The Student Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) regulations allow F-1 international students to work up to 20 hours a week on-campus when classes are in session and up to 40 hours a week on-campus during the semester break. International students are eligible for student worker positions and graduate assistantships. Student worker positions provide a basic salary with no extra benefits while a graduate assistantship provides a higher salary, possible in-state tuition waivers, and in limited circumstances tuition remission. International students are not eligible for work-study (work permit required) positions.
Students seeking on-campus employment are encouraged to strongly to review the services offered by the A&M-Commerce Career Development Office.
There are very limited opportunities in the U.S. for F-1 students to work off-campus. Off-campus employment is only available to F-1 students at A&M-Commerce after they have completed one academic year of study (fall, spring) and even then the student's options are very limited by the Student Exchange Visitor Program.
International students are strongly encouraged to take caution when considering a volunteer position at a company. While a student may not be paid at a position the position could still be considered employment. To better determine if the off-campus internship is truly volunteer the student together with their potential internship coordinator should review the Department of Labor Fact Sheet related to Internships and the Fair Labor Standards Act listed below. This test for unpaid interns will help the student and employer better determine the nature of the internship.
International students are only eligible for a social security number if they have been offered employment. Generally, international students are only eligible for on-campus employment unless they have met the requirements for practical training. If you have been offered on-campus employment then you will need a letter from your hiring department as stated below:
• Original letter on department letterhead (no copies)
• Original signature (no copies)
• Brief statement of employment and position
• Specific start date of employment (cannot be semester)
You will need to take your department letter of employment to the ISSS in Halladay 104 to complete a request form for an ISSS SSN letter. Please note that students may begin their on-campus employment without having a SSN.
Once the ISS has issued your social security letter you will need to go to the nearest Social Security Office and apply for a SSN. You will need to bring the following documents with you:
• I-20 from A&M-Commerce
• Passport, visa, and I-94
• Original letter of employment from hiring department
• Original SSN letter from the ISSS
• Approval notice if change of status
A letter from the ISSS is not required or necessary to apply for an SSNfor students on approved Curricular Practical Training (CPT) or Optional Practical Training (OPT). Students may take their CPT or OPT I-20, passport, visa, I-94, EAD card for students on OPT, and employment letter to the nearest Social Security Administration Office to apply.
The American tax system is very complex. ISSS advisors are not professionally qualified to provide tax advice. For assistance with the preparation of tax forms, students should seek professional assistance from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), tax accountants, tax attorneys or a licensed tax preparation service.
Students may go to the IRS’s website for international students and scholars at or call 1-800-829-1040. You may also hire a tax service in the yellow pages to assist with your taxes.