TN 2 (02-10)

RM 10211.285 Helping F-1 Student Obtain Required Evidence for an SSN

There may be circumstances making it difficult for a foreign student to obtain the necessary evidence of employment.

A. When to assist foreign students in obtaining evidence of employment status

Assist foreign students who are unable to submit evidence of employment status due to the following situations:

  • the school’s student employment office is on another campus within the university; or

  • payroll is performed by an offsite vendor; or

  • there is a transportation issue making it difficult for the student to obtain the employment evidence; or

  • there is a language problem making it difficult for the student to explain to the employer what is needed.

NOTE: While English language proficiency is generally a requirement for entrance to approved institutions, see GN 00203.011 for availability of interpreter services. Instructions on using this service are on the Multi-Language Gateway at http://eis.ba.ssa.gov/nes/

B. How to assist foreign students in obtaining evidence of employment status

Assist students in obtaining the needed evidence of employment by offering:

1. Telephone or mail requests

  • Make a telephone contact with the school or company’s human resources department. Explain that a recent pay slip or a written statement verifying employment is required for the student. If a pay slip is not available, explain what the statement or letter should contain. You may send or fax a copy of a “sample” format using the Exhibit in RM 10211.310; or

  • Mail a request for a copy of a pay slip or a written or typed statement from the school or employer. If a pay slip is not available, explain what the statement or letter should contain. You may send or fax a copy of a “sample” format using the Exhibit in RM 10211.310. You may wish to include a self-addressed stamped envelope as a courtesy.

2. Fax requests

The employer can mail or fax a copy of a recent pay slip or a statement that meets our requirements in RM 10211.270 to the servicing field office. A fax response, while not the original hardcopy with an original signature, is acceptable if it comes from the custodian of the record and it shows the fax number (terminal identification) of the originating source and the telephone number of the office transmitting it. For additional information, see GN 00301.031. A phone call or email response from the employer is not acceptable in lieu of an original or fax copy.

If the faxed document or information appears questionable upon receipt, call the employer to verify that the employer faxed the document and/or clarify any questionable information.

3. Dear colleague letter

Use the Dear Colleague Letter to inform employers of the evidence requirements for F1 and J1 students. For an exhibit of the letter, see RM 10211.315. It can be used as a cover letter or enclosure when requesting employer information on an individual student.

C. When to provide the F1 or M1 student a copy of the DHS fact sheet, “Information for Students and Exchange Visitors (F1, M1 and & J1 Visa Categories”

Provide all F1s and M1s a copy of the DHS Fact Sheet, “Information for Students and Exchange Visitors (F-1, M-I & J-1 Visa Categories) Pursuing Employment in the United States.” See exhibit of this Fact Sheet in RM 10211.305. Advise the F1 or M1 applicant to show the school or sponsor the Fact Sheet and to ensure their SEVIS information is updated. Students must be “activated” in SEVIS in order for that system to be used to verify their status.

D. Reference

  • RM 10211.305, Exhibit of DHS ICE Fact Sheet for Students and Exchange Visitors Pursuing Employment in the United States

  • RM 10211.310, Sample of DSO and Employer Letter to SSA for F1 General On-Campus Employment

  • RM 10211.315, Dear Colleague Letter from SSA to Schools