Working as a Student

All international students on a nonimmigrant visa are encouraged to consult with the Office of International Student and Scholar Services (OISSS) prior to seeking employment in the United States.

Since lawful F-1 visa status carries the automatic benefit of on-campus work privilege, working on campus may be the easiest place for international students to find employment. Students in J-1 immigration status are required to seek prior written permission from their program sponsor before beginning on-campus work.  All international students should never work off-campus without prior U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) or OISSS permission.

When international students begin to work at Brown, they should register for the Foreign National Information System (FNIS) . Federa immigration regulations stipulate that international students can work no more than 20 hours per week during the academic year. The Brown University workweek is defined as Sunday to Saturday. International students with questions about employment should visit OISSS during business hours or call (401) 863-2427 to schedule an appointment with an advisor.  OISSS is located on the 5th floor of J. Walter Wilson.

International students who have been offered employment are eligible to apply for a United States social security number. This number is issued for employment purposes only. Although it is not necessary to already have a social security number to begin on-campus employment, it is required to obtain one for payroll purposes and proper tax withholding.

In compliance with the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, the University must also verify your eligibility to work in the United States with an I-9 form.  All international students must present original unexpired immigration documents to a representative of the Human Resources Department (such as an unexpired foreign passport with the I-94 card and I-20 or DS-2019) on or before the date that employment commences.  The form must be completed in its entirety within 3 days of your employment start date. The Office of International Student  and Scholar Services (OISSS) can assist international students in obtaining and completing the required documentation they need in order to work on campus. 

Additional resources