J-1 Employment Overview

On-Campus Employment

J-1 students must obtain written approval from their program sponsor before beginning any type of employment. Students who received a DS-2019 from UC Berkeley must obtain authorization from Berkeley International Office before employment begins. This authorization must be shown to the hiring unit at UC Berkeley. The authorization form can be used to apply for a Social Security Number.

Authorization is employer-specific; if you have any change in employment, you must obtain new authorization. Changes include a change in employer, position, hiring unit, and number of hours per week.

On-Campus Employment/Fellowship Authorization Process

If UC Berkeley is your program sponsor (the institution that issued your DS-2019):

  1. Request authorization before beginning on campus employment by submitting the completed J-1 On-Campus Employment Authorization Form to the Berkeley International Office. A BIO Advisor will sign the on-campus employment authorization form and report your employment authorization in the Student and Exchange Visitor System (SEVIS).
  2. Pick up your completed form in three (3) business days.
  3. Apply for a Social Security Number. Use the signed J-1 Employment/Fellowship Authorization form to apply for a Social Security Number (SSN).

On-Campus Employment Rules:

  • Show the completed form, signed by an Advisor at Berkeley International Office, to your employer to complete the hiring process.
  • Employment is limited to 20 hrs/wk. during the semester. Students may work full-time during vacation periods.
  • The on-campus employment authorization form is invalid if the student graduates, fails to maintain J-1 status, or transfers out of UC Berkeley.
  • Employment authorization is valid for a maximum of one year per site of employment. Check the Berkeley International Office Authorization section of the form for your length of authorization and number of hours per week.
  • To renew on-campus employment authorization or report changes, please resubmit this form with the updated information. Students must obtain a new work authorization form when there is a change in the number of hours per week.

Off-Campus Employment

There are two types of off-campus employment authorization. Both require approval from the program sponsor before the employment begins:

  • Academic Training
    employment authorization for work related to a student's field of study.
  • Economic Hardship
    employment authorization based on financial need that had not been anticipated when the student entered the U.S.