Employment for international students

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security requires that international students with F-1 visas live in the U.S. primarily to attend school. Therefore, employment is restricted.

On-campus employment

Students enrolled full time (12 hours for undergraduates) and are in good academic standing may work on campus. Students may work 20 hours per week while school is in session and 40 hours per week during school holidays. Learn about employment opportunities by visiting the International Center.

When you get a job, you'll need to complete the top section of the Temporary Employment form, Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) and federal and state tax withholding statements (W-4s).

An International Center staff member can help you with preparing for your Social Security Office appointment.

Off-campus employment

After having maintained F-1 status for at least one academic year, students may work off campus. This employment may take the form of Optional Practical Training, Curricular Practical Training or an exception for unforeseen economic hardship.

Paying U.S. taxes

All F-1 students must file state and federal taxes each year they spend in the United States. The tax year runs from January 1 to December 31. If U.S. money is earned, including scholarships, the deadline to file is April 15. If no U.S. money is earned, the deadline is June 15. You must file even if you do not owe money. Taxes are deducted from your paycheck each pay period. Income tax forms and instructions may be obtained from the International Center. The International Center will notify you when it is time to file your income tax returns and help you obtain the necessary forms. 

You may be exempt from paying federal and Missouri taxes based on your citizenship. Contact the Columbia College payroll office for exemption forms.


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