Social Security Administration (SSA) Services

ISSS received an update that the local SSA in Louisville is open for walk in visits. Face masks are required. You may also call the Louisville office at 877-405-5872 weekdays between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. to speak with a representative about scheduling an in-office appointment.

Guidance for Departments Wishing to Hire Graduate Students Working Abroad

On-campus employment refers to employment where a student is hired by a unit or department of the University of Colorado Boulder campus (CU Boulder) and paid by CU Boulder.

  • If the employer is a private company that is physically located on the CU Boulder campus but provides direct services for students (e.g., Subway in the UMC), such employment would qualify as on-campus employment as well.
  • In some circumstances, on-campus employment can be located at an off-campus location when there is a documented affiliation with CU Boulder

Students can find listings of on-campus jobs at the Student Employment Office.

Be aware:

  • International students are not eligible for on-campus jobs classified as “work study” as such positions are subsidized by federal financial aid for domestic students.
  • Some positions listed as on-campus jobs are for organizations that are NOT on-campus employers: the Graduate School of Banking, CU Foundation, National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). 

Students who have questions about whether a job is considered on-campus should consult ISSS.


In order to be eligible for on-campus employment, international students in F-1 or J-1 status must:

  1. Be maintaining their nonimmigrant status;
  2. Be enrolled in a full-time course load or authorized equivalent in the current term or, in the case of summer or winter vacation, have not completed their degree and are enrolled full-time (or an authorized equivalent) in the next required term. 

Work Hours

International students can work on-campus up to 20 hours a week while school is in session during the fall and spring semester. 

  • If a student has multiple on-campus jobs, the total hours worked for all jobs cannot exceed 20 hours a week while school is in session.

International students can work on-campus full-time (more than 20 hours) during official school breaks (fall break, winter break, spring break) with approval from the university.* Students can work full-time during summer term.**

* During fall break, winter break, and spring break, if an international student in F-1 status would like to work more than 50 hours in a bi-weekly pay period, Student Employment requires the student to submit an exception request form for approval. 

**The official Student Employment Summer Term does not require an exception request, but please see the Student Employment Summer calendar as dates may be different from the school calendar. Please consult the hiring department or Student Employment for more information.


International students are responsible for making sure employment does not violate immigration regulations and that they complete all necessary steps with the university.

  • J-1 Students: Prior to beginning any on-campus position, report your on-campus employer and the number of work hours you will work each week to ISSS.
  • All International Students: Complete required steps for being added to CU Boulder payroll.

Social Security Numbers and On-Campus Employment

International students working in the U.S. must obtain a SSN. In order to apply for a SSN, a student must have a qualifying employment offer (see our offer letter template requirements/template) and a letter from ISSS.

The on-campus job offer letter must be printed on department letterhead and include the following information required by Social Security Administration:

  • Name of student (as listed on passport)
  • Description of the employment/ nature of the job
  • Anticipated or actual start date
    (no more than 30 days into the future)
  • Number of hours/ week student is expected to work
  • Name of employing CU Boulder department/ school
  • Employer Identification Number (EIN)
  • Name of student’s immediate supervisor
  • Employer’s telephone number
  • Original signature with date (this must be an ink signature, not DocuSign)
  • Signatory’s title

Information for CU Boulder On-Campus Employment Hiring Department

To request a letter from ISSS, please complete the On-Campus Employment SSN Letter Request Form.

You will be required to upload a copy of your job offer letter.

  • Access the On-Campus Employment SSN Letter Request Form in the MyISSS portal.

Meeting with CU International Tax Office

All new international employees, including student workers, who are not permanent residents of the United States are required to meet with a speacialist from the CU International Tax Office to determine tax residency status and complete related paperwork

Schedule Appointment

This meeting does not have to be completed prior to applying for an SSN but should be scheduled as soon as

possible because appointment times are limited.

Additional Resources