Employment / Academic Internships

Beginning employment (both paid or unpaid) without first obtaining proper Employment Authorization is a serious violation of F-1 or J-1 visa status.

Off-Campus Employment Authorization

For F-1 and J-1 visa holders, all off-campus employment must be authorized before beginning employment.

Employment is defined as any situation where one party provides services that benefit another, and in exchange receives some type of benefit from the party to whom the services were provided. The Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Labor consider both monetary and non-monetary compensation in exchange for services as employment. Thus, both paid and unpaid positions are considered "employment" and will need authorization before the start date of the work experience.
All off-campus employment for F-1 or J-1 international students requires authorization. Failure to obtain proper authorization, even for an unpaid position, can result in a violation of status.

Please note that only students who have earned or are enrolled to earn a Brandeis degree are eligible for Practical Training. Students enrolled in the postbaccalaureate programs are not eligible for OPT/CPT.

F-1 Student Visa Holders

J-1 Student Visa Holders

On-Campus Employment

Working while outside the US: The Finance Office has specific guidelines for individuals who contemplate working outside the US.  Please follow this link for more guidance.

On-campus employment includes jobs that are paid by Brandeis University. In addition to offices on the Brandeis campus, on-campus employment also includes Sodexo and the Brandeis Bookstore. The Lemberg Children’s Center is NOT considered on-campus employment.

F-1 and J-1 students may work up to 20 hours per week during the academic semester. Working more than 20 hours per week during the academic semester is a violation of visa status.

F-1 and J-1 students may work up to 40 hours a week during University vacation periods.

J-1 Visa Holders

All J-1 on-campus employment must be authorized by the program sponsor in writing before beginning on-campus employment.

J-1 students who were issued a DS-2019 by Brandeis University should request a J-1 On-Campus Work Authorization Letter from the ISSO before beginning on-campus employment. To request your employment to be authorized in SEVIS, please bring your New Hire/Rehire form or Fellowship award letter (the letter should include your job title, hiring department, supervisor name, start and end date and hours worked per week) to the ISSO.

The ISSO must authorize each on-campus job separately. The ISSO must re-authorize employment once per year if you are continuing employment with the same department.

J-1 students who have a program sponsor other than Brandeis University should check with their sponsor to verify if on-campus employment can be authorized. Some program sponsors do not allow their students to work on-campus or limit employment to fewer than 20 hours per week.  Please also note that working on-campus may reduce a sponsored student's stipend. Please check with your program sponsor if you have questions about employment. J-1 sponsored students should bring a letter from their program sponsor to the ISSO verifying their eligibility to work on-campus before beginning on-campus employment.

PhD Students

If you are awarded a fellowship, you are eligible to apply for a social security number based on that fellowship. Fellowships that require work, like instruction and grading, are equivalent to 16 hours of employment, which means you can engage in four additional hours of employment per week either within your department, or in a job elsewhere on campus.