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Student Employment

On Campus Employment

As an F-1 student, you are eligible to work on campus up to 20 hours per week while classes are in session. You may work full-time during holidays, breaks and the summer.

Off Campus Employment

In order to legally work off campus, you must apply for either Curricular Practical Training (CPT) or Optional Practical Training (OPT). 

2015 Tax Information

On-Campus Employment

As an F-1 student, you are eligible to work on campus up to 20 hours per week while classes are in session. You may work more than 20 hours per week during vacation breaks (spring, summer etc).  To work on campus, you must first secure a position on campus, then obtain a Social Security Number (SSN) from the Social Security Office and then submit the proper paperwork to the Student Employment and Financial Aid offices.  

Many office jobs for international students generally become available 2 months into the semester.  If you want a job at the start of the semester, you may apply at the Bookstore (in Collins Hall, near Dunkin Donuts) or at Dining Services (3Rd floor of La Cava Center).The hiring process for these positons is different from other on-campus positions.

How to Apply for an On-Campus Job

How to Obtain a Social Security Number (SSN)


Academic Training

J-1 exchange visitor students may engage in paid off-campus employment in the United States to gain professional training before and after completion of their academic program if the employment is directly related to their coursework. This type of employment is called academic training.

To participate in academic training, you must:

  • Be in good academic status before applying
  • Obtain advance, written authorization from the Cronin Office of International Education for academic training for wages or other remuneration
  • Begin academic training no later than 30 days following the completion of your studies
  • Obtain formal authorization for non-paid internships

As a J-1 exchange visitor sponsored by Bentley, you may receive academic training for the amount of time equal to your time enrolled at the university (18-month maximum). One-semester exchange students are eligible for four months of academic training, and one-year exchange students are eligible for nine to 12 months.

Academic Training Application Procedures

To complete your academic training application, you must:

1. Obtain a letter of recommendation from your academic adviser from the Cronin Office of International Education. The letter must include:

  • The goals and objectives of the specific employment opportunity
  • A description of the employment opportunity, including its location, the name and address of the supervisor, number of hours per week, and dates of the training
  • How the training relates to your major field of study
  • Why it is an integral or critical part of your academic program

2. Call us to schedule an appointment with a staff member. Be sure to bring to your appointment the recommendation letter and the employment offer letter.

We will provide you with written authorization for the proposed academic training upon review and approval from the Cronin Office of International Education.

Employment for Severe Economic Hardship

You may be eligible for general off-campus employment authorization if you are facing severe economic hardship caused by unforeseen circumstances beyond your control, such as substantial currency fluctuations, medical bills, and substantial or unexpected expenses.

Employment is limited to no more than 20 hours per week during the fall and spring semesters. You may work up to 40 hours per week during annual breaks (summer, winter, and spring).

Requests for this type of employment authorization must be submitted to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). We will assist you in submitting the application. Please review the following information carefully.

Eligibility Criteria

  • You are in good academic standing and are maintaining a full course of study.
  • You can demonstrate unforeseen economic hardship.
  • You cannot find an on-campus job or practical training opportunity that meets your financial need.
  • You have been in F-1 status for one full academic year.
  • Your employment will not interfere with your studies.

Application Procedures

  1. Compose a letter for the USCIS in which you describe the nature of your unforeseen economic hardship.
  2. Attach supporting documentation to your letter, such as news articles, letters from sponsors, and documents from financial institutions.
  3. Complete Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization
  4. Have two green card-style photos made according to the photo guidelines
  5. Schedule an appointment with a CISS adviser, who will review your application and enter your employment request into SEVIS. You will be provided with a new SEVIS I-20 for submission with your application.
  6. When you come for your appointment, please bring with you:
  • Letter for the USCIS
  • Passport, original Bentley I-20 (plus all previous I-20s issued to you from Bentley or other institutions you have attended), and I-94 admission/departure card printed from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website
  • I-765 form
  • Personal check in the amount of $380 and made payable to Department of Homeland Security
  • Two photos (print your name and I-94 number on the back in pencil or lightly in pen)
  • If you have received work authorization from USCIS in the past, you will also need to send copies of your prior work authorization card/application

Please allow at least 12 weeks for the USCIS to process your application. You can begin working after USCIS has approved your application and you have received your Employment Authorization Document (EAD). If granted, your employment authorization will be valid for up to one year. You can submit an application to renew your work permission, provided you still meet the criteria at the end of one year.