Eligibility to engage in on-campus employment is “incident” to F-1 status. This means that anyone currently maintaining F-1 status may engage in on-campus employment at the institution that issued his or her current Form I-20, within the limitations outlined below, without requesting formal authorization from either a DSO or USCIS, and without updating their SEVIS record. Employment eligibility ends whenever a student fails to maintain status.

In addition, students seeking employment will want to become familiar with the student employment procedures and UIS Career Connect.

Limitations to On-Campus Employment

  • Initial entry students cannot begin work sooner than 30 days prior to the start of classes.
  • On-campus work is limited to no more than 20 total hours per week while school is in session. (On-campus employment may be full-time during vacation periods for students who are eligible and intend to register for the subsequent academic term. A good way to demonstrate that intention is to take advantage of the Early Registration option offered during the term prior to the vacation period.)
  • A student may not engage in on-campus employment during the 60-day grace period following the completion of a course of study unless they will be continuing at UIS in a Master’s level program following completion of the Bachelor’s degree, or plan to transfer to another school and the SEVIS record has not yet been transferred.
  • Students temporarily attending two institutions concurrently may work only on the campus of the institution that issued the form I-20.
  • Although permitted by federal law, internal UIS hiring policies do not currently allow for on-campus employment by non-immigrant students and scholars prior to receipt of a Social Security (PDF) card. In order to obtain the card, you will need to have been in the United States for at least a few days (two weeks is a reasonable time frame), have a firm offer of employment (in writing) from an on-campus employer, and obtain a letter from the Office of International Student Services stating that you are maintaining your status.