Many students are interested in working while on their student visas. However, there are several rules, regulations, and limitations regarding student employment. Please read the following to find out detailed information regarding on-campus employment, off- campus employment authorization (Curricular Practical Training and Optional Practical Training) and if eligible obtaining a Social Security Number. When in doubt, it is good practice to contact an advisor at the ISSO.

Employment for F-1 (Foreign Student Visa) Students

Employment for J-1 (Exchange Student Visa) Students

Important Information on how to apply for a Social Security Number:

  • You must have an on-campus job.
  • Complete the I-9 process in the Office of Human Resources (first floor, Administration building). Please bring all of your immigration documents with you (passport, I-20).
  • Have your supervisor complete the top portion of the Sample Employer Letter  and print it on office letterhead.
  • Bring the completed letter to ISSO to certify. ISSO staff will contact you when it is ready for pick-up.
  • Complete the SSN Application (PDF) and take this, along with ISSO/Employer certification letter and all of your immigration documents to the local Social Security Agency.
  • Once you have your Social Security Number, make an appointment with the Nonresident Alien Tax Office at
  • Remember – you can begin to work after you complete the I-9 process and before you receive your SSN; however, you will not be paid until you have a SSN.


Do you have questions regarding taxes? Please contact the Nonresident Alien Tax Office at , located in the Administration Building on campus. The Nonresident Alien Tax Office will assist you to make sure that you are in compliance with nonresident alien tax withholding regulations. For more information about taxes, please visit the NRA Tax Office website

U.S. Tax Season is Here

Towson University's Non Resident Alien (NRA) Tax Office provides tax information and support for F-1 and J-1 students and their dependents.  

Interested in Hiring an International Student?

Read about the benefits and guidelines of hiring International students in An Employer's Guide to Hiring International Students