F-1 Student: May work on-campus up to 20 total hours a week (not an average) during the academic year and up to 40 total hours a week when classes are not in session over the breaks (Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer Breaks).
J-1 Student: May work on-campus up to 20 total hours a week (not an average) during the academic year and up to 40 total hours a week when classes are not in session over the breaks (Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer Breaks). The J-1 Student must also obtain permission from the DS2019 sponsor in the form of a letter once job is found.
Learn about job openings on campus and other important information. The Student Employment Services staff are eager to help you find a place to work on campus!
International Merit Work Study
You must have a job offer from one of the eight colleges or the Office of International Programs to be eligible for International Merit Work Study. Each college and the Office of International Programs have two awards (total of 18 awards) available. You will need to check with the college of interest to check if there are any awards and positions open.
Student Employment Services
Learn about job openings on campus and other important information. The Student Employment Services staff are eager to help you find a place to work on campus! They work with many departments and offices around campus to provide a list of all possible openings for students looking to work on campus–just log on to RamWeb to search for student jobs. Other places to find listings on campus can be found here.
RamWeb lists multiple student job opportunities. Although international students are not eligible for need-based work study awards, there are many employment opportunities that do not require this. On RamWeb, select the “Financial Information” link, then “Student Job Listings”.
CSU Career Center
The CSU Career Center exists to help prepare you for your job search. Make an appointment and attend their events to improve your resume, cover letter, interview skills, and more.
The Office of Conference Services and the University Visitors Center employ students for part-time work throughout the year. Students are employed to assist with accounting, registration, and visitor relations. Numerous positions are available to assist in staffing the residence halls in the summer. For employment information please contact the Office of Conference Services at (970) 491-6222.
Housing & Dining Services
Housing & Dining Services offer several employment opportunities, including “live-in” positions. For more information please contact Housing & Dining Services:
- Food Service Office: (970) 491-4754
- Housing Operations Management (maintenance, custodial, and material management): (970) 491-7171
- Apartment Life Offices: (970) 491-4743
Learn about employment regulations for both F-1s, J-1s, and dependents before starting to look for any type of work.
International students must follow employment regulations and are urged to meet with an international student advisor before accepting or beginning any off-campus employment. Failure to do so is a serious violation of your immigration status and can result in a loss of your F-1 or J-1 status. Protect your immigration status and do not expose yourself to penalties caused by unauthorized/illegal employment. The income you earn will be of little value to you if you are not permitted to complete your program in the U.S.
An F-1 student may work on-campus at Colorado State University as long as the student is in good academic standing and is maintaining their immigration status. On-campus employment is limited to 20 hours total per week during the academic year, and may be full time during official University vacation periods.
Graduate Research and Teaching Assistantship hours are counted as on campus employment and limited to the 20 hour per week limit while classes are in session. GRA’s and GTA’s can increase their work hours during official university vacations. Some key facts to know are the F1 Student Employment Timeline, the F1 STEM Extension Timeline and knowing all important numbers as an F-1 student.
All other work for any kind of remuneration (free housing, groceries, lap tops etc.) is considered to be employment and is not authorized unless the student has approved work authorization under one of the employment options discussed below:
Curricular Practical Training (CPT): Required or optional employment which is an integral part of the student’s established curriculum. “Integral” here is defined as employment that has a strong and measurable connection to the student’s academic program/goals. Employment that is related to the student’s major and provides valuable work experience is not sufficient justification for approval of CPT. The employment must not only be related to the student’s major, but must be required for a specific course, required to earn internship or practicum credit, or required for the student to successfully complete thesis or dissertation research. In other words, the program curriculum, rather than the student’s desire for employment, should drive the decision whether the opportunity should be approved as CPT. CPT must be approved by the Office of International Programs before a student may begin their CPT employment.
For more information on CPT, review the CPT portion of the Employment Presentation, review the CPT application, or attend a CPT workshop available each semester through the Office of International Programs.
Optional Practical Training (OPT): Temporary employment for practical training which is available at each degree level. The employment must be directly related to the student’s major area of study. OPT has very specific timing and deadlines and requires adjudication (approval) from a USCIS Service Center. For more information on OPT, review the OPT portion of the Employment Presentation, review the OPT application, or attend an OPT workshop available each semester through the Office of International Programs. Refer to the STEM OPT Extension Flier for more details.
Severe Economic Hardship: Students facing financial difficulty which is unexpected and unforeseen, should meet with an International Student Advisor to see if they qualify to apply for Severe Economic Hardship through USCIS. This benefit is very limited by USCIS and not a guarantee that applying will result in approval.
F-2 dependents are not permitted to accept employment under any circumstances.
J-1 Exchange Visitors in the student category may be granted permission to accept on-campus employment by written approval of the responsible officer of their sponsoring agency prior to beginning work. CSU may not authorize work permission for another sponsor. The Exchange Visitor student may be authorized to work on campus up to 20 hours per week while classes are in session, and up to 40 hours a week during official school breaks and annual vacation–as long as the student is in good academic standing, is engaged in a full course of study, and has received written approval in advance from the responsible officer for the specific employment. Such approval may be valid for up to twelve months but is automatically withdrawn if the student’s program is terminated.
J-1 students may also qualify for academic training to work on or off campus. Academic training, as described by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), is authorized employment for up to 18 months which may be taken prior to or following the completion of a student’s course of study. True Postdoctoral positions may utilize up to 36 months of Academic Training. Non-degree students may also be eligible for academic training. Please see the Academic Training Request Packet for more information.
J-2 dependents may apply for permission from USCIS to accept employment if they make their request in writing, stating that the income will be used only for the support of the J-2 dependents and not for the support of the J-1 Exchange Visitor. An application packet containing detailed information is available as a handout in the Resource Room at the Office of International Programs, Laurel Hall.
We can help you apply for a social security number if you so desire. You will need one if you’re planning to work in the US. This is different from your CSU ID number.
The Social Security Number (SNN) is intended only for use in relation to employment in the U.S. It is a taxpayer identification number. The Social Security number does not represent permission to work nor is it proof of U.S. citizenship or permanent residence.
As of March 2005 the Social Security Administration will no longer accept applications from most non-resident alien visa holders unless they have actually been offered a job and have a letter of offer from their employer. Students who do not have a job will not be eligible to receive a social security number. International Students And Social Security Numbers information page.
In the past, a social security number has been used in a variety of ways:
- Credit card applications
- Opening bank accounts
- Purchasing cell phone or cable services and contracts
- Leasing an apartment or other housing
- Applying for a driver’s license or state ID card
- Credit reports
- As a secondary form of ID for a wide variety of uses
Non-resident aliens will no longer able to receive a SSN for these purposes. Some landlords and other services may require a letter of non-eligibility from the Social Security Department in order to provide access to their services i.e., Colorado Driver’s License Department.
If you are paid in the U.S., you must have a SSN to file a U.S. income tax return.
You MUST have a Social Security number if you have a graduate assistantship or are otherwise employed.
Once you obtain a SSN, it is your permanent number and may be used on subsequent visits to the U.S. Please NOTE: the temporary assigned University number (99X-xx-xxxx is NOT a Social Security number.
United States employees pay 7.65% “F.I.C.A.” tax, which includes the Social Security and Medicare taxes. The employer automatically withholds it from the employee paycheck. If you are paid, you will have this tax withheld unless you are tax exempt due to your immigration status. J-1 and F-1 students should not have the Social Security or Medicare taxes withheld if they have been in the United States for less than five calendar years.
UPDATE YOUR RECORDS WITH CSU:
As soon as you receive your Social Security Number, request University Records to change your temporary number to the permanent number. As soon as you receive your number, take it to room 211 in Centennial Hall. They will change your temporary number to a permanent SSN number.
Also, inform your bank of your new Social Security number.
If you would like to obtain a SSN, please refer to the Social Security Number Request Form for further instructions on how to apply for a Social Security Card.
For additional information on Social Security numbers and non-eligibility please contact the Office of International Student and Scholar Services. (491-5917)
The Career Center helps students and alumni with all the steps of the job search process, from resumes and cover letters to interviews, from networking to job search strategies and tools. Don’t wait until your last year to make an appointment! Learn more at their website.
CPT: An F-1 student may be authorized by the DSO to participate in a curricular practical training program that is an integral part of an established curriculum. Curricular practical training is defined to be alternative work/study, internship, cooperative education, or any other type of required internship or practicum that is offered by sponsoring employers through cooperative agreements with the school.
OPT: Optional Practical Training is temporary employment for practical training in your field of study (the major/program listed on your I-20)
Learn more: In this slideshow presentation, get an overview of employment and training options for international students and scholars.
The Career Center and International Programs compiled a list of companies where CSU students recently completed CPT or OPT. This is a good place to start your job search.
Income taxes are often complicated even for those native to the United States, so the ISSS team has worked to bring you the following resources. International student advisors and staff at CSU do not have the proper training or legal authority to offer direct assistance with the completion of tax returns, but we can provide you the resources below.
Who must file taxes?
Almost every international student, scholar and family member must file taxes, even if no income was earned in 2014. You must file the IRS Form 8843 if you are in status as a:
- F-1 or F-2
- J-1 or J-2
- M-1 or M-2
- Q-1 or Q-2
If you did earn income in the U.S. in 2014, you must also file federal and state tax returns. Income may include wages, scholarships, fellowships, graduate assistantships, etc. Nonresidents who received U.S. source income during the tax year should file either 1040NR or 1040NR-EZ by April 15, 2015. Individuals with tax treaty benefits or otherwise expecting to receive Form 1042-S from CSU should wait until that form is received in mid-March before attempting to prepare a tax return.
How do I file taxes?
We encourage you to try filing your taxes yourself, through the following free and easy-to-use software. As a service to all international students and scholars associated with Colorado State University, ISSS has purchased a license so that you can use GLACIER Tax Prep international tax preparation software to prepare your U.S. income tax return at no cost. You can access this service at www.glaciertax.com. The code needed to access the website will be distributed by the ISSS office, along with instructions, when that system becomes available in mid-February.
The ISSS Office at CSU will email you the instructions and access code for the software when it becomes available in mid-February.
You will need these Documents and Information:
Please make sure you have the following documents and information available BEFORE you log into GLACIER Tax Prep:
- Visa/Immigration Status information
- Form DS-2019, if J status individual
- Form I-20, if F status individual
- Social Security or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (if you have been assigned one)
- Address Information (i.e., Current U.S. and Foreign Address)
- U.S. Entry and Exit Dates for current and past visits to the U.S.
- Academic Institution or Host Sponsor Information (name/address/phone for Academic Director)
- Forms W-2, 1042-S and/or 1099 (if you received any)
- Scholarship/fellowship grant letter you may have received (if any); and A copy of your last year’s federal income tax return (Form 1040NR or 1040NR-EZ), if you filed a federal income tax return last year.
How Do I Access GLACIER Tax Prep?
You may access GLACIER Tax Prep from any computer with internet access from anywhere in the world! Simply type the following URL address into your internet browser: http://www.glaciertax.com
If you used GLACIER Tax Prep last year, you can log in using the same user id and password. If this is your first time usingGLACIER Tax Prep, you will need to create a new account. You will then be prompted to enter the Access Code assigned to CSU. Be sure to remember your Password and UserID as you will use it to access GLACIER Tax Prep if you need to login again. To ensure that your income tax return information remains private and secure, DO NOT share your Password or UserID with anyone. Please note, your email address is used solely by GLACIER Tax Prep to contact you if there is a problem while you are using the system; we do not sell or share your email address with anyone.
If you return to GLACIER Tax Prep to modify or reprint your tax return, at the GLACIER Tax Prep login page enter the Password and UserID you selected at the time you created your User Account; do not enter the originally assigned Access Code.
How Can I Get Help?
If you need the Access Code, contact ISSS. If you need assistance with GLACIER Tax Prep, click on the help button on any screen; Online Help will provide specific information relating to the topic on that page.
If you need additional assistance, VITA volunteers will once again be providing free U.S. federal and state income tax assistanceby appointment only at the Confucius Institute located at 1413 S. College Ave, Fort Collins. Appointments will be scheduled between the hours of 9:00 AM and 2:30 PM Tuesdays, February 10 through April 14. Parking is limited at the rear of the Institute, but individuals with the appropriate CSU parking permit may park in nearby Lot 575. Appointments may be scheduled by contacting August (Gus) Eykholt by phone (970-667-4936) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org). For joint-resident return preparation, both spouses must be present, or the person present must have a signed power of attorney form 2848 from his or her spouse. This form can be downloaded from the IRS website, www.irs.gov, and instructions for preparation can be obtained when calling for an appointment.
Useful IRS Forms & Publications
STEM OPT Extension FAQs:
What if my work is not really related to my degree, but is related to training I received during my degree program?
Your work must be directly related to the degree that qualifies you for the STEM OPT Extension.
What if the CIP code for my major doesn’t appear on the SEVP list of qualifying majors but the skills and training I received do?
The CIP code for your major must appear on the current SEVP list of qualifying majors or the DSO will not recommend you for a STEM OPT Extension.
During your STEM extension you must be employed in a paid position working at least 20 hours per week, not counting allowable unemployment or vacation time.
You are allowed an additional 60 days of unemployment during the STEM OPT extension—a total of 150 days for the standard OPT and STEM OPT extension.
You must submit an OPT reporting form to ISSS within 10 days of changing your legal name, residential or mailing address, or employers. You must also submit an OPT reporting form every 6 months even if nothing has changed.
Can I take my own photos and cut them down to passport size or use photos from when I applied for my visa before?
The passport photos must have been taken within the last 30 days. Taking your own photos is not recommended; Walgreens, CVS pharmacy, fedex/Kinko’s and many other retail stores in town can make passport-sized photos for you.
Travel while your STEM OPT application is pending is not recommended unless you will reenter the U.S. before your standard OPT expires. If you must travel while on OPT, you should carry a valid, unexpired EAD card and a letter from your employer authorizing the period of leave. Also carry a valid passport, F-1 visa, and I-20 signed for travel within the last six months.
Yes, you can change jobs during your STEM OPT extension. You must submit to ISSS an OPT reporting form and a new Form I-983 signed by your new employer within 10 days of changing employment.
Before you mail your packet requesting the STEM OPT extension, you should contact your local Customs and Border Protection (CBP) port of entry to correct the error. At DIA, the correction must be done in person between the hours of 10 a.m. And 2 p.m. Monday-Friday.
This is a person who can make changes to your I-20 and recommend you for an OPT STEM Extension.
- My STEM OPT application has been pending a long What can I do? If your application has been pending for more than 75 days, you may contact the USCIS National Customer Service Center (NCSC) at 1-800-375-5283 and ask that a “service request” be created. Please see the USCIS website (USCIS.gov) for details.
- Can I work if my STEM OPT application is still pending when my current OPT expires? If the I-765 is properly and timely filed, the student’s standard post-completion OPT EAD is considered automatically extended pursuant to 8 CFR 274a.12(b)(6)(iv), for up to 180 days while the STEM OPT extension EAD application is still pending.
- If I change jobs, who submits the new I-983: the student or the employer? The student works with the employer to complete a new I-983. Once the employer signs it, the student submits the new I-983 to ISSS.
- What counts as a “significant decrease” in hours per week, requiring me to report? Any drop below 20 hours per week should be reported to ISSS within 10 days.
- During my STEM extension is my unemployment limited to 60 days, or is it an aggregate of 150 days (meaning if I used less than 90 days during my OPT I can use more than 60 during my STEM extension)? You may accrue a total of 150 days of unemployment for the entire duration of OPT.
- How do I find E-Verify employers? The USCIS website (USCIS.gov) has an E-Verify employer search tool.
- How can I find out my employer’s E-Verify number? The USCIS website does not publish the E-Verify number of employers. You will need to ask a Human Resources representative at the company or organization for which you wish to work and indicate this number on the Form I-765.
- Can I get paid by Company A (not E-Verify), but actually work on a contract at Company B (which is E-Verify)? No, the company from which you receive your paycheck must be registered in E-Verify.
- What if I work for Company A, but I am physically located at Company B? This is allowed only if you have a supervisor/mentor at your actual worksite who can conduct the training outlined in Form I-983.
- In Section 5 where it requests employer site information, if the site of employment is Company B, should the name of official be my supervisor at Company B? Yes.
- Who should sign page 4? Should this be someone from Company A or my supervisor at Company B? The individual who is acting as your supervisor/mentor and conducting the training outlined in your Form I-983 should sign Page 4.
- In Section 3 it asks for employer information. Should that be the corporate headquarters address or the address of the office where I work? The employer’s principal place of business should be indicated.
- I have a cap-gap extension based on pending H-1B, but I want to apply for a STEM OPT extension just in case. What requested period do I put on I-983? The start date should be the day after the initial period of standard OPT ends.
- I worked for my current employer using CPT before I graduated. What start date of employment do I indicate on the I-983? The start date should be the same day you anticipate your 24-month extension to begin or after if you are changing jobs.
- Who can my employer contact if he/she has questions about the I-983? The employer signing the Form I-983 is agreeing to the wage, working conditions, supervision and evaluation, possible site visits from DHS, and reporting obligations set forth on the form and in the regulations. If your employer has questions about the form or the obligations, it is advised that your employer contact legal counsel for guidance.
- On page 1 of the I-983 it asks for the date the qualifying degree was awarded. What if I haven’t actually completed my degree yet? Indicate the anticipated completion date of your degree.
- Who has signatory authority for my employer?What if my employer is CSU? This depends on the authority structure of the organization for which you are working. If you are employed by CSU, then the chair of your department typically has signatory authority for the department.
- I am on my initial OPT intending to apply for the STEM OPT extension. Should I complete an evaluation at the end of my initial 12 months? No. Page 6 of the I-983 should be completed at the 12-month mark of your OPT STEM Page 7 of the I-983 should be completed at the 24-month mark of your OPT STEM extension.