Overview and definition
F-1 students are eligible to work on-campus while attending classes. The work does not need to be related to the student’s field of study. Students must maintain legal F-1 status while engaging in on-campus employment.
On-campus employment includes:
- Work done in the University library, laboratories, residential buildings, administrative offices, or doing research on-campus
- Employment with on-location commercial firms which provide services for students on campus, such as restaurants located in a University-owned building
- If you have questions about if something counts as “on-campus,” ASK!
- Students may work up to 20 hours per week while school is in session and up to 40 hours per week during official school breaks (this does not include recesses or days with no class)
- Continuing students may exceed 20 hours per week on campus work after the final exam period (which may be later than when final exams take place) is over.
- Graduating students are allowed to work until the official last day of university finals. The dates of the finals period are posted in the Academic Calendar. (Check the calendar to confirm the dates for your school)
- Students may be eligible to work on-campus while also engaging in Curricular Practical Training (CPT), if allowed by their department. Students cannot work on-campus while holding a Stipended Graduate Assistantship (SGA).
- F-1 students can participate in remote on-campus employment for a different Northeastern campus located in the U.S. that is not their home campus. F-1 students are not eligible to work remotely for a non-U.S. based Northeastern campus.
- Example: An F-1 student at the Boston campus may be a Teaching Assistant for a course taking place at the Seattle campus. However, an F-1 student at the Silicon Valley campus cannot be a Teaching Assistant for a course taking place at the Toronto campus.
NOTE: If you already have a Social Security Number, you do not need to request an on-campus employment Social Security Number (SSN) Letter from the Office of Global Services (OGS). In this case, you can apply for on-campus work directly with the Office of Student Employment, Graduate Assistantships and Fellowship (SEGAF)
If you have been offered an on-campus job for the first time and do not have a Social Security Number (SSN), you will need to obtain an on-campus employment SSN letter from OGS. This letter can be presented to the Social Security Administration (SSA) in order to apply for a SSN. Please follow the steps below if you have a job offer and need to obtain a SSN.
1 Make sure your employer is considered on-campus by OGS by referring to the list below.
2 Log into myOGS.
Submit the F-1 On-Campus Employment Request e-form.
3 A Designated School Official (DSO) from OGS will review and sign the letter, if eligible.
An email will be sent to your Northeastern email address with the letter attached, along with an updated I-20 if needed.
NOTE: The processing time for the on-campus employment letter is 10 business days.
4 Present the letter to the Social Security Administration (SSA) in order to apply for a Social Security Number (SSN).
For detailed instructions on how to apply for a Social Security Number, please refer to the Social Security Number section of OGS website.
5 Visit the Office of Student Employment, Graduate Assistantships, and Fellowships (SEGAF) to complete the hiring process.
Check the SEGAF website for more information.
F-1 students may work up to 40 hours per week during vacation periods. This includes:
- Between terms or semesters
- The day after the last day of the final exam period up until the start of the next term/semester
- Vacation/Break (i.e. Thanksgiving Break, Winter Break, Spring Break)
- During Thanksgiving Break students may work up to 40 hours from 11/22/2023 – 11/25/2023
- Summer is not considered a vacation period under the following circumstances:
- If summer is the first term of your program
- If you have “changed degree levels” and are in the first term of your new degree level
- If you complete your program during a summer term
- If your program requires you to take a full course load during a summer term
- If you are returning from a leave of absence with a new SEVIS record
NOTE: If you decide to take a summer classes by choice, you should still be able to work more than 20 hours per week.
The official start and end date of terms, exams, and university breaks are all posted in the Academic Calendar. Check the calendar to confirm the dates for your school.
Approved on-campus employers
The following non-Northeastern on-campus employers have been determined to be acceptable for on-campus employment for F-1 students by OGS.
(Please pay attention to the specific location that is considered on-campus employment. For example, you would be allowed to work at Tatte Bakery and Cafe in Marino Center but not at any general Tatte Bakery and Cafe location).
Approved non-Northeastern on-campus employers:
- Dunkin Donuts (Shillman Hall)
- Dunkin Donuts (Richards/Hayden Hall)
- Caffe Strega (ISEC)
- Reprographics (Ell Hall)
- Vanguard (Columbus Parking Garage)
- B.Good (Marino Center)
- Cafe 716
- Rebecca’s (Churchill Hall)
- Subway (Ryder Hall)
- Ryder Cafe (Ryder Hall)
- Cafe Crossing (International Village)
- Kaplan (Belvidere)
- Tatte Bakery and Cafe (Northeastern)
- IST Management Services (Northeastern Mail Services)
- Northeastern Peer Tutoring by Knack (Boston Campus)
Unapproved on-campus employers
The following non-Northeastern on-campus employers have been determined to be unacceptable for on-campus employment for F-1 students by OGS.
Unapproved non-Northeastern employers near campus:
- Amelia’s Taqueria
- Ruggles MBTA Eateries
- Boston Shawarma
- Wings Over Boston
- Chatime NEU
- University House of Pizza
- New England Conservatory
If the on-campus employer you would like to work at is not listed on either the acceptable or unacceptable list, please contact OGS for guidance. DO NOT START WORKING until you receive an approval from OGS.