There are several opportunities for employment both on and off-campus for international students. Employment not only puts money in your pocket but also allows you to earn a social security card.

Getting a Social Security Card

  1. In order to be eligible for a social security card, you must find a job on the Regis campus. If you are on an F-1 visa, you cannot obtain employment anywhere other than on campus.
  2. Ask your supervisor to provide a letter on department letterhead with the following information:
    1. The name of the department for which you are working
    2. The name of your supervisor
    3. How much you are getting paid
    4. How many hours a week you will be working
    5. The type of work you will be doing
  3. Fill out a Letter Request Form, which is available in The Center for Global Connections. This will help you request a Social Security Number.
  4. Bring your completed Letter Request Form and the letter from your department to the Director of the Center for Global Connections. We will notify you when your form is approved, and your letter is available for pick up.
  5. Take the following items to the Social Security Office, located at 135 Beaver St., Unit #120 in neighboring Waltham (1.800.772.1213):
    1. Your letter from the Center for Global Connections
    2. Department letter
    3. Your passport
    4. Your I-94 Form
    5. DS-2019 or I-20

Additional Social Security Office Information

  • When you are at the Social Security Office, you will fill out an application and they will make copies of your immigration documents.
  • It takes approximately two to eight weeks for you to receive the Social Security Card in the mail.
  • After you receive your Social Security number, you must notify Human Resources.

Paying Taxes

All international students, regardless of whether or not they have a U.S. source of income, must file federal income tax forms. In Massachusetts, state income tax forms also must be filed if money is earned in the U.S. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) code contains special provisions, which apply to non-immigrants in F and J statuses. Factors affecting tax obligation include the following:

  • U.S. residency v. non-residency (this refers to tax residency status, not I-94 status)
  • Tax treaties between the USA and the person's home government
  • Income earned in the USA and Massachusetts v. unearned income
  • How earned income is spent

April 15 is the deadline each year for filing tax forms on income earned during the preceding calendar year. Each year toward the end of January, every U.S. employer prepares a "W-2 Form" for each employee showing the amount earned during the preceding tax year and the amount of taxes, federal and state, withheld. This W-2 Form is used in preparing income tax forms, and if the amount withheld exceeds the amount of tax obligation, a tax return must be filed in order to receive the refund.

You must have a Social Security Number to file income tax returns. If you, your spouse, or your children are ineligible for a Social Security Number, you must apply for an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number. This may be obtained from the IRS at the Social Security Administration offices. You will first need to obtain the form W-7 from the IRS website.

After leaving the U.S., you can obtain tax forms from the nearest U.S. consulate or from the IRS website for use in filing taxes for the preceding calendar year. These forms are available in January of the following year. It is important to keep records of financial transactions to use in completing income tax forms. It is also important to keep a copy of all income tax forms submitted, as well as supporting documentation.

Employment Authorization

International students have the opportunity to work in the United States after completing their degree. This opportunity is called Optional Practical Training (OPT) which enables F-1 students to temporarily work for up to a period of 12 months in an area/field directly related to their attained degree.

There are different types of OPT i.e., Pre-completion and Post-completion. For more information, please visit the USCIS Website. Below are some guidelines to follow as you start the application process for OPT:

Step One

Schedule an appointment with Global Connections to review the OPT application process. We will review with you the filing options (online or paper), fees, etc.

Step Two

Gather all the required documents in the right order to file for OPT/STEM. The Center for Global Connections will provide you with a complete list, but these are some of the requirements:

  • Personal Check or Money Order to U.S. Department of Homeland Security with the filing fees
  • Two recent passport photos (taken within the past six months)
  • G-1145, E-Notification of Application/Petition Acceptance
  • Form I-765 with your original signature (consult the Center for Global Connections for line-by-line instructions to complete)
  • OPT I-20 with your original signature
  • Copy of most recent I-94 record
  • Copy of U.S. visa stamp in your passport (not applicable to Canadian citizens)
  • Copy of passport biographical page(s)
  • Copies of all pages of all Forms I-20
  • Copy of any USCIS approval notices (I-797As) from the change of status applications (if applicable)
  • Copy of any previous EADs (if applicable)
  • A letter of explanation if you are missing previous Forms I-20 (if applicable)

Step Three

Schedule a follow-up appointment with Global Connections and bring all of your application materials with you. At this appointment, your new OPT I-20 will be created and given to you for you to sign. Note: Your OPT application must be received within 30 days of issuance of the new I-20. Your entire application will be rejected if the date of the I-20 OPT approval is more than 30 days from the date the application is submitted.

Step Four

Submit your application online via the USCIS website or via mail through USPS, FedEx, UPS, or DHL. Note: If submitting by mail, all application materials must be single-sided and unstapled when you send them to USCIS. You may use a paper clip or binder clip to secure your application. All copies can be made in black and white, or in color, so long as the information appears clearly.

Step Five

Wait for approval. When you are approved, remember that you still need to inform Regis of your employment details. Once you have a job offer in hand, please fill out the Regis OPT Report Form which will be submitted to the Center for Global Connections.