J-1 Exchange Visitor's Employment

On Campus

Employment is defined as providing any type of work or services on either a part-time or full-time basis in exchange for money, tuition, books, supplies, housing, food, or any other benefit.

As a J-1 student, you may be employed only after you have received the appropriate written authorization. Failure to observe this requirement will place you out of status. Also, employers may be cited, fined, and/or imprisoned for hiring persons ineligible for employment or maintaining employees who are no longer authorized to be employed.

Length of Employment: Permission to be employed typically expires upon

  • completion of program of studies or ending of the period of lawful stay, whichever is earlier or
  • expiration of employment authorizations as noted by USCIS or International Services.

Scholarships, Assistantships and Fellowships

  • If your program is sponsored by an organization other than BYUH, you will need to obtain written permission for employment from that organization in order for International Services to authorize your employment.
  • If you already have an assistantship considered to be equivalent to 20 hours a week, you are not eligible for additional on-campus employment.

On-campus employment is permitted, provided you

  • are in good academic standing
  • continue to engage in a full course of study--not required to be enrolled during annual leave
  • work no more than 20 hours per week when school is in session
  • have approval from International Services before you begin

Please consult with International Student Services regarding questions about employment.

Of Campus

You may request authorization to work off campus in certain limited circumstances that are detailed below.

Pre and Post Academic Training


  • As long as you stay within the stipulated time limits, as a J-1 student, you may participate in part-time training while school is in session or full-time training during vacation periods and after completion of course work while completing a thesis or dissertation providing:
    • The training is for the sole purpose of training,
    • It is related to your major field of study,
    • You are in good academic standing and
    • You receive written approval in advance from International Services

NOTE: Your completion date is the completion date of all program requirements, not necessarily the last day of the last semester attended or the graduation date.


  • Must apply prior to the completion of your course of study
  • Must maintain your health insurance for the duration of the training
  • For Post-completion, must begin your training within 30 days of completion of your program of studies


  • Pre-completion academic training is counted as full-time even though it cannot be more than 20 hours per week.
  • Any pre-completion part-time academic training time will be deducted from the available months of training, leaving the remaining months for post-completion training.
  • Authorization for training is automatically terminated if you transfer to another school or begin study at another educational level.
  • Lawful J-1 status expires after the 30-day grace period following completion of training.
  • You may be subject to the two-year residency requirement after your completing.

Application Procedure

To allow sufficient planning and approval time, we recommend that you consult with an advisor in this office at least six months prior the anticipated completion of your program of studies.

Step 1--Submit the following to International Services:

Signed letter from your academic dean or advisor setting forth the following:

  • The goals and objectives of the specific training program,
  • A description of the training program including 
    • its location,
    • the name and address of the training supervisor,
    • number of hours per week and dates of the training,
    • How the training relates to the student's major field of study, and
    • Why it is an integral or critical part of the student's academic program.
      • For Post Completion Academic training, include the salary.

Step 2--The Responsible Officer will then review the request and the letter:

  • If the criteria and time limitations set forth in 22CFR 1514.23(f)(3) and (4), summarized above, are satisfied, your request will be approved.
  • Return to International Services within three to five days for your authorization to participate in the academic training.


Severe Economic Hardship:

Authorization may be given when necessary because of serious, urgent and unforeseen economic circumstances that have arisen since acquiring J-1 status; however, employment is limited to 20-hours while school is in session but may be more than 20 hours during school vacations. Apply at International Services.


Social Security Cards

A Social Security Number (SSN) is:

  • a unique 9-digit U.S. government- issued number used for taxpayer identification, income reporting and record-keeping purposes
  • required before you may begin employment
  • valid for a lifetime--keep your SS card in a safe place

Application Procedure

  1. Obtain a written offer of employment from your employer.
  2. Bring the written offer to International Services to request a letter to the Social Security Administration (SSA) certifying that you are
  • are in good legal status,
  • are eligible to work and
  • have secured or have a promise of employment.
  • more
  1. Complete a Social Security number application.
  2. Take your International Students Services certification offer letter, valid passport, visa, Form I-94, Form I-20 and completed application form to our local Social Security Administration (SSA) office located at:

US Social Security Administration 

Rm 1-114 Federal Building

300 Alamoana Blvd

Honolulu, Hi 96850

Phone Number: 1-800-772-1213

MTTF: 8:00am – 3:30pm Wed: 8:00am-11:30am


US Social Security Administration

970 Manawai St.

Kapolei, Hi 96707

Phone Number: 1-800-772-1213

MTTHF: 8:30am – 2:30pm Wed: 8:30-11:30am

  1. You will be given a receipt that acts as a temporary card until your permanent card arrives.


Tax Information

As you may already know,

  • If you reside in the United States during 2016 for at least one day, you are required to submit tax Form 8843 by the June 15, 2017 deadline.
  • If you earned money in the United States during 2015, you are ALSO required to submit federal and likely state income tax forms by the April 15, 2017 deadline


If you worked in Utah, you are required to complete and submit state tax forms.

If you worked in another state, you may be subject to that state's income tax laws--not every state has income taxes.

You will have to contact the state to determine if you need to submit forms. 


If you worked on campus:

  • BYUH files Form 8233 with the IRS and keeps a copy for audit purposes.
  • BYUH sends W-2 Forms to you if you are from a country not covered by a tax treaty.
  • If you are from Mexico, Japan, South Korea, or Canada, you have the option of claiming the tax treaty or filing an income tax return according to the information on your W-4.
  • You must renew Form 8233 at the Payroll Office every year during the month of December for the next calendar year.

We, at International Services are not tax experts and are not in a position to answer your tax questions. If you have additional questions regarding your tax obligations, we suggest that you utilize the following resources: