J-1 On-Campus Employment Authorization

All J-1 students must obtain authorization for on-campus employment before beginning any type of work. This includes assistantships (TA, GSR) and fellowships.

NOTE: J-1 students sponsored by another program (i.e. Fulbright, CONACYT, etc.) should contact their program sponsors directly regarding required on-campus employment authorization documents.



Eligibility

In general, students in J-1 status are eligible for on-campus employment, given the following conditions:

  • Student is in good academic standing;
  • Student continues to engage in a full course of study, except for official school breaks and the student's annual vacation;
  • Employment totals no more than 20 hours per week, except during official school breaks and the student's annual vacation; and
  • The student has applied for and received approval for the specific employment in advance and in writing. 

IMPORTANT: On-campus Assistantships or Fellowships: If your employment is pursuant to the terms of a scholarship, fellowship or assistantship, you are required to obtain prior work authorization approval from ISPO. Please follow the application guidelines outlined below.  

Obtaining Authorization

Students who are offered on-campus employment must submit the following documents to ISPO at least 5 business days prior to beginning employment:

NOTE: Our processing time is five business days from the receipt of your completed form and job offer letter. Authorization cannot be given retroactively, so please plan accordingly.

Social Security and Taxes

All persons must have a Social Security number to be employed in the USA. This is not the Campus ID number assigned by UCSD. To apply for a Social Security number, you will need to present a valid passport, I-94, DS-2019, employment authorization letter from the International Center, and a verification letter from the International Center to any local Social Security office. The nearest offices to UCSD are located in Kearny Mesa or downtown San Diego. Visit www.ssa.gov to find the nearest Social Security office to you.

Students in J-1 status are exempt from Social Security tax (FICA), however they are generally subject to federal and state income taxes. Tax forms are available from February through April of each year. Check the Internal Revenue Service website at www.irs.gov for federal tax information and the CA Franchise Tax Board at www.ftb.ca.gov for California tax information. The International Center also provides tax support information from February through April of each year.

Renewal of On-Campus Work Authorization

On-campus employment authorization must be renewed each year. On-campus employment renewals require a new authorization application.

Before your current on-campus work authorization expires, allow yourself enough time to:

  • Obtain an updated job offer letter from your employer
  • Obtain an updated On-Campus Employment Authorization Form

Do not procrastinate! On-campus work authorization cannot be backdated, and starting employment without receiving appropriate authorization could have a negative impact on your J-1 status.