This information was designed to clarify the hiring paperwork requirements for F-1 and J-1 international students. There is a US Customs and Immigration (USCIS) Website, called I-9 Central that has “I-9 Central Questions & Answers” and a “Handbook for Employers Guide M-274” that clearly explains how to fill out an I-9 for a regular F-1 student, regular J-1 student, an F-1 on CPT, an F-1 on OPT, etc. There is also information about many other visa and status categories, so it should be helpful for your other employees as well. Additional information about I-9s can be found on the I-9 Central website.
For US Citizens, Permanent Residents, and other visa status employees, please contact the Payroll Office or Human Resources to find out how to handle their hiring paperwork, or see the USCIS I-9 Central page mentioned above. Also, hiring documents for former F-1 students who have a valid EAD card while on OPT or OPT STEM are handled via the hiring department, Payroll and HR.
This document only refers to F-1 and J-1 current students who wish to work for LSU, such as in student worker or graduate assistant positions (these are the most common student employment categories). It is our understanding from PS 28, students are not supposed to be hired as transient or contingent. If you have questions about hiring an F-1 or J-1 student, it is important that you check with HR and Payroll to see if they are eligible for that category and to make sure all required forms are filled out. Any F-1 or J-1 student must still meet employment eligibility requirements for their specific immigration status, not matter what their job appointment category.
For Initial/New I-9s when hiring an F-1 or J-1 Students: There are very specific documents for a current F-1 or J-1 student that must be provided to prove their status and employment eligibility:
- Valid, unexpired Passport,
- Valid, unexpired I-20/DS-2019 and
- Your most recent I-94 printout.
The student can print their most recent I-94 Entry record from the Customs and Border Patrol Website. Please see the USCIS Handbook for further details about filling out the I-9 for an F-1 or J-1 student.
For Re-verification I-9s for a currently and continuously employed F-1 or J-1 Student: the I-9 expiration date will depend on the I-20/DS-2019 end date since the I-94 usually says “D/S” duration of status. The passport expiration date does not trigger reverification. Passports may affect other F-1 or J-1 benefits, ability to travel, and proof of status, so it is still recommended that our international students maintain a valid passport at all times. Please see the USCIS FAQ on the I-9 Central page for further details about reverification of an F-1 or J-1 student.
As F-1 and J-1 students, their primary purpose is to study. Employment is highly restricted (maximum 20 hours per week on campus) and is only a benefit to their F-1 or J-1 status, which is why our office is very careful with employment advising and authorizations. Please remind your faculty and staff who supervise international students that they cannot exceed 20 hours per week and are not eligible for Additional Compensation (Ad Comp) since that would put them over the limit. It is a good idea to track the hours of those on assistantships to make sure they remain within their appointed hours (no more than 20 hours/week for a 50% appointment and no more than 10 hours/week for a 25% appointment).
Our office will notify Payroll and the involved department if/when a student is not eligible for On-Campus employment. Paper Vendor Work Permits are only used for those employers that are not in the LSU Payroll/Workday system, such as the LSU Bookstore (Barnes and Noble), LSU Dining (Chartwells), etc.
New Student Procedures
Specifically for new students who have just arrived at LSU, there are certain procedures that must occur before we can move on to the next step. Our International Student Orientation Program is scheduled early and we provide handouts and information so that students will be aware of their responsibilities. The beginning of the semester is always a very busy time, so there may be delays in processing their documents and their first paycheck may be delayed if they have not completed all requirements with our office or if they do not yet have a Social Security Number.
As a reminder, new students cannot begin working before the date of our Orientation program, so please keep that in mind for appointment start dates. If the students or their employing department are not able to access their Workday documents, please contact HR. If there are questions about how to fill out tax forms, please contact LSU Payroll at 204 Thomas Boyd Hall, 225-578-3321.
For new students who have not worked in the U.S. before, they will need to apply for a U.S. Social Security number for employment. Before applying for an SSN, the student needs to be in the U.S. for a minimum of 10 days after completing IS check-in, either at International Student Orientation or in 101 Hatcher Hall. When the student goes to the Social Security office, the student must provide proof of LSU campus employment and Designated School Official (DSO) authorization which will be in the form of a combined letter. This letter includes an original, official job offer letter from hiring department AND authorization from International Services. Your department will need to prepare this one-page letter on LSU letterhead, give it to the student, and they will bring it to us so that we can fill out our section on the same letter. Further instructions about this process are available on our Social Security information page, as well as a sample letter for you to follow and a list of documents that the student will need to bring to the Social Security office.