On-campus employment for J-1 international students is limited to 20 hours a week (part-time) during fall and spring semesters and 40 hours a week (full-time) during summer and university breaks. J-1 undergraduate and graduate students may begin on-campus employment at the beginning of their first semester at USC. On-campus employment for J-1 students must be granted in writing and prior to the employment start date.
Many international students apply for positions in various campus locations such as the bookstore, Department of Public Safety, libraries, Hospitality services, Transportation services or are employed through a scholarship, fellowship or assistantship in their academic department.
Students are advised to sign up for direct deposit to receive payment for hourly work, stipends and reimbursements.
Please keep in mind that international students are not eligible for work-study positions on campus, as these positions are funded only for U.S. citizens and permanent residents by the U.S. government.
Off-Campus Employment which may Qualify as On-Campus Employment
Immigration regulations allow international students to work at an off-campus location provided the following:
- The employer is educationally affiliated with USC
- The educational affiliation is associated with USC’s established curriculum or is related to a graduate level research project which USC has contracted to perform, AND
- The employment at this off-campus location is an integral or important part of a student’s academic program
OIS requires a letter from the student’s academic advisor department confirming that the employment meets ALL of the qualifications above.
For clarification on whether an employment at off-campus location qualifies as on-campus employment, please make an appointment to meet with the Exchange Visitor Program Coordinator.
On-Campus Job Search Resources
A Note of Caution
While the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) regulations provide a variety of opportunities for J-1 international students to be employed during their time in J-1 student status, working improperly or without proper authorization is a serious violation of the J-1 student status. Please consult with the Exchange Visitor Program Coordinator with any concerns.