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Want to Work?

labTaking a full course load at Rice is a serious time commitment. And then there are clubs, sports, social activities, and college life (for those of you who are undergrads). But maybe you can envision some free time in your hectic week. After all, working is a good way to make some extra money, experience another aspect of American life, and perhaps gain some practical experience related to your studies.

As an international student, are you allowed to get a job? Yes! Er, well, maybe.

For this first post, let’s just talk about on-campus employment – such as working in the library, your department, or the Recreation Center. In other words, any job that is physically located on the Rice campus and is paid by Rice. Later on, we’ll discuss working off-campus, both during your degree program and after you graduate.

For F-1 students (that’s most international students at Rice), you do not need any special permission – either from OISS or the U.S. Government – to get a job on campus. However, you may not work more than 20 hours per week during the semester (you may work more than one job at a time, but all of your jobs may not exceed 20 hours per week). During school breaks and summer vacation you may work more than 20 hours. Make sure to maintain your full-time student status or your work will become illegal. On-campus employment opportunities are coordinated by the Office of Financial Aid, even for students not receiving financial aid.

J-1 students do require prior authorization for on-campus work. If you are on a J-1 visa, please make an appointment with an OISS advisor before you start working.

If you’re getting a job, you’ll also want a Social Security Number. Having an SSN will reduce the taxes automatically deducted from your paycheck and it will often make it easier for you to accomplish administrative tasks in the U.S. (such as opening a bank account). Please have a look at the OISS handout about SSN application procedures. If you stop by OISS, we will be able to give you a map to the closest SSA office and answer any additional questions!

Next time: CPT (off-campus work)

~Written by Matt Stein, International and Sponsored Student Advisor

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