J-1 employment opportunities

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

On-campus employment

On-campus employment may not begin before the first day of class. You are allowed to work 20 hours a week on campus while school is in session.

Employment may be full time (40 hours a week) during vacation periods for students who are eligible and intend to register for the next academic term. International students can apply for student wage jobs only. Once you receive a job offer, you need to provide your employer with the SSN Request form.

Social Security number

J-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 for:

  • Opening a bank account
  • Obtaining a cell phone
  • Renting an apartment
  • 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, you need to provide your employer with the Social Security office.
Once your employer has completed the form, bring it to the Center for International Education’s (CIE) front desk and drop it off for your International Student Adviser. Your International Student Adviser will fill out the bottom portion of the letter and e-mail you when your form is ready to be picked up.

You will take the form to the Social Security office in Flagstaff, along with:
  • A signed SSN Request Form
  • Form DS-2019
  • Your valid passport
  • Your visa
  • Form I-94 (Arrival/Departure Record)

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

All off-campus employment must be authorized in advance and follow specific procedures outlined in the federal regulations. Do not work off campus without permission.

Academic training

Academic training authorization permits a J-1 student to be employed temporarily at a job directly related to his or her major field of study. To be authorized to engage in academic training employment, a J-1 student must have received written approval in advance from the CIE for the duration and type of academic training. Please see the Academic Training packet as well as the iNAU e-forms for more information. In order to apply for Academic Training, you will need to:


  1. Attend an Academic Training workshop
  2. Start the Academic Training e-forms on iNAU
  3. Provide proof of employment
  4. Provide a recommendation from your academic adviser
  5. Provide a recommendation from your home university
  6. Provide proof of financial support
  7. Provide proof of medical insurance
  8. Request a social security number authorization


Economic hardship

Students may receive authorization for off-campus employment when necessary due to unforeseen economic circumstances that have arisen since acquiring exchange visitor status.