Current Students

Employment options under the F visa are regulated and limited. Students should not assume they are automatically eligible to work in the United States. The Department of Homeland Security considers unauthorized employment to be a very serious violation of a student visa status. Students on an F-1 visa are eligible to work on campus on a part-time basis, which is up to 20 hours per week while school is in session. During holiday breaks and the summer vacation, a student can work full-time on campus.  Students in F-1 status are eligible to work off campus only after obtaining specific employment authorization from the Office of International Students & Global Programs and in certain instances, from the USCIS. Permission to engage in off-campus employment must be obtained in advance of beginning employment, even if it is for purposes of fulfilling an internship requirement.

For more information regarding employment, see Employment Quick Links.

Social Security

A Social Security Number (SSN) is a unique, 9-digit, identification number issued by the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA). Although originally developed as a way to track and disburse social benefits such as pensions, the SSN has become a universal identification number used for many purposes including, but not limited to:

  • Employer payroll
  • Internal Revenue Service (federal taxes)
  • Driver's Licenses (some states)
  • Credit History

General Requirements

Regardless of immigration status, the following are general requirements for all international students:

  • Must be present in the U.S. for at least 10 days before applying
  • Valid Passport
  • Stamped original I-20
  • Electronic I-94
  • Job Offer letter
  • Social Security Application

Additional Requirements

F-1 Students

Requirements

On-campus employment

Curricular Practical Training 

  • CPT approval on the second page of I-20
  • Job Offer letter
  • Must apply no more than 30 days prior to start date of CPT up to one week prior to start date

Optional Practical Training

  • Employment Authorization Document (EAD)
  • OPT recommendation by DSO on 2nd page of I-20
  • Cannot begin work until the start date listed on the EAD

 

Social Security Administration Offices

Philadelphia Social Security Card Center
2 Penn Center, Suite 2000B, 1500 JKF Blvd
Philadelphia, PA 19102
Hours: Monday – Friday, 9 am – 3:30 pm

Cherry Hill Social Security Administration
Suite 100, Five Executive Campus
Cherry Hill, New Jersey, 08002
Hours: Monday - Friday:09:00 AM - 03:30 PM
 

The Social Security Card

Once your application for a SSN has been approved by the Social Security Administration (SSA), the SSA will send a Social Security card to the address you provided on your application form.  The usual processing time is one- two weeks. If additional security procedures are necessary, processing times may range from 4-8 weeks. Most likely you will receive a Social Security card that has the notation- "Valid for work only with DHS Authorization."

Security and Identity theft

Once you obtain an SSN, it will be the same number for your lifetime. Due to this, you should know where your original card is located and keep your Social Security card in a safe place. If you lose your card and are no longer working, it can be difficult or impossible to obtain a new card. The application evidence requirements to replace a lost card are the same as those listed above.

Medical care is expensive in the United States. Therefore, it is very important that all international students have adequate health insurance. If you are injured or become seriously ill you may incur significant medical expenses, and international students are not eligible for assistance from the US government. 

For this reason, Rutgers University requires all international students and scholars in F-1 and J -1 status on Rutgers' visa sponsorship and their F-2/J-2 visa dependents to have health insurance that meets or exceeds the University's minimum required level of coverage. Rutgers-Camden international students and scholars are subject to University health insurance policies. All Rutgers University students are automatically enrolled in the University’s Health Plan.

The International Health Insurance Coordinator is positioned in the Global Services Office on the New Brunswick campus. For detailed information about the University's health insurance policy, automatic billing, and exemption requests, please visit Global Services health insurance website. If you have questions about the health insurance program, please contact, Eirinn Jones, the International Health Insurance Coordinator at eljones@rci.rutgers.edu.

In order to remain lawfully in the United States during your studies in F-1 status, you must obey the regulations that govern F-1 students. Failure to maintain your status could result in serious consequences and may affect your ability to remain in or return to the United States. Therefore, it is very important for you to understand and comply with the requirements governing your stay to ensure that you do not jeopardize your immigration status.

1.    Begin by reading the “Instructions to Students” on page three of your I-20. By following those instructions, as well as the other guidelines listed below, you should be able to maintain lawful F-1 student status with little difficulty.

2.    Maintain Required Documentation
Maintain accurate and valid immigration documents at all times, and apply in a timely fashion for any needed changes or extensions of any of these documents.  

  • Keep your passport valid at all times (preferably valid at least 6 months into the future).
  • Obtain I-20 extensions to continue your studies, as needed, at least one month prior to the current document's expiration.
  • Consult with the OIS to have your I-20 updated to reflect any change of degree level, program, or funding before making the change itself.
  • Ensure that your I-94 is marked "F-1 D/S".
  • Make copies of all of your legal documents (I-20, passport, tax forms, EAD card, etc.) and maintain them in a safe place.

3.    Report to the Office of International Students & Global Programs upon arrival 
Report to the OIS within 30 days of the report date on your Form I-20 to complete a mandatory "check-in" procedure.

 

4.    Maintain full-time enrollment and normal, full-time progress toward your degree or certificate. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) regulations require that you register during the University's published registration period. Failure to do this will result in violation of your F-1 status. You are expected to maintain full-time registration and make normal progress toward your degree. Note that the definition of "full-time" may differ from school to school. As a result, you should consult with the OIS  to determine whether or not you are a "full-time" student.

 

5.    Obtain PRIOR authorization from the OIS (if eligible) BEFORE dropping below a full course of study, withdrawing from classes, or taking a leave of absence. There are very limited exceptions to the full-time requirement, so you must consult the OIS in advance of any drop below full-time, or you will be in violation of your status.
 

6.    Notify Rutgers and the OIS of any address change within 10 Days of moving.

7.   Do Not Engage in Illegal Employment
 Always seek and receive proper authorization from the OIS or the USCIS, as appropriate,   for any on or off campus employment prior to starting to work. On campus employment may not exceeed 20 hours per week while school is in session.

8.    Income Taxes
File a federal income tax return for each year you have earned income in the U.S. or a Form 8843 for each year you are in the U.S. but have not earned income.  F-1 students with earned income in New Jersey must also file a state income tax return.
 

9.    If you leave the US without completing your program of study, complete your program early or change to another non-immigrant status, notify the OIS so that your record in the DHS data base accurately reflects your current situation.
 

10.    Obtain a Travel Signature on your I-20 Form
Get a travel signature on your I-20 prior to leaving the U.S. Travel signatures are valid for one year except students on Post-Completion Optional Practical Training/STEM Extenison, where travel signatures are valid for six months.

11.    Once you have completed your studies and any practical training that is authorized, you must leave the U.S. or change to another immigration status within the appropriate time allowed.  F-1 visa holders are allowed a 60-day grace period following the completion of their program or period of authorized Optional Practical Training. During the 60-day period F-1s are legally eligible to remain in the U.S., transfer to another U.S. institution or initiate an application to change to another non-immigrant status in the U.S., but cannot legally work or study during that period.

If you plan to transfer from Rutgers University to another U.S. school, you must notify Rutgers University (your “current school”) of your intent to transfer and to indicate the school to which you intend to transfer (your “transfer school”.) Upon transferring, the OIS will update your record in the Student & Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) as a “transfer out” and indicate the name of your “transfer school” and a “transfer release date.” Although you may be applying to multiple new schools, the DSO may indicate only one transfer school in SEVIS. Please note — your transfer school will not be able to issue you a new I-20 until the transfer release date. Finally, if you decide to cancel your school transfer you must notify the OIS before your transfer release date — once the transfer release date has been reached, Rutgers University will no longer have access to your SEVIS record.

You will need to provide the OIS the following in order for us to transfer your SEVIS record:

  • Transfer Out Request Form
  • New School’s Transfer In Report Form (if needed)
  • Admission letter from the school you are transferring to
  • Full unofficial transcript or a copy of your OPT card, if you are currently on OPT*

* If you are on OPT, transferring to a new program will automatically cancel your OPT, if it is still valid.

General Information and Eligibility 
The program extension request form is to be used by an F-1 or J-1 student who is unable to complete his or her course of study by the program end date on form I-20 (F-1 student) or DS-2019 (J-1 student). To allow sufficient time for the extension procedure and SEVIS update, a student must submit his or her request to the Office of International Students (OIS) at least 30 days before the expiration date of the I-20 or DS-2019. A student who fails to request an extension prior to the program expiration date will be considered out of status and must apply to USCIS for reinstatement.

In order to be eligible for a program extension a student must:

  • Submit complete documentation to the OIS for an extension 30 days before the program completion date listed on his/her current I-20 or DS-2019.
  • Have continually maintained legal F-1 or J-1 status student status.
  • Seek an extension for a delay caused by a compelling academic or medical need for the extension, such as change of major or research topic, unexpected research problems, or documented illness.
  • If there is a change in funding source, provide financial documentation covering your educational and living expenses for the extension period.

Procedure 
To apply for an extension of your student status, please carefully read and complete the extension request form.

  • You and your academic advisor or graduate program director must complete this form in its entirety.
  • You must submit your completed request form to OIS and, if required, financial documentation to request a program extension.
  • Please bring your current I-20 or DS-2019
  • Make sure your department or school updates the Registrar’s Office with your new expected completion date.
  • If you are eligible, within 5 business days, you will be issued an I-20 or DS-2019 with a new completion date. Any J-2 or F-2 dependents will also be issued updated forms.

It is your responsibility to pick up your updated I-20 or DS-2019 prior to the expiration of your current I-20 or DS-2019 to ensure that the extension has been granted on time!

Financial Documentation 
If there is a change in your source of funding, you must provide proof that you will be able to continue to meet the expenses (living and education costs, including living expenses for dependent family members, if any) of studying at Rutgers University, Camden.
Please bring documentation of one, or a combination of the following, showing funding for the duration of your extension:

  • A statement showing proof of renewed sponsorship or financial aid. Funding amounts must be clearly stated.
  • Recent financial certificate (e.g., a bank statement), issued within the past 12 months.
  • An updated Rutgers scholarship/fellowship/assistantship letter. Funding amounts and period of funding must be clearly stated.

Please Note: 
The extension procedure will extend your I-20 or DS-2019 but not your visa (stamp). If you have an expired visa in your passport, you are permitted to remain in the US with a valid I-20 or DS-2019. However, the next time you travel out of the US and need to re-enter, you will still need to apply for a new visa to return to the US.