University of Iowa

You may work part-time (up to 20 hours per week) during the fall and spring semesters and full-time (up to 40 hours per week) during official University breaks (winter break, spring break, Thanksgiving break, and in the summer) if your I-20 is valid and you are in good academic standing. You must also be enrolled full-time or authorized to be enrolled part-time in the fall and spring; enrollment is not required during winter break or summer session, but you must not have graduated and must be eligible to and intend to enroll for the following semester.

  • Students Transferring from U.S. School to Another- Federal regulations allow on-campus employment only at the school whose I-20 is covering you: “In the case of a transfer in SEVIS, the student may only engage in on-campus work at the school having jurisdiction over the student’s SEVIS record.” [8 CFR 214.2(f)(9)(i)]
  • Students Out of Status/Reinstatement Pending - You are not permitted to work if you have lost status, or while you have a reinstatement application pending.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is on-campus employment?

On campus employment generally means that you will work for and be paid by the University of Iowa. Your employer will fill out a form with you called an I-9. This is to certify that you are eligible to work in the United States.

Is my work really on campus?

We have had students ask if they can work at restaurants in the Old Capitol Mall, because so many University offices are also there. The answer is, no these are not on campus employers. Remember, if it is on campus your check will be from the University of Iowa and you will have completed form I-9.

What will happen to me if I work off campus without permission?

If ISSS finds out that you are working without authorization, we are legally required to terminate your SEVIS immigration record, which also reports it to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Certain students will not be eligible for reinstatement after this termination, and you will also begin to accrue "unlawful presence" in the U.S. which could lead to being restricted from coming back to the U.S. for several years.

My boss or my friend told me that I am allowed to work off campus. Is that true?

The way to determine this is to talk to an ISSS advisor.  ISSS advisors are the only individuals legally authorized to determine and assist you with off-campus employment eligibility. We will let you know what is or is not on campus work. We want to help you maintain your status and finish your program of study.

On-campus employment includes on-campus jobs unrelated to study as well as employment required by scholarship, fellowship, or assistantship.

You may work on campus up to 20 hours per week during the academic year and full time during the Thanksgiving break, winter break, spring break, and summer as long as:

  • your DS-2019 is valid
  • you have written authorization from ISSS in the form of a letter, valid for 12 months
  • you are in good academic standing
  • you are enrolled full time (enrollment is not required during winter break or summer session, but you must not have graduated and intend to enroll for the following semester)

Procedure to Obtain On-Campus Work Authorization Letter

To request on-campus employment authorization, please login to your iHawk account (click the blue login button) using your HawkID and password. Go to "J-1 Student Services" and complete the e-form "On-Campus Work Authorization."  You will be notified when your authorization letter is ready to pick up within a week if there are no questions.

Please note that your written authorization from ISSS must be renewed on an annual basis.  If it has expired, you may not work on campus anymore.