J-1 On-Campus Employment Information


J-1 students may be employed when the employment is related to academic funding, on-campus work, or economic necessity. J-1 student employment must be authorized by the International Office (IO) for the following types of employment:

  • Employment pursuant to the terms of a scholarship or assistantship (teaching/research).
  • Employment occuring on-campus at Northwestern University; or
  • Employment that occurs off-campus due to serious, urgent, and/or unforeseen economic circumstances that have arisen since acquiring exchange visitor status.

Conditions and Eligibility

The IO must authorize the J-1 student employment before the employment begins. Authorization can be granted for periods of up to 12-months at a time or for shorter periods. The following conditions apply:

  • Student must be in good academic standing.
  • Student must continue to engage in a full course of study, except during official school breaks and annual vacation.
  • Employment is limited to 20-hours per week when class in in-session. Full-time employment is allowed during official school breaks and annual vacation (i.e. summer quarter).
  • J-1 students must consult with their advisor at the IO when applying for off-campus employment authorization due to unforeseen economic circumstances. (Documentation must be provided supporting the unforeseen and urgent nature of said circumstances.)
  • On-campus employment must be authorized in advance by the IO.

Note: Employment authorization is automatically withdrawn if the student's program is transferred to another institution or terminated.

Example: A student working 15 hours per week on an assistantship is eligible for an additional five hours per week of other on- or off-campus employment (off-campus due to economic necessity).

Application Procedures

J-1 students interested in applying for on-campus employment authorization are required to submit the J-1 Student On-Campus Employment Authorization Form to their international student advisor.

Any J-1 student not currently sponsored by Northwestern (i.e. Fulbright) must contact their sponsoring agency for the required employment authorization.

Important points to remember:

  • In order to begin new period of employment, or to continue previously authorized employment (for which the form expiration date has been reached), students are required to complete a new form.
  • J-1 students are required to submit a new J-1 Student On-Campus Employment Authorization Form to report any of the following:
    • change in current employment (i.e. change in the number of hours per week);
    • change in type of employment or employer;
    • change in location of employment; and/or
    • early completion and/or cancelation of student employment.