Working at NMU as an International Student

Working while pursuing your degree is a great way to secure additional funding, meet people, make friends, practice your English and learn about American culture in a very hands-on way.

As an F1/J1 student, you are eligible to work on campus for 20 hours per week during school, and 40 hours per week during school breaks. Students can work off campus only if they have received written work authorization approved by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the International Programs Office.

Once you have received a job offer, you will need to apply for a Social Security Number (SSN). In order to apply for a SSN, your employer must complete the F-1 or J-1 Letter. Then, you can make an appointment with the International Programs Office to complete the Social Security Application Process

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is defined as alternate work/study, internship, cooperative education, or any other type of required internship or practicum.

CPT must be an integral part of an established curriculum and directly related to the student's major area of study. Click here for more CPT Information and Overview

To Request CPT Authorization:

1. Obtain a letter from the employer stating (on letterhead):

  • employer's name and address
  • number of hours to be worked per week
  • exact employment start and end date
  • if and what you are going to be paid

2. Complete and submit the CPT Application. Students complete top portion of form and academic advisors complete the bottom portion.

3. Make an appointment with a Ellen and bring all required documentation.

A student may begin CPT training only after receiving their I-20 with the DSO endorsement stating CPT is granted.

A student can apply for Severe Economic Hardship if something drastically has changed in his/her financial support.

To apply for Economic Hardship you must present the following:

A. Document the circumstances causing the economic need;

  1. Write a statement describing the unforseen hardship situation and, if possible, attach backup documentation; for example, a letter from home telling of a change in family circumstances or proof of a currency devaluation in the student's home country.

B. Explain why other employment options are unavailable or insufficient.

C. Complete Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization using the code: (c) (3) (iii) in item 16

D. Obtain two passport photos

E. Check to the order of "USCIS" (check for current fee)

  1. You can apply for a fee waiver by filing a I-912 request for a fee waiver application.

F. Copy of I-94 card (front and back)

G. Copy of the ID pages from the student's passport, or, for applications for renewal of work authorization, a photocopy of the previously issued EAD

Once you have all information together and you are ready to send in your application, please call the International Programs Office at 906-227-2510 to schedule an appointment with a Designated School Official. 

International students are allowed to work, on campus only and once you find a job you will need to apply for a U.S. Social Security Number (SSN).

Need help finding an on campus job, resume help and many job opportunities, please see our Career Services website

Here is the process to apply for a U.S. Social Security Number:

  • Receive a job offer and have your supervisor fill out the F1 Letter or J1 Letter offer letter.
  • Make an appointment with the International Programs Office to complete the Social Security Application Process
    • Social Security Application
    • I-20 or DS 2019
    • Passport
    • Visa
    • I-94

On-campus Employment Resources

Career Services

This website provides resources and services to assist you with career placement. You can find listings of full-time jobs, part-time jobs, summer jobs, internships, and other jobs both on and off-campus. You will also find helpful advice on preparing a resume, interviewing and more.

Online Resume System

This system will allow you to automatically upload your finished resume onto the Career Services website for employers to view. Key features of this new service include: Keyword search, user edits, and up-to-date files. You can update your resume in the system at any time.

Human Resources

If you work on-campus, the Human Resources website is a valuable resource where you can find answers to your payroll questions. On the payroll page, you will learn about payroll dates, setting up direct deposit, using the Ultra Time System and other helpful information. Make sure you know the facts so you can get paid in a proper manner.

Academic training is the name the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program uses for employment training or practical experience related to your field of study. It is fairly flexible and offers a variety of paid and unpaid, full-time or part-time, training or employment situations, with one or more employers, to supplement your academic program in the U.S. 

If you are considering academic training, your authorization must be processed before your official academic program completion date. In addition, the academic training/employment must begin within the first 30 days after the official academic program completion date. 

Official Regulation: “A student may participate in academic training programs during his or her studies, without wages or other remuneration, with the approval of the academic dean or advisor and the Exchange Visitor Program Responsible Officer (RO or ARO). A student may be authorized to participate in academic training for wages or other remuneration during his or her studies or commencing not later than thirty (30) days after completion of his or her studies.” (Source: 22CFR. § 62.23(f)(2)). The ARO referred to in this regulation is the International Student Advisor in the International Programs Office. 

Eligibility for Academic Training

1. The student is primarily in the United States to study rather than engage in academic training

2. The academic training is directly related to the students major field of study at Northern Michigan University

3. The student is in good academic standing and has received written approval, in advance, from the Responsible Officer for the duration and type of academic training. 

4. Your employment/training must take place with the specific employer or employers who are noted on the academic training authorization

Time Limit

Non-degree students are eligible to participate in academic training, but are also subject to the requirement that time in academic training not exceed the time spent in the program of study. 

How to Apply for Academic Training

  1. Have a formal employment offer, written on official stationery (letterhead) from your potential academic training employer. The job offer letter from your employer must include:
    1. Your job title
    2. A brief description of the goals and objectives of your training or employment
    3. Start and end dates
    4. Location of your training or employment
    5. Number of hours per wee, salary and benefits
    6. Name and title of your training supervisor
  2. Obtain a letter of recommendation from your academic advisor or dean recommending this academic training. You will need to provide him/her with a copy of your employment offer letter. The recommendation letter from you academic advisor or dean must include:
    1. The goals and objective of the specific training program
    2. A description of the training program, including all the information list above
    3. How the training relates to your major field of study
    4. Why this employment is an integral or critical part of your academic program
    5. The length of time necessary to complete the goals and objectives of the academic training
  3. Complete the Academic Training Form
  4. Schedule an appointment with your international student advisor in the International Programs Office and bring the following information:
    1. The completed academic training form
    2. Employment offer letter
    3. Letter of recommendation from your academic advisor or dean
    4. Proof of funding to show how you will support yourself during your academic training 
  5. If your application is approved, you will be issued a new Form DS-2019 authorizing the academic training for the duration you requested. Your employer will be listed on the academic training authorization letter accompanying the new Form DS 2019. The end date on this form is now the end date of your J-1 program.

For any questions, please contact the International Programs Office at 906-227-2510 to talk to a Designated School Official.  

If you are coming to the United States to work or study, we are confident that you will have a pleasant and rewarding stay. If you should encounter any problems, however, know that you have rights and can get help. This pamphlet informs you of your rights as a nonimmigrant visa holder in certain employment- and education-based categories (specifically A-3, G-5, NATO-7, B-1 domestic employees, H-1B, H-1B1, H-2A, H-2B, and J-1 visa holders). The U.S. government created this pamphlet at the prompting of the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (Public Law 110-457), which reaffirms and strengthens the U.S. government’s commitment to fight human trafficking and labor abuses in all their forms.

Every international student, and their dependents, that were enrolled in classes in the USA at any time are required to file taxes. 

First, fill out and submit the "International Tax Questionnaire" form. Once you submit this form, you will receive an email stating what specific information you need to bring to file your taxes and when you can start to file your taxes. 

After you receive your email, then you will call the International Programs Office at 906-227-2510 to reserve a spot at a tax session.

Documentation that you need to bring to your tax session:

  • Passport
  • I-20 (F1 visa students) or DS 2019 (J1 visa students)
  • Entry/Exit Dates - go to the I-94 website, click on the "view travel history" button, enter your passport information, print out your travel history. 
  • Academic Advisor Information (name and email)
  • W2 - if you worked in the U.S. in 2018 you will receive a W2 from your employer. You can access your NMU W2 through your MyNMU account. 
  • 1042S form - if you are an athlete or our Sister City Scholar and you were charged withholding taxes on your NMU Ebill account you will get a 1042S form around March 15th. 
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The International Programs Office can assist you with questions you may have regarding on-campus and off-campus employment. We can be reached at or 906-227-2510.