Global Brown Center

Working as a Student

Since lawful F-1 visa status carries the automatic benefit of on-campus work privilege, working on campus may be the easiest place for international students to find employment.

All international students on a nonimmigrant visa are encouraged to consult with the Office of International Student and Scholar Services (OISSS) prior to seeking employment in the United States.

Visit OISSS Website

Students in J-1 immigration status are required to seek prior written permission from their program sponsor before beginning on-campus work. All international students should never work off-campus without prior U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) or OISSS permission.


The Office of International Student and Scholar Services (OISSS) can assist international students in obtaining and completing the required documentation they need in order to work on campus. International students with questions about employment should visit OISSS during business hours or call (401) 863-2427 to schedule an appointment with an advisor. OISSS is located on the 3rd floor of Page-Robinson Hall.

Work Hours

Federal immigration regulations stipulate that international students can work no more than 20 hours per week during the academic year. The Brown University work week is defined as Sunday to Saturday. 

Social Security Number

International students who have been offered employment are eligible to apply for a United States social security number (SSN). This number is issued for employment purposes only. Although it is not necessary to already have a social security number to begin on-campus employment, it is required to obtain one for payroll purposes and proper tax withholding.

Learn About Obtaining a SSN

Additional Resources

Student employment at Brown is centrally managed in University Human Resources (UHR). UHR is responsible for maintaining compliance with government and federal regulations, including I-9s and the Fair Labor Standards Act.
This employment guide is an important resource that outlines the expectations and values for managers and student workers.