On-Campus Employment Instructions for Hiring Departments

This information was designed to clarify some confusion surrounding the online employment system (HRS) and how it is used for F-1 and J-1 international students. For US Citizens, Permanent Residents, and other visa status employees, please contact the Payroll Office or Human Resources to find out how to handle their hiring paperwork. Also, hiring documents for former F-1 students who have a valid EAD card while on OPT or OPT STEM will be handled via the hiring department, Payroll and HR as well, not by our office. This document only refers to F-1 and J-1 current students who wish to work for LSU, such as in student worker or graduate assistant positions (these are the most common categories). If you are hiring an F-1 or J-1 student in a transient or contingent position, it is important that you check with our office and Payroll to make sure all required forms are filled out. Even as a transient or contingent employee, they must still meet employment eligibility requirements for their specific immigration status. As a separate campus, the LSU Law School handles all paperwork for their J-1 students.

As F-1 and J-1 students, their primary purpose is to study. Employment is highly restricted (maximum 20 hours per week on campus) and is only a benefit to their F-1 or J-1 status, which is why our office is very careful with employment advising and authorizations. Please remind your faculty and staff who supervise international students that they cannot exceed 20 hours per week and are not eligible for Ad Comp since that would put them over the limit. It is a good idea to track the hours of those on assistantships to make sure they remain within their appointed hours (no more than 20 hours/week for a 50% appointment and no more than 10 hours/week for a 25% appointment).

If the students, or their employing department, are not able to access these systems and require instructions, please contact LSU Payroll at 204 Thomas Boyd Hall (225/578-3321). Ms. Yolanda Clark at Payroll can help if there are issues with the link or online form access.

ExpandNew Student Procedures

Specifically for new students who have just arrived at LSU, there are certain procedures that must occur before we can move on to the next step. Our orientation program is scheduled early and we provide handouts and information so that students will be aware of their responsibilities. The beginning of the semester is always a very busy time, so there may be delays in processing their documents and their first paycheck may be delayed if they have not completed all requirements with our office or if they do not yet have a social security number.

For new students who have not worked in the U.S. before, they will need to apply for a U.S. Social Security number for employment. Before applying for an SSN, the student needs to be in the U.S. for a minimum of 10 days after completing IS check-in, either at international student orientation or in 101 Hatcher Hall. When the student goes to the Social Security office, the student must provide proof of LSU campus employment and Designated School Official (DSO) authorization which will be in the form of a combined letter. This letter includes an original, official job offer letter from hiring department AND authorization from International Services. Your department will need to prepare this one-page letter on LSU letterhead, give it to the student, and they will bring it to us so that we can fill out our section on the same letter. (Further instructions about this process are available on our Social Security information page, as well as a sample letter for you to follow and a list of documents that the student will need to bring to the Social Security office).

ExpandEarly Work Authorization

Working prior to Orientation is rare because it is so complicated for all parties involved. The Hiring Department, Payroll, International Services office and the Student must all process additional paperwork twice, for the temporary hire and assistantship hire later. The LSU Payroll system does not allow an International Student to be appointed as a Graduate Assistant so early since they are not actually a student yet, so they have to be listed as a Transient for a few weeks, then can be appointed as a G.A. when the semester actually starts. The student could possibly start work early, but it requires additional work for both your department and our office. No early work is allowed if the request comes within 7 days of Orientation since processing would take too long, so student should wait until after Orientation to start work. We will need confirmation from the Department if they decide to proceed with the early hire process. As discussed here, it is very complicated, which is why most departments do not pursue that option. Please contact isoemp@lsu.edu for further details or discussion if you are considering this situation.

There would be two scenarios where working early may be allowed:

  1. New Initial Student – Entering U.S. no more than 30 days before I-20 start date, work cannot start more than 30 days before the actual start of classes.
  2. Transfer-in Student – Can start working after Transfer and LSU I-20 creation, and can work more than 30 days before start date since they are “continuing student”.

From Early Work Start date to Day before Orientation/Start date of I-20:

  • They could be appointed as “Contingent” or “Transient” by your department only up until the date of our International Orientation
  • They would need to meet with me for a Status Verification and to report to our office for immigration purposes
  • They would need to submit Payroll documents online (I-9 and Alien Tax Form, etc.)
  • They would need to submit a “Transient” Paper Work Permit to our office
  • They would need a temporary paper work permit processed by our office which would only be valid until the date of our International Orientation
  • We would register their SEVIS record for “Reported for the purpose of on-campus employment and social security number” using program start date as “Current end” and true semester class date as “Next Session”
  • They would need an I-9 form processed by our office

Orientation Day and after:

  • They could be appointed as “Graduate Assistant” or “Student Worker” by your department starting the day after Orientation or later
  • They would need to submit an Online Work Permit since the paper Transient one has expired
  • They would need an online work permit processed by our office (valid for two semesters)
  • They will be re-registered for the Fall semester based on their attendance at orientation and enrollment
  • Their I-9 would still be valid since it is for the duration of their immigration documents