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It is essential that you understand and comply with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) restrictive employment regulations. Ignorance of the regulations does not excuse a student from the serious ramifications of unauthorized employment, which may result in deportation. You must obtain appropriate employment authorization before you engage in any type of employment.

Definition of Employment

“Employment” is any work performed or services provided (including self-employment) in exchange for money or other benefits or compensation (i.e. free room and board in exchange for babysitting).  Unpaid positions that would normally be done for pay are also considered employment.  In other words, just because you’re not being paid doesn’t mean it’s not employment!

Social Security Number

Individuals who are authorized to be employed in the U.S. must have a Social Security Number (SSN) in order to be paid. Prior to applying for a SSN, you must have the following documents:

  1. Letter verifying an offer of employment from the department you will be working with
  2. Letter from the Director of International Student Success verifying your immigration status
  3. I-20
  4. Valid passport
  5. Visa, and
  6. I-94 Arrival/Departure Record
  7. PC student ID

Application should be submitted to a Social Security Administration Office.

Providence Social Security

380 Westminster Street, 3rd Floor

Providence, RI  02903

Office Hours: Monday – Friday, 9 am ~ 4 pm

Phone: (800) 772-1213

Since F-2 dependents are not authorized to engage in employment in the U.S., they are not eligible to apply for a SSN.

On-Campus Employment

If your I-20 was issued by Providence College, you may work part-time (20 hours per week or less) on the PC campus during fall and spring semesters. On-campus employment is “incident to status.” If you are not in lawful F-1 status, you are not eligible for on-campus employment.

On-campus employment includes teaching and research assistantships; therefore, graduate students on half-time teaching or research assistantships may not be employed elsewhere on campus for additional hours. During annual vacation periods (i.e. summer break), students are allowed to work full-time on-campus. Check with the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate and Graduate Studies  if you wish to work in excess of 20 hours per week during summer, winter or spring vacation to determine your eligibility.

Practical Training

Practical Training authorization permits an F-1 student to be employed temporarily at a job related to the student’s major field of study on-campus or off-campus. There are two types of practical training: curricular and optional. To be eligible for curricular and/or optional practical training, you must have been in lawful F-1 status for one academic year.

Employment Regulations

DHS does not permit individuals in F-2 dependent status to be employed under any conditions. Employment is defined as the rendering of services, part- or full-time, for financial or other compensation, including self-employment.