Employment in the U.S.
Employment is any activity for which you receive compensation. Compensation does not only refer to receiving money. For example, baby-sitting or housekeeping in exchange for room and board would be considered compensation for services.
Self-employment (for example, offering personal services, making and selling products, or otherwise engaging in income-producing activity in the U.S.) is generally prohibited.
Income from investments, interest on bank accounts, and similar funds do not constitute employment because there is no direct service/compensation relationship. Similarly, income from foreign employers does not necessarily constitute employment in the U.S. if that money is paid abroad.
Consult the IPE advisor or an immigration lawyer about opportunities to work in the U.S. Research the F-1 employment and J-1 employment benefits and restrictions.
Estimate of Annual Expenses
Social Security Number
Students holding F-1 and J-1 status who are employed in the U.S. must apply for a Social Security number. A Social Security number is issued to track earnings over a worker's lifetime. Students holding F-1 and J-1 status who are employed in the U.S. must apply for a Social Security number. Dependents in F-2 status are not eligible for a Social Security number.
In order to issue a Social Security number, the Social Security Administration requires evidence that you are eligible to work in the U.S., that you are a full-time student, and that you have received a formal offer of employment. A Social Security number is not required to obtain a driver's license, cell phone, credit card, insurance, admission to an academic institution or other "non-work" reasons. The Social Security Administration must also verify your immigration documents and status with Immigration before issuing the Social Security number. Note that new students may not apply for an SSN earlier than 10 business days after arriving in the U.S. The Social Security number itself is not a work permit.
For students who have been offered on-campus employment at Western or other employment, contact the IPE advisor for instructions on how to apply for a Social Security number.
Most F-1 and J-1 students must file forms each year with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), even if no income was earned. For information about your tax obligations, go to the tax information page.
WWU Tuition and Fees
Information about paying tuition and fees at Western can be found on the Student Financial Services page.