportunities on-campus, visit the Office of Human Resources website
  • 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 regularly scheduled breaks. 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 cannot 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. Contact the Office of Human Resources at Teachers College and follow all appropriate hire procedures.
  2. Obtain a Social Security number
  3. Maintain full-time student status (9 points or the equivalent) while you are working.

Employment at Columbia University (or Columbia affiliate)

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

  1. Submit an On-Campus Employment Letter Request via TC-Compass and obtain an employment authorization letter from the OISS. The OISS 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 OISS 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.
  4. Maintain full-time student status (9 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 employment at TC only if you have been issued a new I-20 for a new degree program or if you are authorized for Post-Completion OPT and the employment is in your field of studies. 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 OISS with the letter. If approved, the OISS will provide written authorization allowing you to accept the employment.
    3. Take the OISS 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).
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