TN 2 (02-10)
RM 10211.245 Evidence of General On-Campus Employment for an F1 (Foreign Student) for an SSN Card
An F1 is employment authorized “incident to status” under Department of Homeland Security (DHS) regulations, which generally means evidence of nonimmigrant status per RM 10211.135 showing admission into the US as an F1, along with a current Form I-20 is sufficient evidence to establish employment authorization for general on-campus employment. However, in order to assign an SSN for general on-campus employment, SSA requires the F-1 student to submit evidence of on-campus employment, in addition to evidence of nonimmigrant status per RM 10211.135 and the I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status).
A. Evidence of on-campus employment
The F1 student may submit either one or two documents as evidence of on-campus work as follows.
1. Acceptable evidence of on-campus employment using two documents, a Designated School Official (DSO) letter and evidence of employment status
Two documents are acceptable as evidence of on-campus employment if the F1 student submits both a letter from the DSO that meets the evidence requirements and documentation of current employment status (either a recent play slip or an original employer letter).
2. Acceptable evidence of on-campus employment using one document, an employer letter signed off by the DSO
One document is acceptable as evidence of general on-campus employment if the F1 student submits a letter or statement from the employer that:
meets the employer letter requirements; and
includes all of the required information for a DSO letter, and
is “signed off" by the DSO, including name, date and title.
RM 10211.270, Requirements for Evidence of Employment Status for an F1 for General On-Campus Employment
B. Background information on on-campus employment
On-campus employment is defined by DHS as work performed on the school’s premises including work performed for commercial firms located on campus that provide student services, e.g., school bookstore, cafeteria, on-campus commercial fast-food franchise that provides student food services.
It may also include work at an off-campus location that is educationally affiliated with the school or a contractually funded research project at the post-graduate level (e.g., working on scientific research for a private firm, “XYZ Scientific Corporation,” under contract to the school).
When the F-1 student initially arrives in the U.S., the student may start general on-campus employment at his or her school up to 30 days before classes actually start. Therefore, it is possible to assign an SSN to an F-1 student in the summer prior to classes starting if requirements are met.