The rules about employment for international students are controlled by the Department of Homeland Security. Be sure you read this section if you want a job.

Social Security

International students may get a social security card if they are going to work on-campus. This social security card does not permit international students to work off-campus. The social security card is free.

To apply for a social security card you will need to take these documents to the Social Security office:

  • an application for a social security card
  • a letter from a Designated School Official (DSO)
  • your passport, I-94, and I-20 (bring originals and an extra copy of each)
  • a letter of employment from Walla Walla Community College

Social Security office contact information:

Social Security Office
880 NE Rose St
College Place, WA 99324
Telephone: 866-366-7814 Ext 22801
Hours: M, T, Th, F – 9am-4pm, W 9am-12pm
Closed on Federal and State Holidays

You can also visit www.socialsecurity.gov for additional information

The Social Security office will contact USCIS (immigration) to check your status. It will take about 2-4 weeks for your status to be checked and your card to be mailed to you.

BE SURE YOU HAVE A GOOD MAILING ADDRESS! You may use the International Programs office as your mailing address for your social security card. Be sure to use the complete address below:

Your name

c/o International Programs

Walla Walla Community College

500 Tausick Way

Walla Walla, WA 99362

Students must take their social security card to the campus employment office. Students may not start working on-campus until they have received their social security number.

PLEASE BE CAREFUL WITH YOUR SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER

On-campus student employment

International students are allowed to work on-campus according to the Department of Homeland Security.

  1. To be able to work on-campus you must do the following:
    • Be in status with immigration policies.
    • Your U.S. student visa allows you to work on-campus up to 20 hours per week when school is in session and full-time during school break periods (up to 40 hours per week)
    • Be attending classes fulltime at Walla Walla Community College.
  2. To apply for work on-campus you must do the following:
    • Inform the DSO you are interested in working.
    • Meet with WorkSource Employment Security on campus or the department that is hiring.
    • Complete all forms required for employment and tax purposes with Payroll. Meet with the DSO for assistance with the employment forms.
    • Have the level of English required for the position for which you are applying.

 

Off-campus employment

For international students with an F-1, the only off-campus employment allowed by the Department of Homeland Security is Optional Practical Training (OPT) or Curricular Practical Training (CPT). Students interested in OPT or CPT must apply to immigration for approval. See the section on Optional Practical Training (OPT) and Curricular Practical Training (CPT). 

 

Optional practical training

Optional Practical Training (OPT) is work authorization for employment in the student’s field of study that is not part of the student’s academic program. It may be granted at four times in a student’s career: 1) during summer or other vacation periods; 2) part-time during the academic term (20 hours per week or less); 3) after the completion of the degree or in the case of graduate school 4) after the completion of all course requirements, but before completion of the thesis or dissertation. The USCIS will authorize a total of twelve (12) months of optional practical training for each degree completed.

Eligibility: A student must have been maintaining their student visa status for at least nine months before he/she is eligible for OPT. IEP students are not eligible for OPT.

When to apply: Students must apply for OPT within 30 days of your DSO entering recommendation for OPT into your SEVIS record, and may apply up to 90 days before you complete your degree, but no later than 60 days after you complete your degree.

Taxes

Filing a US Tax return as an international student can seem confusing. Most international students are considered non-residents for tax purposes, but it is important that you file your report each year.

If you did NOT work or receive any income, you must file Form 8843.

If you DID work or receive income, you must file Form 8843 and usually Form 1040NR-EZ.

The International Programs Office staff will have a workshop to give you the income proper tax forms and explain the vocabulary. Don’t miss it!

Additional information about understanding tax returns for international students can be found online at sites:  http://www.internationalstudent.com/tax/

All forms and instructions for filing are available on the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) website: https://www.irs.gov/