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What is Employment?

Employment is any type of work, whether paid or unpaid, that occurs within the United States. Depending on your status and program of study, you may be eligible for several employment opportunities while you study in the United States. However, most forms of employment for international students require authorization. International students must always be in communication with the ISS office when looking to accept and engage in a new position. The United States takes employment without authorization very seriously and the ramifications of participating in this could lead to issues with your current immigration status and any future benefits with the USCIS. This includes, but is not limited to, affecting OPT eligibility and applications for different types of visas in the future. If a student is considering engaging in an activity that may or can be considered employment and is not sure, we ask that they reach out to the ISS office immediately for guidance.

Types of Employment

Social Security Number (SSN)

A Social Security number is a nine-digit number used for taxpayer identification, income reporting, and record keeping purposes. If a student is to engage in any type of employment, they will then be eligible and in most cases required, to apply for an SSN# through their local Social Security Administration office.

Scheduling your SSN Appointment

To apply for a Social Security number, you must attend an SSN application appointment in person at the Social Security Card Center close to the town or city where you live. You may apply in person at the card center during its walk-in service hours, make an appointment by calling the facility, or request an appointment online through the online application.

As of November 2023, students looking to apply for a new or replacement Social Security card may start the process online on the Social Security Administration website. After they enter the required information, they must present their original documents to their local Social Security office within 45 days. When using the online application, a student may request an appointment to visit the local Social Security office to present their documents.  

When you go to apply in person, you will need to bring the following:

  • Completed Application for a Social Security Card (SS-5)
  • Valid unexpired passport
  • Most recent I-94 record from your last date of entry to the U.S. (must show admission in F-1 or J-1 status)
  • F-1 or J-1 visa
  • Monmouth University ID card
  • I-20 (for F-1 students only)
    • Note: ISS has been informed by the Social Security Administration that a digitally signed I-20 will be accepted for an SSN application.
  • DS-2019 (for J-1 students only)

If you are applying because you received an on-campus job, you will also need to bring your “SSN Verification and Eligibility Form” signed in ink by both our department and your employer.

Following your appointment, you will receive your SSN in the mail in approximately two weeks. Always keep your SSN card in a safe place. You do not have to carry it on you at all times and will generally only need to present the physical card during the hiring process for employment or if ever it is requested by a government agency or credible financial institution.

Tax Obligations

As an international student staying within the United States, it is your obligation and responsibility to complete your taxes every year. If you earned U.S. income via employment or were physically present in the U.S. during the previous year (the tax year always ends on Dec. 31), you are legally required to file. The deadline to file your individual taxes is typically April 15 yearly.

Please Note: The Global Education Office is not qualified to assist with filing taxes or able to provide answers to your tax questions. Much like anyone else, individuals from our office will be seeking the assistance of tax professionals to submit our own personal taxes for the previous year. You are entitled to select whoever you wish to work with to file your taxes such as Turbotax, H&R Block, etc.

However, we would recommend you consider the company Sprintax. They are very reputable and work specifically with international students to submit their taxes.