On-Campus Employment

What is On-Campus Employment?

On-campus employment must meet one of the following definitions:

  1. The employment takes place on school premises and the employee (student) is paid by UC Berkeley for the work. Examples include GSI/GSR positions or jobs at Cal Dining, campus libraries, etc. This is the most common type of on-campus employment.
  2. The employment takes place at a commercial firm (e.g., bookstore, coffee shop) that is located on the UC Berkeley campus and that provides services for students on campus.
  3. The employment takes place at an off-campus location that is educationally affiliated with UC Berkeley. The affiliation must be associated with the school's established curriculum or related to contractually funded research projects at the post-graduate level. The employment must be an integral part of the student's educational program.

Please consult with the Berkeley International Office if you need help determining whether your employment qualifies as on-campus.

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How do I find a job on campus as an international student?

The Career Center outlines many opportunities for international students and provides some on-campus job search tips here.

Note that many positions are limited to U.S. nationals because they require federally supported "work-study designation". However, with a little effort and networking, you can find something on campus. Many offices and departments on campus hire student workers and not all are posted online. Most on-campus jobs are found by asking around, being referred by other students, and getting involved in student clubs or organizations.

Departments that commonly hire international students include Cal Dining, the Recreational Sports Facility (RSF), Student Tech Services, the International House, the Cal Calling Center, and RSSP (Housing). This is not an extensive list, however.

Good luck with your search!

Am I eligible for "work-study" jobs?

Unfortunately, F/J international students are not eligible to accept "work-study" jobs. Work-study salaries are paid with U.S. federal funds and as such, F/J students cannot receive this type of funding.

Do I need a Social Security Number?

Yes, all F-1 and J-1 students who will be employed will need to apply for a Social Security Number (SSN). You will apply after you get the job offer and visit BIO. For more information about this process, please refer to our Social Security Number page.

F-1 Students

I am an F-1 student. Do I need permission to work on campus?

No. F-1 students with UC Berkeley issued I-20s may work on-campus without any extra authorization while they are fully-enrolled students with valid, unexpired I-20s.

F-1 On-campus Employment Rules

  • In the fall and spring semesters as well as their last semester, students are limited to 20 hours per week of on-campus work.
  • In the summer between spring/fall semesters, students may work more than 20 hours per week. However, if summer is the first or final semester, employment is limited to 20 hours per week.
  • F-1 on-campus employment authorization ends at the expiration of the I-20 OR the end of the student's final semester of enrollment, whichever occurs first.
  • F-1 students will need to apply for a Social Security Number for all paid on-campus work.

J-1 Students

I am a J-1 student. Do I need permission to work on campus?

Yes. J-1 students must obtain written approval from their program sponsor (BIO) before beginning any type of on-campus employment.

Authorization is employer-specific. If there is a change in the employment (including position, hiring unit, or number of hours per week), a new authorization is required. Authorizations are granted only 1 year at a time.

Steps to obtain authorization:

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

J-1 On-campus Employment Rules

  • To complete the hiring process, student must show the completed form, signed by a Berkeley International Office Advisor, to the UC Berkeley hiring unit.
  • In the fall and spring semesters as well as their last semester, students are limited to 20 hours per week of on-campus work.
  • In the summer between spring/fall semesters, students may work more than 20 hours per week. However, if summer is the first or final semester, employment is limited to 20 hours per week.
  • 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. Students should check the approved Authorization section of the form to determine the length of authorization and number of hours per week.
  • To renew on-campus employment authorization or report changes, please resubmit the 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.
  • J-1 students will need to apply for a Social Security Number for all paid on-campus work.