The Center for International Education at Juniata College has prepared the following information about employment requirements for students visiting the United States. Please send us an email message for help or to ask for more information.

Guidelines for Employment

If you have student visa status (F-1 or J-1) to study in the United States, you must maintain your status at all times to be eligible for employment.  All students must obtain a social security card to be employed and paid, and they must complete the necessary paperwork in the Office of Human Resources.

Maintaining Status for F-1 and J-1 Visa Students

  • Keep a valid passport. 
  • Attend only where you are authorized to attend and maintain full-time academic status (minimum of 12 credits).
  • Refrain from off-campus employment without authorization, and limit on-campus employment to no more than 20 hours per week while school is in session.
  • Report any change in address to the Center for International Education within 10 days of the address change. You may email international@juniata.edu.
  • Obtain signatures on immigration documents from the Center for International Education before traveling outside of the United States. You may need a new visa to re-enter the U.S. Please check with the Center for International Education. 
  • Apply for an extension on the I-20 or DS-2019 at least 30-45 days before the completion date. 
  • Keep all immigration documents in a secure place.  Keep all original copies of the I-20 and DS-2019. 
Maintaining Status Regulations for F-1 Students

“Undergraduate study at a college or university, certified by a school official to consist of at least twelve semester or quarter hours of instruction per academic term in those institutions using standard semester, trimester, or quarter hour systems, where all undergraduate students who are enrolled for a minimum of twelve semester or quarter hours are charged full-time tuition or are considered full-time for other administrative purposes, or its equivalent (as determined by the district director in the school approval process), except when the student needs a lesser course load to complete the course of study during the current term…” [8 CFR 214.2(f)(6)(i)(B)].

“Current name and address. A student must inform the DSO and the Service of any legal changes to his or her name or of any change of address, within 10 days of the change, in a manner prescribed by the school. A student enrolled at a SEVIS school can satisfy the requirement in 8 CFR 256.1 of notifying the Service by providing a notice of a change of address within 10 days to the DSO, who in turn shall enter the information in SEVIS within 21 days of notification by the student” [8 CFR 214.2(f)(17)].

On-Campus Employment

F-1 Students

On-campus employment is permitted as long as the student is registered as a full-time student and the following is provided:

      • You are maintaining F-1 status and are in good academic standing.
      • You do not work more part-time hours (no more than 20 hours per week or at Juniata no more than 17.5 hours per week) while school is in session.
      • No special authorization is required. 

J-1 Students

On-campus employment is permitted as long as the student is registered as a full-time student and the following is provided:

        • You are maintaining J-1 status and are in good academic standing.
        • You do not work more part-time (no more than 20 hours  per week or at Juniata no more than 17.5 hours per week) while school is in session.
        • J-1 students must provide specific information to the Center for International Education about the on-campus employment. The information should include: employer name; employer address; number of hours per week; employment begin and end dates.    
        • The Center for International Education staff will report the on-campus employment in the Student Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS).

Off-Campus Employment

F-1 Student Practical Training Options

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is available if the employment is an integral part of an established curriculum. F-1 students must be in-status for nine months before qualifying for CPT. CPT is defined to be alternate work/study programs, internships, cooperative education programs, or any other type of required internship or practicum which is offered by sponsoring employers through cooperative agreements with school.  The training must be a required part of the major for all students in the major.   

Optional Practical Training (OPT) is defined as “temporary employment for practical training directly related to the student’s major area of study” for a maximum of twelve months. Students must be in status for nine months before qualifying for OPT.

The Center for International will hold workshops every year to help students with the Optional Practical Training employment authorization process. 

More information on the Optional Practical Training.

STEM OPT extension is a 24-month period of temporary training that directly relates to an F-1 student's program of study in an approved STEM field.

More information on applying for STEM OPT Extension can be found here.

Additional information regarding STEM OPT Extension Overview can be found on the Study in the States website.

J-1 Students Academic Training

Academic training is employment or training that is authorized for a specific period of time in order for students in J-1 visa status to gain practical experience in their field of study. Academic training must complement a student’s academic activities and supplement the stated program objectives. 

What are the Eligibility Requirements?

        • You may work no more than 17.5 hours per week while school is in session and 40 hours per week during summer and vacations. 
        • Your primary purpose must be to study rather than to engage in academic training only.  You must be enrolled in at least 12 credits at Juniata. 
        • You must be in good academic standing.
        • The proposed academic training must be directly related to your field of study as listed on your DS-2019 form.

More information on the Academic Training Program.

Social Security Process

A social security number is a unique identifying number assigned by the national government to all United States Residents. The number is used is used for employment purposes in the United States in order to report wages to the government.

Generally, only non-US citizens who have permission to work from Department of Homeland Security (DHS) can apply for a Social Security number.  To apply for a social security number:

        • Meet with the Center for International Education Staff. 
        • Complete the Application for a Social Security Card (FormSS-5)
        • Show original documents proving immigration status, work eligibility, age, and identity.  These include: Passport; visa, I-94, and I-20 or DS-2019. 
        • Take completed application and original documents to the local Social Security Office.

Immigration Status

To prove your immigration status, students must present the current immigration document, I-94, Arrival/Departure Record and your visa page in your passport.  If  you are an F-1 student, you must also provide your I-20, Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status.  If you are a J-1 student, you must show your DS-2019, Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor Status.  You must also show the visa page

Work Eligibility F-1

As an F-1 student, you must present a letter from the designated school official (staff in the Center for International Education) and your employer.  The letter from the Designated School Official should indicate you are in good academic standing and have valid F-1 status.

The letter from your employer must be in official letterhead and should include the following information:

            • Identity of employee
            • Nature of job the student is, or will be, engaged in
            • Anticipated or actual employment start date
            • Number of hours the student is expected to work
            • Employer identification number (EIN)
            • Employer contact information, including the telephone number and the name of the F-1 student’s immediate supervisor
            • Original signature and signatory’s title
            • Date

Work Eligibility J-1

As a J-1 student, you must present a letter from the responsible or alternate responsible officer (staff in the Center for International Education) on the exchange program letterhead.  The letter from the responsible or alternate responsible officer should indicate you are in good academic standing, have valid J-1 status, and have employment.  

For more information on applying for a Social Security Card please visit the Social Security Website. You may also come to the Office for International Education for help.