Many international students work on campus with our dining services, student activities, library and other campus offices.

International Student Employment

Employment is any type of work performed or services provided in exchange for money, tuition, fees, books, supplies, room, food or any other benefit.

According to the federal regulations regarding nonimmigrants, a person who is permitted to engage in employment may engage only in such employment as has been authorized. Any unauthorized employment by a nonimmigrant constitutes a failure to maintain status.

Please review the following information regarding the eligible types of employment for nonimmigrant visa holders. Our office encourages all international students seeking legal employment to consult with an international student advisor prior to engaging in any type of work where remuneration is provided. 

On-campus employers can review the process to hire an international student by visiting the International Student Employment business process page.

Social Security Number
Social Security
Sample Social Security card

A Social Security Number is a 9-digit number that is assigned to all US citizens, permanent residents and other individuals who are legally allowed to be employed, for the the purposes of collecting information on wages and earnings.  In order to apply for an SSN, you must have an offer of legal employment, which is approved by the UWF International Student Office. If you have been issued Social Security card, do not carry your card with you. Keep it in a safe place with your other important papers.

On-Campus Employment

On-campus employment for F-1 and J-1 students is work that takes place either at UWF or at an off-campus location that is educationally affiliated with UWF, such as the UWF Historic Trust. Authorized on-campus employment could be for an on-campus commercial business, like a bookstore or cafeteria, as long as the work directly provides services for students.

Important guidelines to remember when considering on-campus employment:

1. No US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) approval is required for on-campus employment if the student is pursuing a full course of study.

2. A student must maintain his or her immigration status to be eligible for on-campus employment.

3. Employment is limited to 20 hours per week while school is in session; full-time employment is permitted during official school breaks (when school is not in session) and during a student’s annual vacation.

4. Employment may begin no sooner than 30 days prior to the start date of classes for new students with initial entry to a new program.

5. Authorization for employment is based on the end date on the I-20 or DS-2019 unless the student completes or terminates his/her program before that date or transfers to another school.  On-campus employment is not allowed after the completion of a program.


F-1 Students

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is an off-campus employment option for F-1 students. The training experience is considered to be an integral part of an established curriculum and directly related to a student’s major area of study. CPT should not be used to facilitate employment.

To be eligible for CPT, a student must:

1. Have been lawfully enrolled on a full-time basis for one academic year (9 months).

2. Hold a job/training offer related to major field of study listed on the I-20.

3. Be a required internship or other practical training necessary for the completion of a degree OR an internship or other practical training attached to a credit bearing course with direct supervision from an academic counselor.

4. Have the training approved by the departmental advisor by having him or her sign the CPT authorization form.

5. Have the training approved by the International Student Office.

6. Not have completed the current degree program.

The International Student Office hosts informational CPT Workshops throughout the semester.

 J-1 Students

Academic Training (AT) 

Academic training is work, training, or experience related to a J-1 student’s field of study. Academic training may involve a number of paid or unpaid teaching or performance opportunities. A student may be authorized to participate in academic training programs for wages or remuneration during his or her studies or commencing not later than thirty (30 days after completion of his or her studies.

To be eligible for AT, a student must:

1. Be in the US primarily to study rather than engage in AT.

2. Have a specific employer or training site, and this position must be directly related to the major field of study listed on the DS-2019.

3. Be in good standing.

4. Have the training approved by the departmental advisor by having him or her sign the AT authorization form.

5. Have the training approved in writing by the home institution abroad.

6. Have the training approved by the International Student Office.

he International Student Office hosts informational AT Workshops throughout the semester.

Post-Graduate Employment

Optional Practical Training (OPT) is designed to complement academic work by providing F-1 visa students with an opportunity to obtain full-time employment experience in their selected discipline or profession for a maximum of one year upon completion of their degree program.

To be eligible for OPT, a student must:

1. Have been lawfully enrolled on a full-time basis for one academic year (9 months).

2. Seek employment related to the major field of study listed on the I-20.  No job is required to apply for OPT.

3. Have registered as a degree candidate with the Office of the Registrar.

4. Have the Graduation Verification Form signed by the departmental advisor.

5. Have the training approved by the International Student Office.

The International Student Office hosts informational OPT Workshops throughout the semester.


All Foreign Nationals living, visiting, working, or studying in the U.S. are responsible for compliance with United States laws and regulations. The Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”), the U.S. government tax authority, has issued strict regulations regarding the taxation and reporting of payments made to non-United States citizens. The University of West Florida may be required to withhold U.S. income tax and file reports with the IRS in connection with payments made to students who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents and who receive financial aid, scholarships, fellowships, awards, or compensation for services performed. For detailed information about filing income tax return forms as a foreign national who resides in the U.S. visit the IRS website for Taxation of Nonresident Aliens. Failure to comply with U.S. tax regulations could subject you to U.S. taxes on your worldwide income and could present serious problems if you were to ever apply for permanent residency in the U.S.

Tax Withholding for Employees

International students are subject to federal and state taxes and exempt from Social Security and Medicare taxes. After students spend more than five years in the US, they become subject to paying Social Security and Medicare taxes in addition to federal and state taxes.

Federal Tax Treatment

The University of West Florida must determine whether a foreign national will be treated as a “resident alien” or a “nonresident alien” for U.S. tax purposes. The substantial presence test is used to calculate the number of days that a foreign national is present in the U.S. and determine whether the individual is a nonresident alien or resident alien for purposes of calculating U.S. tax withholding. UWF is required by law to report to the IRS all payments made to nonresident aliens, or to a third party on his or her behalf, regardless of whether the payment is subject to U.S. tax.