On Campus Employment
Many international students at ENC make an income by working an on campus job. On campus employment refers to any job on the ENC campus that is paid by the college. As an international student you may hold an hourly or stipend position on campus. You will not be eligible for any work-study positions as they are a part of a federally funded program.
How do I get authorization to work on campus?
F-1 International Students do not need to get prior authorization to work an on campus job. Despite this, you must abide by the conditions of your F-1 status in order to maintain legal immigration status.
Submit a letter to the DSO that describes the type of work you will be doing, the department's affiliation with ENC, and the number of hours per week you will be working.
Rules for working legally on campus:
1. Enroll as a full-time student. Full-time is at least 12 credit hours per semester for undergraduate students and 6 credit hours per semester for graduate students.
2. Work no more than 20 hours per week during the fall and spring semesters.
- If you have a stipend job that lists 20 hours a week, you may not work another job as your job is listed as 20 hours per week.
3. Work full time only during official college breaks: Summer Break, Winter Break, Spring Break.
ENC student employees are subject to certain limits. If you have multiple on campus jobs, please make sure that all your other employers are aware of your other jobs and that between all jobs you work no more than 20 hours per week.
What to do if you change jobs?
Talk to the DSO before you change jobs. This will allow the DSO to ensure the new position qualifies as on-campus employment and ensure the DSO has the correct employment information in your SEVIS record.
Social Security Number
Any international student working in the United States is required to have a Social Security Number (SSN). The SSN functions as your tax identification number. You will not be able to begin work at ENC without a SSN or a letter or approval for a SSN from the Social Security Administration. For information about how to apply for a SSN see the information to the right.
Curricular Practical Training
As an F-1 student at ENC, if you have the opportunity for practical training in your field of study before you graduate, such as an internship or practicum, then you may be eligible for a type of authorization called Curricular Practical Training (CPT).
CPT authorization must be an integral part of your curriculum and must fulfill a requirement for a course your are registered in, such as a practicum or internship credit. In order to be authorized you must be enrolled in a corresponding course during the period of time that you will work or in the semester immediately following the work.
Before beginning CPT, you must receive authorization from the DSO before you begin. Working without proper authorization is a violation of your legal status that will require the termination of your Student and Exchange Information System (SEVIS) record.
CPT Elgibility Requirements:
To be eligible for CPT you must meet the following requirements:
Work that qualifies for CPT must meet one the following criteria:
How to Apply for CPT:
To apply for CPT authorization, you must complete the following steps:
Optional Practical Training (OPT)
Your F-1 student status allows up to one full-year (12 months) of off-campus employment authorization to gain practical experience related to your major field of study. This year of U.S. work permission is called Optional Practical Training (OPT).
As an F-1 student you are eligible for up to 12 months of OPT authorization per academic level. You can choose to start using your OPT time after you have been enrolled for one full academic year, but many students choose to save your OPT year for after graduation.
You may earn a new year of OPT eligibility if you move to a higher level of education in the U.S. (for instance, from a Bachelor’s to a Master’s degree).
You may be eligible to apply for OPT if:
You may NOT qualify to apply for OPT if:
Keep in mind that an International Student Advisor will review your academic record and your immigration history to evaluate whether we can recommend you for a period of OPT. The final decision on whether to approve your case is made by USCIS.
Part-Time and Full-Time
When you apply for OPT, you must indicate if you are requesting permission for part-time (20 hours per week or less) or full-time (anything over 20 hours) OPT. Part-time authorization allows you to work up to 20 hours per week, while full-time authorization is required if you will work over 20 hours per week.
You can apply for periods of OPT authorization as follows:
Part-time authorization allows you to work up to 20 hours per week, while full-time authorization is required if you will work over 20 hours per week.
If you apply for part-time authorization, it will be deducted from your 12 month total at half the rate. For instance, if you apply for 4 months of part-time OPT, you have used the equivalent of 2 months of full-time OPT and are still eligible to apply for your remaining 10 months.
Types of OPT
You can apply to begin using your OPT time once you have been enrolled for one full academic year (two full semesters), and while you are still completing your program of study.
Pre-completion OPT is available part-time only during semesters of required study, but you can choose either part-time or full-time during summer vacation periods or if you are in the thesis or dissertation stage of a graduate degree.
You may wish to save all or most of your 12 months of OPT eligibility to use after your completion of your program of study.
You must be registered for graduation or have a letter from your academic department verifying the date of expected completion of the program of study when applying for OPT.
When should I Apply for OPT?
We recommend that students apply 90 days before their requested OPT start date as it can take this long for the USCIS to reach a decision on the application. The timing of submitting your OPT application differs depending on whether they are applying for the OPT to begin prior to completion of studies, or after.
In order to work in the United States you will be required to get a Social Security number.
You will need to apply for a SSN at the Social Security Administration Office.
Social Security Office Location
As of March 17, this office will be closed until further notice due to COVID-19. They are still accepting mail and online applications.
1250 Hancock St Suite 210n
Quincy, Massachusetts 02169
Social Security Office Phone Number
800-772-1213 or TTY: 800-325-0778
Social Security Office Hours
Monday 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Tuesday 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Wednesday 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Thursday 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Friday 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Except On Federal Holidays