Whitman College offers on-campus job opportunities to international and U.S. students. Due to employment restrictions on F-1 & J-1 visa students, international students at Whitman are given preference similar to work study-eligible students. Below is general information for international students seeking an on-campus job as well as information for students seeking special employment authorization.
- International students in F-1 or J-1 status may work in on-campus jobs without special authorization. When class is in session, international students may work up to 20 hours weekly; during academic breaks when class is not in session, international students may work up to 40 hours weekly. Please note that unauthorized employment may violate your lawful status.
- If you are looking for a job, you can use Handshake, an online platform for on-campus jobs, internships, etc. If you need assistance with your Handshake profile, please contact the Student Engagement Center at firstname.lastname@example.org.
OPT is temporary authorization for practical training that is available to eligible F-1 students. OPT provides F-1 students the opportunity to gain hands-on experience (work authorization) that is directly related to their major field of study.
F-1 students who wish to gain experience in their major through working off-campus may apply for OPT up to 90 days in advance. In order to be eligible to apply, F-1 students must:
- Have current, valid F-1 status
- Have completed one full academic year (two semesters) of full-time study prior to the start of OPT
- Not have completed 12 months of full-time Curricular Practical Training (CPT). Part-time CPT does not affect OPT eligibility.
- Not have completed 12 months of OPT at the same degree level (Bachelors).
Eligible F-1 students may apply for up to 12 months of full-time OPT, which may be used before or after graduation, or a combination of both. The application fee for OPT is $410, which must be paid every time you apply for OPT. F-1 students with majors on the [DHS STEM Designated Degree Program List] may apply for a 24-month extension no more than 90 days before the end of post-completion (post-graduation) OPT.
- Training opportunity must be directly related to the student's major field of study
- For pre-completion OPT (prior to graduation) a student may work part-time when class is in session (no more than 20 hours weekly). For pre-completion OPT when class is not in session, as well as for post completion OPT (after graduation), a student may work full-time.
- A student does not need to have a job offer to apply for OPT.
- A student may not begin work until the first date of approved OPT as shown on their Employment Authorization Document (EAD, Form I-766).
Students seeking to apply for Optional Practical Training should make an appointment with the International Student & Scholar Adviser.
Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is temporary authorization for practical training directly related to your major field of study, whether paid or unpaid. CPT authorization may be part-time (20 hours or less weekly) or full-time (more than 20 hours weekly), and may take place when class is in session as well as during academic breaks.
In order to be eligible to apply for CPT, F-1 students must:
- Be in current, valid F-1 status
- Have been enrolled in full-time study for at least one academic year (two semesters) prior to the start of CPT
- Have a job or internship offer (CPT is specific to the training opportunity)
- Training opportunity must be directly related to your major field of study
- Training opportunity must be either:
- Required for all students in your degree program in order to graduate, OR
- Optional and credit-bearing, which means you must receive academic credit for participating in the training opportunity
- If the training opportunity is for academic credit as a required component of a course, the course must be clearly listed in the College Catalog, along with the instructor from your major department who will be teaching the course.
- CPT should occur in the same semester that the credit is earned; if you wish to engage in CPT during your annual summer vacation, you must be registered for the course requiring the practical training opportunity and receive CPT authorization prior to the start of the training during summer vacation.
- You may not engage in the training opportunity until the first date of approved CPT as shown on your Form I-20.
Students seeking to apply for Curricular Practical Training should make an appointment with the International Student and Scholar advisor.
- F-1 and J-1 students with employment in the United States must apply for a Social Security Number (SSN).
- In order to receive an SSN, the Social Security Administration must verify that you are eligible to work in the United States, that you are a full-time student, and that you have received an offer of on-campus employment or authorization to work off-campus.
- You will need to apply for an SSN in person at the nearest Social Security Administration office. You may not apply for an SSN more than 30 days before the start of your on-campus employment. New international students must wait at least 10 business days after their arrival in the United States to apply for an SSN, and you must be registered in SEVIS prior to applying for the SSN.
After receiving an offer of on-campus employment:
1. Print and complete the [Social Security Verification Form] with your on-campus employer.
2. Submit the completed Social Security Verification Form to the Intercultural Center. The International Student & Scholar Adviser will review your form, verify your eligibility and sign and date the form. You will receive an email when your signed Social Security Verification Form is in your campus mailbox.
3. Apply in person at the nearest Social Security Administration office. You may apply no earlier than 30 days before your employment start date. You must bring the following documents with you:
- Valid passport with valid F-1 visa (if your valid F-1 visa is in an expired passport, bring the expired passport as well)
- Form I-20
- Form I-94
- Completed Employment Eligibility Verification Form (signed by international adviser)
- Completed Form SS-5
4. After you have completed your Social Security Number application in person, bring your application receipt to the Human Resources Office (Memorial Building 104) for your employment paperwork.
5. Allow approximately two to four weeks for your Social Security card to arrive in the mail. Once you have received your Social Security card, take it to the Human
6. Resources Office (Memorial Building 104) to complete your employment paperwork.
Social Security Administration Office
The nearest Social Security Administration office is located at 880 NE Rose St., College Place, WA 99324. Students seeking to apply for an SSN may check with the Intercultural Center about the availability of transportation to and from the Social Security Administration office. Dependent on the number of students currently seeking to apply for an SSN, the Intercultural Center may be able to provide transportation. However, transportation to and from the Social Security Administration office is not guaranteed. Bus transportation to and from the Social Security Administration office is available via Walla Walla Valley Transit. The Social Security Administration office is located on Route One; please have exact change to pay for bus fare, as drivers do not carry change.
The Student Engagement Center offers the Whitman Internship Grant, which provides funding for students who submit strong applications to participate in unpaid internship experiences at both for-profit and non-profit organizations.
International students seeking to apply for a Whitman Internship Grant can Please note that application deadlines for international students vary; check the application deadlines here if you are considering applying.
Federal Income Tax Filing
Whitman College provides access to online tax preparation services from Sprintax.com in order to assist eligible international students and Language Assistants with preparing their U.S. federal income tax returns. Once students have received their income statements from their U.S. employer(s) in spring semester, the International Student & Scholar Adviser will send email notifications to students regarding tax filing workshops. The workshops will introduce the Sprintax.com website and its services, and will help students set up their online profiles with Sprintax and assist them in accessing resources from the Sprintax team if needed.
Tax Determination System
In order to assist international students and scholars as well as Whitman in maintaining tax compliance, new international students and scholars will need to set up an online profile in the Sprintax Tax Determination System. New international students will have an opportunity to set up their profiles during International Student Orientation; new international scholars will be contacted and requested to set up their profiles shortly after their arrival at Whitman. Please note that the Sprintax Tax Determination System profiles are designed to aid in U.S. tax compliance and do not replace U.S. federal tax returns. International students and scholars must also file a U.S. federal tax return for each year they are present in the U.S.
International students and scholars have a legal obligation to file one or more tax forms for every year they are present in the U.S., whether or not they have worked. Whitman College staff cannot provide tax advice or prepare your tax forms for you. The information on this website is not a substitute for advice from a tax professional. If you have particular questions about your tax filing obligation, we encourage you to contact a tax professional with experience in U.S. resident and nonresident alien tax compliance.