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F-1 On Campus Employment

If you are an F-1 student, you are eligible to work on-campus as long as you meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • You must be a full-time student in an Lehigh degree program
  • You must have a valid, activated SEVIS Form I-20 from Lehigh University
  • You must have a valid, unexpired passport
  • You must have an I-94 card that is marked "F-1 D/S"

As long as you meet the above criteria, you may engage in on-campus employment. There is no "waiting period" before you are allowed to accept an on-campus job. You may NOT engage in on-campus employment if any of the following applies:

  • You are not registered as a full-time student (or, if working during the summer term, you do not intend to register in the upcoming fall semester)
  • You have graduated or taken a leave of absence and do not intend to begin a new program at Lehigh University in the next available term
  • You do not have valid documents as listed above
  • The on-campus job is coded as "federal work-study" unless you are an undergraduate student and were awarded work-study upon your admission to Lehigh.

Restrictions on Hours and Locations

On-campus employment restrictions:

  • Employment is limited to part-time positions during the school year; full-time positions are permitted during official vacation periods. For hourly positions, part-time employment is a maximum of 20 hours per week; full-time employment is over 20 hours per week.
    • Official vacation periods at Lehigh are:
      • Summer Vacation - the day after finals end to the day before the fall semester starts
      • Pacing Break - Monday & Tuesday
      • Thanksgiving Holiday - Wednesday to Sunday
      • Christmas Break - the day after finals end to the day before the spring semester starts
      • Spring Break - Monday to Sunday
  • Your employment may take place at any Lehigh office or department, or a commercial firm located at Lehigh that provides direct services to students (e.g., the bookstore). On-campus employment also includes graduate, research or teaching assistantships.
  • In certain circumstances on-campus employment may include off-campus (non-Lehigh) sites under "extended" on-campus employment. This applies if you are working at a non-Lehigh site but you are being paid through a research grant or contractual agreement between your academic advisor and an outside firm or organization. The research project must be directly related to your studies and appropriate to your degree level, and your work must be supervised by your academic advisor.

Procedures

If you meet all of the above criteria, you do not need to obtain specific authorization from the ISS but it is best to check with ISS. When you begin work, you and your employer must complete a form entitled "Employment Eligibility Verification" (USCIS Form I-9) which can be processed by ISS. Please note that the I-9 must be updated each time you renew your work permission.

Important Notes

  • You are ineligible to engage in on-campus employment if you are on a medical or academic leave of absence or on academic suspension. You may engage in on-campus employment only when you have resumed full-time studies.
  • F-2 Dependants (spouses and children) are prohibited from accepting any type of employment
  • On-Campus Employment while in the process of transferring to another school after completion of a degree program: A student may work on campus at the school where the student has completed a course of study only if the student is planning to continue studies and transfer to a new school. Once the new school issues the new transfer SEVIS, the student may not continue studies at the old school, but may work on campus at the new school.
  • Failure to Comply with Employment Regulations: It is your responsibility to comply with all Immigration regulations which apply to F-1 students. The ISS Staff have the responsibility for advising and counseling you regarding your employment options and your own responsibilities. If you fail to comply with the regulations, you may not be eligible for benefits normally granted to F-1 students and, in some situations; you may be subject to deportation.

Social Security and Medicare:

In general, F-1 students who have been in the U. S. less than five years are exempt from Social Security (F.I.C.A.) withholding. Further information may be found in a booklet entitled "Social Security Coverage for Foreign Students & Exchange Visitors", available from your local Social Security Administration office.

Federal, State and Local Taxes:

The earnings of F-1 students are subject to applicable federal, state and local taxes, and these amounts should be withheld from paychecks unless partially exempt because of a tax treaty. You must file an income tax return on or before April 15th of each year, which will determine if any of the withheld taxes can be reclaimed.

Tax Exemption: Some countries have treaty agreements with the United Sates which exempts F-1 students from paying all or part of the taxes. Check with the Payroll Office to see if your country has a tax treaty.

A Note of Caution: While USCIS regulations provide a variety of opportunities for you to be employed during your time in F-1 status, working improperly or without authorization is a serious violation of your status. You should consult with the international student advisor before taking up any employment.

Office of International Students and Scholars • Lehigh University • 32 Sayre Drive, Coxe Hall, Bethlehem, PA 18015 • 610-758-4859 • Fax: 610-758-5156 • intnl@lehigh.edu
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