Social Security Number

On campus

Off campus

F-1 Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

F-1 Optional Practical Training (OPT and STEM OPT)

J-1 Academic Training (AT)

F-1 & J-1 Severe Economic Hardship Work Authorization

Career Center Workshop (2021)

H1B Workshop (2021)

Social Security Number

Anyone employed in the US is required to have a Social Security Number. For more information on how to apply, please click here.

On-campus Jobs

F-1  students:  your status allows you to work on campus.  During the fall and spring semester, you may work up to 20 hours per week.  During the winter and summer break, you may work up to 40 hours.

J-1 students:  you will need a special work authorization letter from the Office of International Programs before you begin an on-campus job.  Please ask OIP for a request form and we will issue the letter for you.

Graduate students:  A Graduate Teaching or Research assistantship is counted as 20 hours per week.  If you are a graduate student with an assistantship you may not take on other employment.

Intensive English Students:  Your breaks may fall outside the regularly scheduled winter and summer breaks.  Be sure to check with an International Student Adviser at OIP if you plan to work full time (40 hours) during your break session.

Off-campus Jobs

Special permission from the Office of International Programs and in some cases the US Citizenship and Immigration Service is necessary for F-1 and J-1 students for off-campus employment.  Some applications for work authorization take 2-3 months to approve so it is important to begin the process early.

F-1 Student Options

Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

CPT may be granted for an off-campus internship or independent study that is an integral part of an established curriculum.  You must earn academic credit for your  CPT work experience and it is available only prior to the completion of your degree program.  You must have a job offer at the time of application and your academic adviser must approve it as a qualifying academic experience.  CPT employment may not delay completion of the academic program.
Learn more about CPT
Click here to register for a virtual CPT workshop on one of those dates:
Monday, July 18                        3:00 pm
Tuesday, October 25               4:00 pm

Optional Practical Training (OPT)

OPT is  temporary employment directly related to a student’s field of study usually done after graduation. During OPT, a student remains in F-1 status.  Your application is made through OIP and forwarded on to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS).  USCIS will issue an Employment Authorization Document (EAD or OPT card) which grants authorization to accept relevant employment.  OPT applications take around 90 days to process at USCIS (varies depending on time of year).  Apply early to avoid loss of OPT time!

Learn more about OPT

Click here to register for a virtual OPT workshop on one of those dates:

Wednesday, June 8, 2022            4:00 pm
Wednesday, July 27, 2022            3:00 pm
Wednesday, September 21         5:00 pm
Thursday, October 27                 12:00 pm


STEM OPT may be available to students who have a STEM major.

Learn more about STEM OPT

Click here to register for a virtual STEM OPT workshop on one of those dates:

Tuesday, June 7, 2022                               5:00 pm
Tuesday, November 1, 2022                    5:00 pm

Special Reporting Requirements for Students on OPT

Students who are on OPT must report certain information to OIP, such as current residential address, current employer name and address, dates of employment or unemployment, changes in name, and changes in immigration status.

Report your OPT information here.

J-1 Student Options

Academic Training (AT) may be granted to J-1 students (both degree and non-degree seeking) who would like to pursue a practical training experience in their field either during or after studies.  Your academic adviser or Associate Dean (for non-degree) must recommend the training experience and provide documentation to the Office of International Programs regarding the employer, number of hours, suitability of employment, etc.

Click here to sign up for a virtual AT workshop, on one of those dates:

Tuesday, April 12, 2022                        4:00 pm
Tuesday, November 15, 2022             4:00 pm

Learn more about Academic Training

F-1 and J-1 Severe Economic Hardship

Both F-1 and J-1 students may be eligible for off campus work authorization which is necessary because of serious, urgent and unforeseen economic circumstances that have arisen since acquiring  F-1 or J-1 student status.  For J-1 students this authorization is issued by OIP and is for a specific job.  F-1 students must file an application with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) and if approved will be eligible to work for any employer.  There are many factors to consider when applying for Severe Economic Hardship work authorization.  Please make an appointment with your OIP adviser before applying to decide whether or not this is right for you.

For more information on F-1 and J-1 Severe Economic Hardship visit this site.


Employment Resources


To explore employment opportunities on campus please visit the Student Employment website.  Please note that international students are not eligible to accept any positions designated as “Work-Study”.


The University of Maine’s Career Center is an excellent place to search for jobs and internships.  Be sure to check out Going Global, a search engine that offers access to international career resources including world-wide job openings, internship listings, industry profiles, and country-specific career information.  The Career Center also has many other important resources such as career counseling, resume writing workshops, and programs to connect you with UMaine alumni working in your field.

Career Center Workshop 2021

H1B Workshop 2021