On-Campus Employment

On-campus employment for J-1 students

On-campus employment refers to any job you perform on campus where you are paid by Indiana University. As an international student you may be employed in a student hourly position, or hold an assistantship.

Exceptions to the “paid by IU” rule exist for business that operate in the Indiana Memorial Union, including Starbucks. Contact the Office of International Services (OIS) before you accept any on-campus employment not paid by IU.

If you want to work on any IU campus other than Bloomington, call 812-855-9086 to make an appointment with an international student advisor before accepting any job.

How do I get authorization to work on campus?

To request and receive your work authorization, please log in to Atlas and submit the “On-Campus Work Authorization” e-form. Please be aware that working without proper authorization is a violation of J-1 status, and may result in the loss of benefits of your J-1 program. Please remember to submit your request at least 5 days before you need to begin working.

On-campus employment may only be authorized for up to 12 months at a time. You must apply and receive authorization for each 12-month period, or for the duration of your assistantship, fellowship, or on-campus job—whichever is shorter.

Authorization is specific to a job. If anything about your job changes, you will need to apply for authorization again. The possible types of on-campus employment are assistantship (research assistantship/graduate assistantship/associate instructorship), fellowship or scholarship that requires employment, or any other on-campus work (libraries, campus dining halls, etc.).

What rules do I need to follow to be legally employed?

As an international student, you have to meet certain conditions so you can maintain your status and be employed legally.

You need to:

  • Stay enrolled as a full-time student
  • Work no more than 20 hours per week during the fall and spring semesters
    • If you have an assistantship or fellowship, the number of hours “worked” is determined by what is in your contract, not on the actual number of hours you may work. (For example, if your assistantship contract states 20 hours, but you only work 15 hours, you are still at your maximum number of hours because of what is listed in your contract.)
    • The only exception to this rule is during Thanksgiving, winter, spring, or summer breaks (IU breaks that span a week or more) you are allowed to work full time.
  • Stop working when your program of study ends because on-campus work authorization ends when your program ends.

IU temporary (hourly) employees are subject to certain limits. If you have multiple on-campus jobs, please make sure that all of your employers know about all of your jobs. (IU is required to monitor hours worked per week because of regulations related to employee benefits under the Affordable Care Act. This is a federal requirement for all temporary positions, for all employees—not just international students.)

Your 20-hour weekly maximum is a combined total for any and all on-campus jobs you have. In other words, you may work one job at 15 hours per week plus one job at 5 hours per week, but you may not work one job at 15 hours a week plus one job at 10 hours per week (because this would equal 25 hours per week total). If you wish to work more than 20 hours and the work is in your major field of study and is an integral/critical part of your academic program, please see Academic Training.