It is essential that you understand and follow the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) restrictive employment regulations. Ignorance of the regulations does not excuse a student from the serious consequences of unauthorized employment, which may result in deportation. You must obtain appropriate employment authorization before you engage in any type of employment.
Definition of Employment
"Employment" is any work performed or services provided (including self-employment) in exchange for money or other benefits or compensation (i.e. free room and board in exchange for babysitting).
Social Security Number
Individuals who are authorized to be employed in the U.S. must have a social security number (SSN) in order to be paid. Prior to applying for a SSN, you must have the following documents:
- A letter verifying an offer of employment
- The Social Security Verification Form completed by a DSO
- Valid passport
- Visa, and
- I-94 Arrival/Departure Record
Application should be submitted at the Social Security Office. After you receive the card by mail, International Admissions will need to make a copy of it for your records.
Office Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m an Wednesday 9 am - noon..
If your I-20 was issued by LBCC, you may work part-time (20 hours per week or less) on the LBCC campus during fall, winter and spring terms. On-campus employment is “incident to status.” If you are not in lawful F-1 status, you are not eligible for on-campus employment.
During annual vacation periods (i.e. summer break), students are allowed to work full-time on campus.
Practical Training (CPT, OPT)
Practical Training authorization permits an F-1 student to be employed temporarily at a job related to the student’s major field of study on-campus or off-campus. There are two types of practical training: curricular and optional. To be eligible for curricular and/or optional practical training, you must have been in lawful F-1 status for one academic year.
Access the CPT Form in order to request authorization.
Severe Economic Hardship
DHS may grant off-campus employment authorization to an F-1 student as a result of a “severe economic hardship caused by unforeseen circumstances beyond the student’s control." It is difficult to obtain this type of work authorization unless you can document that the unforeseen circumstances occurred after you arrived in the U.S. and were beyond your control. In order to apply for this type of employment authorization, you must first meet with the LBCC international advisor to discuss your situation and get the necessary recommendation. It is our observation that this application is expensive and the work authorization often is not approved.
Employment Regulations for F-2
LBCC does not permit individuals in F-2 status to be employed under any conditions. Employment is defined as the rendering of services, part-time or full-time, for financial or other compensation, including self-employment. Since F-2 dependents are not authorized to engage in employment in the United States, they are not eligible to apply for a social security number.