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International Students

At Illinois State University, we welcome diversity and encourage our international students to apply to positions on campus. We believe that students can greatly benefit from the professional experience of working with academic and non-academic departments. International students should, however, be aware of special requirements that may be needed in order to begin employment. Furthermore, students should also be aware of any visa or work authorization limitations.

Work Hours Limitation

F-1 and J-1 student visa holders are restricted by their visa status to no more than 20 hours per week of on campus employment when the University is in session but may work more when the University is not in session. International students should contact International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) for guidance if they have questions concerning employment restrictions.

Social Security Number

All international students with graduate assistantships or student appointments must obtain a Social Security Number (SSN). Illinois State University, as the employer, is required by federal law to ensure proper tax withholding from wages and to ensure that the required reporting of employee wages, withholding, and employment taxes is accurate. For this reason, every employee must have a valid SSN registered with the University at the time of employment and/or as soon after as possible.

To obtain an SSN, students must apply at a Social Security Administration (SSA) office using the proper documentation required by the SSA (i.e. passport, I-94, and either your I-20 or DS-2019). F-1 and J-1 student visa holders must also provide a verification letter from their DSO/ARO in order to apply for a SSN. Please visit the International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) website or contact your ISSS Advisor for further details.

The local SSA office is located at 207 N. Williamsburg Drive in Bloomington, Illinois, phone (309) 662-1836. The office is open:

  • Monday: 9:00am – 4:00pm
  • Tuesday: 9:00am – 4:00pm
  • Wednesday: 9:00am – 12:00pm
  • Thursday: 9:00am – 4:00pm
  • Friday: 9:00am – 4:00pm

Upon receiving an SSN, students must present the SSN card to Human Resources. Students must also contact the Non-Resident Alien Tax Specialist at (309) 438-3106 to determine their residency status for tax purposes.

I-9 Requirement

All appointments are contingent upon proof of eligibility for employment at Illinois State University to perform the required duties on your scheduled start date. The Immigration and Control Act of 1986, Public Law 99-603, required all new employees to file an I-9 in person and no later than the first day of employment. A list of the types of documentation you will be expected to provide is available here. Failure to comply with this law will result in cancellation of your appointment.

All international student employees and Graduate Assistants must complete their I-9 form in Human Resources. Please see the link above for valid work authorization documents.

Academic English Students

Students who are taking Academic English courses are permitted to work as student employees. Because some job postings have disqualifying questions regarding enrollment, Academic English students should be prepared to notify potential employing departments that they are enrolled in ESL non-credit bearing coursework.

International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS)

Please visit the International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) website website or contact your ISSS Advisor for more information and guidance on international student matters.