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Hiring Current Students & J-2 Dependents

MSU hires more than 18,000 students each year in positions like department aides, computer assistants, food-service workers, laboratory attendants, research aides, and tutors. Working on campus is a great way for students to practice English, make friends with other students, get to know MSU faculty and staff and learn professional skills.

F-1 Students

F-1 students come to the U.S. to pursue a program of study or degree program. Their primary purpose in the U.S. should always be to study.  

F-1 students, unless prohibited by their financial sponsor, are allowed to work on campus up to 20 hours per week during the semester. During the semester break, registration week, final exam week, and the summer semester, F-1 students can work up to 40 hours per week.

If you would like to hire a student to work more than 20 hours a week, they must qualify and be approved for Curricular Practical Training (CPT).

F-1 students must obtain work authorization from United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) before beginning employment off-campus.

Dependents of F-1 students are in the U.S. in F-2 status. F-2 dependents are not, under any circumstances, allowed to work or earn income in the United States.

J-1 Students

Employers do not incur any employment authorization processing costs for J-1 students.

J-1 students come to the U.S. to participate in international exchange programs between Michigan State University and universities in other countries, or whose education in the U.S. is financed directly or indirectly by the U.S. government, the government of the student's home country, an international organization of which the U.S. is a member, or by another institutional sponsor.

J-1 students have U.S. work authorization options that must be pre-approved by OISS or their program sponsor.

The possibility of employment for J-1 students is primarily governed by the J-1 visa sponsor. Most J-1 students at MSU have J-1 visa sponsorship from MSU, but some have other J-1 visa sponsors, such as IIE Fulbright

  • J-1 students who are sponsored by MSU can get information about work authorization options on the OISS website Work in the U.S. 
  • J-1 students who are not sponsored by MSU must contact the J-1 visa sponsor who issued their DS-2019 for information about working in the U.S.

J-2 Dependents

Employers do not incur any employment authorization processing costs for J-2 dependents.

J-2 spouses and J-2 children age 14 and above are eligible to apply for work authorization through U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. The application takes approximately three months to process. See J-2 Request for Employment (PDF) for more information.