Hiring a Student on an F-1 or J-1 Visa


This provides the basic process and regulatory overview of the steps needed to hire a student on an F-1 or J-1 visa. This process provides information regarding the immigration requirements. Please remember to consult with Human Resources for questions regarding UT specific policy and on-boarding best practices.

Important, International Student and Scholar Services has recently come into alignment with Department of Homeland Security policy on electronic issuance of form I-20s. As such, F-1 students are not issued a physical form I-20 or employment stamp. If additional verification of this update is needed, please find the signed letter below.


Step One - Determine Eligibility

Per federal regulation 8 CFR 214.2(f)(9)(i), current students in F-1 immigration status and per federal regulation 22 CFR 62.23(g), current students in J-1 status are authorized to work on campus as long as they meet the following criteria:

  1. The student must be in good academic standing and enrolled in full-time coursework;

  2. the student may not work more than 20 hours per week (totaling all university employment) while classes are in session;

  3. the students approval is only valid until the program end date on their I-20 form shown in the “Program of Study” section on page 1 of the I-20 or until the “to” period in box 3 of the form DS-2019.

Step Two - Ensure the Student has Registered with Immigration

All new F-1 and J-1 students must complete an initial check in with immigration before Social Security Numbers can be issued or the form I-9 process can be completed. This can be determined by a quick look at the student’s immigration document.

Checking an F-1 Student with a Form I-20

To check if an F-1 student has been registered, ask for their form I-20. Look at Form Issue Reason. If this reads “Continued Attendance,” the student has been registered with immigration and can proceed with the hiring process.

Checking a J-1 Student with a Form DS-2019

To check if a student with a DS-2019 has been registered (validated), ask for their form DS-2019. The form DS-2019 must be a physical copy. Note, Department of State regulations require that the DS-2019 be a physical document. If you see a travel signature on the form DS-2019, the record has been validated, and you can continue with the hiring process.

Step Three - Issue a Social Security Number (SSN) Memo

If the student does not have an SSN, you will need to issue an SSN Memo following the instructions at . If the student does have an SSN, you can skip this step and proceed to step four.

Step Four - Complete the Form I-9

Complete the form I-9 following the process from Human Resources. You can refer to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) publication Handbook for Employers M-274 for information on what documents to use for the I-9. The specific sections are 6.4.2 F-1 and M-1 Nonimmigrant Students and 6.4.1 Exchange Visitors (J-1).