While at Puget Sound, students may choose to engage in forms in on-campus or off-campus work opportunities. Resources with the Career and Employment Services Office (CES) can help guide you in your career exploration or on-campus job searches. While being an engaged student is a first priority, many students choose to explore work opportunities to enrich their learning experiences. Below are the types of employment opportunities available to international students. There are guidelines and restrictions to each, so please read carefully!
International students in F-1 or J-1 status can work part-time on campus for up to 20 hours per week. Visit Career and Employment Services (CES) for a list of opportunities. Before you can work, you must have a Social Security Number (SSN). See the 8-step process below for more information about how to obtain an SSN. On-campus employment is only allowable until the date of your graduation.
Process to obtain a Social Security Number (SSN)
Step 1: Secure an on-campus employment offer.
Step 2: Provide Career & Employment Services (CES), located in Howarth 101, with the following information:
-Unexpired foreign passport
-Form I-94 indicating F-1 status
The above items are required to complete your I-9 employment form.
Step 3: Obtain a letter from Career & Employment Services stating that you have a job offer.
Step 4: Email the following information to the International Student & Scholar Advisor:
-Name of the on-campus department in which you'll be working
-Anticipated start date
-Anticipated number of hours per week you'll be working
-Name of your immediate supervisor
-Contact information for your immediate supervisor (phone number and email)
Step 5: The International Student & Scholar Advisor will create a signed hardcopy letter, with the above information, that you will need to physically take to the Social Security Administration Office to request your SSN.
Step 6: Once you have received your signed hardcopy letter from the International Student & Scholar Advisor, submit an online Social Security Application. Select the "Social Security Number" icon to begin the online application.
Step 7: After completing the online request, you must visit the local Social Security Administration Office within 45 calendar days. The physical address for the nearest SSA Office is: 2608 South 47th Street, Tacoma, WA 98411. Hours of operation are: Monday through Friday, 9am-4pm. The Tacoma SSA Office does accept walk-ins, but wait times can be long. To schedule an appointment, call: 1-800-772-1213 and ask to schedule a social security number appointment for the Tacoma office location.
Step 8: It takes 2 weeks on average (14 business days) for social security cards to be sent in the mail. Once it is received, go into Career & Employment Services in Howarth 101 so that they can record the information. You will also need to visit the Registrar Office in Jones Hall so that they can record your new social security number.
Important Note: You are not authorized to begin work until you receive a Receipt of Application from the Social Security Administration Office.
Off-campus employment is only possible if authorized by the International Student & Scholar Advisor and USCIS. There are two types of off-campus employment: CPT & OPT.
Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is generally a type of required internship or practicum which is offered by employers through cooperative agreements with the University of Puget Sound, and part of the established academic curriculum.
Optional Practical Training (OPT) is defined as temporary employment to gain practical experience in your field of study. OPT is most frequently undertaken immediately following graduation (Post-Completion), but in some circumstances may also be conducted prior to the completion of a degree program (Pre-Completion).
Contact the International Student & Scholar Advisor if you are interested in working. You can also visit the Career and Employment Services (CES) website to explore more opportunities.
Important: Never accept off-campus employment opportunities without authorization from the International Programs Office!