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On-Campus Employment for J-1 Students

Accepting employment without following these rules could result in serious consequences, including the loss of your visa status. Please review the information on this page carefully.

Federal regulations require J-1 exchange students to obtain authorization in writing and in advance of their employment start date. This comes in the form of documentation from their sponsor for all employment, including on-campus employment.

This is very different from F-1 students who can work on-campus and still maintain their status in the United States.


To be eligible for on-campus employment at SUNY Plattsburgh, a J-1 exchange student must be:

  1. In good academic standing by having a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or above, and
  2. Engaged in a full-time courseload (12 credits or more) of study.

If approved by the Responsible Officer/Alternate Responsible Officer (RO/ARO), a J-1 exchange student may work no more than 20 hours per week total (from all sources of employment) while school is in session. During campus breaks and vacations, a J-1 exchange student may work up to 40 hours a week.

At SUNY Plattsburgh, authorization for on-campus employment must be obtained every semester.

A J-1 exchange student seeking authorization for on-campus employment should do the following steps:

IMPORTANT NOTE FOR IIE, IREX, and WORLD LEARNING SPONSORED STUDENTS: You must have a letter from your sponsor confirming that you are eligible to work on-campus and authorization in SEVIS before GEO can assist you with Social Security Card process. Some sponsors do not allow their students to engage in employment in the U.S.

1. Find a Job On-Campus

Jobs are posted primarily on Handshake, and in many other locations. Contact the Career Development Center if you need assistance. Keep your eyes open!

2. Obtain an Offer of Employment

Students should obtain a letter or other proof of employment from their employer. The letter should be signed and appear on the organization’s letterhead.

3. Visit GEO to Request On-Campus Employment J Visa Authorization Form/Report Your On-campus Employment in SEVIS

After finding a job, and obtaining proof of employment students should visit your International Student Advisor to request an On-Campus Employment J Visa Authorization Form. This is a green form and is not valid until the International Student Advisor has signed and sealed it.

In addition, while you are at GEO, the International Student Advisor must report your on-campus employment in SEVIS. A new DS-2019 may be printed for you to sign and keep with the rest of your documents.

4. Begin Working or Apply for a Social Security Number

If you are renewing your existing On-Campus Employment Authorization Form, you can begin working immediately. If you have never worked in the U.S. before, you will need to apply for a Social Security Number through your International Student Advisor (ISA). Please review the information online about getting a Social Security Card & Non-Driver State Photo ID before your appointment with the ISA.

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