F-1 employment opportunities

On-campus employment usually means that you will be getting paid by Northern Arizona University. There are a few exceptions, so be sure to check with your International Student Adviser before beginning any employment.

Curricular Practical Training

CPT is work authorization for paid internships. For this work authorization, the student receives academic credit. Find more information on CPT, including eligibility requirements and how to apply.

Optional Practical Training

OPT is a work authorization benefit available to eligible F-1 students. This benefit allows one year of employment following graduation. Read for more information on OPT, including eligibility requirements and how to apply.

Northern Arizona University offers F-1 students job opportunities. Read more about the rules and requirements for employment. 

On-campus employment

F-1 students may work on-campus 20 hours or less per week when school is in session. Students may work on campus up to 40 hours per week during official breaks if registered for classes for the next semester. The official breaks are:

  • Summer break
  • Spring break
  • Winter break

Social Security number

F-1 students are not eligible for a Social Security number unless they have received a job offer and will be participating in authorized employment. You do not need a Social Security number to:

  • Open a bank account
  • Obtain a cell phone
  • Rent an apartment
  • Use in any other non-tax related purposes

The purpose of a Social Security number is for income tax reporting.

Process after receiving a job offer

  • Once you receive a job offer, submit the Social Security Number Authorization e-form on iNAU.
  • Once your ISSS advisor has approved our request, our office will issue an authorization letter, which can be picked up at CIE. You must take the authorization letter to your supervisor to be signed.
  • You will take the letter to the Social Security office in Flagstaff, along with all your immigration documents to apply for a Social Security number. Once you have applied for a number, you will be given a receipt. You may begin working while you are waiting to be assigned a Social Security number.

Off-campus employment regulations

F-1 students are not generally permitted to work off-campus. Students who engage in unauthorized work are subject to:

  • Loss of eligibility for benefits
  • Deportation

The employer is also subject to fines.

The only exception to this regulation is for F-1 benefits that are authorized before beginning employment. The F-1 benefits include:

  • Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
  • Optional Practical Training (OPT)