Employing international students can be beneficial for your office or organization.  In addition to discipline-specific skills that they have learned in the classroom, they often bring foreign language skills, a diversity of worldviews and insights into other cultures to their workplace.  International students generally have opportunities to work in the US as part of their student visa at no additional cost to their employer.  However, work authorization may require some extra steps for the student.  This page has information about how to hire international students and the processes that they need to complete.

On-Campus Employment during Studies

Most international students are allowed to work on campus.  In some cases, students must be authorized to work by the OIE before they start working.  Learn more about each of the steps in the on-campus job search below.

On-campus employment, for immigration purposes, is work for the University of Vermont or for certain organizations operating on the UVM campus employers where the work directly benefits the students of the university, such as the UVM dining halls or UVM Hillel. If you work for such an organization and are not sure if you can hire an international student, please contact us. 

Notes on Posting Jobs

Undergraduate and exchange students should start their job search by looking on the Student Employment Office’s Jobs Board.  If you are a UVM department interested in hiring an international undergraduate or exchange student, please work with the Student Employment Office (SEO) to post your job and hire a student through their process.  International graduate students do not have access to SEO’s Jobs Board.  If you are interested in hiring a graduate student, you will need to hire the student as a temporary employee through UVM’s Human Resource Services.

Obtaining Work Authorization

After a student receives an on-campus job offer, the student needs to check that he or she has the right work authorization.  Most degree-seeking students at UVM are F-1 students.  F-1 students are allowed to work on campus without special permission from the OIE.  They can work up to 20 hours per week on campus while school is in session.  There is no limit to the number of hours that students can work while school is not in session.  F-1 students can start working as soon as they have completed their hiring paperwork, including an I-9.

Most exchange students and a few degree-seeking students are J-1 students.  J-1 students are allowed to work on campus but they must have special permission from the sponsor of their immigration document before they start working.  The student will need a job offer letter from the department to obtain work authorization.  The letter needs to be on letterhead and signed.  It should also include the name of the department, the student’s job title, the approximate number of hours per week and an anticipated start date.  Depending on who has sponsored the student’s immigration document, on-campus work authorization can take one to two weeks to process.

Completing Hiring Paperwork

After an international student has received the proper work authorization, he or she may need to complete additional hiring paperwork with Human Resource Services.  If a student has never been employed with UVM or if there has been a significant gap in employment with UVM, the student will need to complete a new I-9 and W-4.  If a student has recently worked for UVM, please check with Human Resource Services to see if the right documentation is on file. Note: I-9s can only be completed once a student is physically present in the US. 

Obtaining a Social Security Number (SSN)

Students are allowed to start working before they receive a social security number (SSN).  However, they need a social security number (SSN) before UVM can release their paychecks.  If a student already has a social security number, he or she is paid in the same way as any other student. 

If a student does not have a SSN, he or she should bring a written job offer letter from the hiring office to the OIE for SSN support.  The job offer letter must include the name of the hiring department, the student’s job title and an anticipated start date.  The student will need the job offer letter and a support letter from the OIE to apply for a SSN at the Social Security Administration (SSA).  Generally, it takes 1-2 weeks for the SSA to process the SSN application.  After the student receives an SSN card, he or she should report the SSN to UVM’s Payroll Services to receive his or her paycheck.

On-Campus Employment after Graduation

International students need special permission to work on campus after graduation.  Students are responsible for applying for post-graduation work authorization in a timely manner and should contact the OIE if they have questions about this process.  Students must stop working as soon as their immigration document ends unless they have applied for and received appropriate work authorization.  For most students, the last day of on-campus employment without special post-graduate authorization is the date of graduation of their last registered semester. However, this is nuanced – if you have a student who will continue to work for you after graduation, please have them speak with an advisor in our office early to plan ahead.

Notes on Appropriate Jobs

Post-graduation work authorization is only for work related to a student’s studies.  The work should be related to what a student has studied and it should be commensurate with the student’s degree.  Graduate students who have received post-graduation work authorization are no longer allowed to hold graduate student assistantships.  Students should be hired through standard HR processes.

Obtaining Work Authorization

Most students are eligible for 12-36 months of post-graduation work authorization as a continuation of their student status.  This time is designed for students to obtain practical experience in their field.  The length of the work authorization depends on their field of study, their visa status and other factors.  This initial work authorization is has no cost to employers.  Students are responsible for applying for the work authorization in a timely manner with support from our office.

Completing Hiring Paperwork

Students will need to complete a new I-9 or an I-9 reverification to work on campus after graduation.  They should do this with Human Resource Services.

Off-Campus Employment during Studies

International students are permitted to work off campus only if the work is an integral part of their studies and they have received special immigration authorization for that employment.  The position in your company or organization must be related to what the student is studying in order for the student to receive work authorization.  Students find off-campus jobs through a variety of sources.  If you are looking to post a position, please contact UVM’s Career Center.  

Notes on Appropriate Jobs

International students may receive work authorization for different types of work opportunities during their degree, including paid or unpaid internships.  However, any off-campus position must be related to a student’s studies.

Obtaining Work Authorization

After the student has a job offer and has worked with and academic advisor to establish the curricular connection (including corresponding course) they must submit an application with supporting documentation to the OIE.  This supporting documentation includes a job offer letter.  The job offer letter should be on company letterhead include the following information:

  • Start and end date of employment, expected hours per week
  • Address of employment
  • Job title, and a brief description of job duties.
  • Supervisor name and contact information

Obtaining a Social Security Number (SSN)

Students are allowed to start working before they receive a social security number (SSN).  However, they need a social security number (SSN) before their employer can release their paychecks.  If a student already has a social security number, he or she is paid in the same way as any other student. 

If a student does not have a SSN, he or she should bring a written job offer letter from the employer to the OIE for SSN support.  The job offer letter must include the name of the hiring department, the student’s job title and an anticipated start date.  The student will need the job offer letter to apply for a SSN at the Social Security Administration (SSA).  Generally, it takes 1-2 weeks for the SSA to process the SSN application.  After the student receives an SSN card, he or she should report the SSN to his or her employer to receive his or her paycheck.

Off-Campus Employment after Graduation

International students have the opportunity to apply for post-graduation work authorization as an extension of their student status.  This work authorization is available at no additional cost to the employer and offers students the opportunity to have practical training in their field.  Students are responsible for applying for post-graduation work authorization in a timely manner and should contact the OIE if they have questions about this process.

Notes on Appropriate Jobs

Post-graduation work authorization is only for work related to a student’s studies.  The work should be related to what a student has studied and it should be commensurate with the student’s degree.  Graduate students who have received post-graduation work authorization are no longer allowed to hold graduate student assistantships.  Students should be hired through standard HR processes.

Obtaining Work Authorization

Generally, students are eligible for 12-36 months of post-graduation work authorization as a continuation of their student status.  This time is designed for students to obtain practical experience in their field.  The length of the work authorization depends on their field of study, their visa status and other factors.  This initial work authorization is has no cost to employers.  Students are responsible for applying for the appropriate work authorization in a timely manner and should contact the OIE if they have questions about this process. If your unit wishes to sponsor the student beyond this time period, you will work with International Scholar Services on this matter. 

 

If you have questions about employing international students, contact our office at 802-656-4296 or InternationalStudents@uvm.edu.