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There may be governmental restrictions placed on students from foreign countries who work while attending school. For this reason, all international students are required to contact the BYU International Student Services Office to determine their employment eligibility and to obtain a work permit which clears them for campus employment.

International Student Services (ISS)

(801) 422-2695 | 2400 WSC | ISS@BYU.EDU

For more information on employment regulations for International Students, visit International Student Services.


International Students need to carefully monitor their hours, so that they won't lose their right to work in the U.S. The following are guidelines for International Student work eligibility:

  • Undergraduate students must be enrolled in at least 12.0 credit hours per semester (ELC students do not fall under this guideline).
  • Graduate students must be accepted into a BYU graduate program and be enrolled in a least 9.0 credit hours unless otherwise authorized by International Services.
  • Employment for International Students must not exceed twenty hours per week while school is in session. Any violation of this policy, by any amount of time, will result in immediate termination of the student's employment and may result in his/her deportation.
  • International Students that are graduating must end their work responsibilities on the day of convocations, or the last day of final exams (whichever comes last).

See Student Employment Policy for official University Policy.

English Language Center (ELC)

The English Language Center (ELC) at Brigham Young University is under the direction of the Department of Linguistics and the Division of Continuing Education. The program is designed to provide students in the department with opportunities to practice teaching English and to offer high-quality English language instruction to those seeking to learn the language (i.e. ELC students).

ELC students are not technically BYU students. However, they are eligible to work up to 20 hours per week while enrolled in the ELC program. For questions regarding work eligibility of a student, feel free to call our office at 801-422-3562.

All international students occasionally take an ISS explicitly approved vacation when they can work over 20 hours (see Annual Vacation Policy). ELC students also have a very short break between terms where they are allowed to work over 20 hours (see Holiday/Break Schedule). ELC Students must renew work permits for each new semester of enrollment. For more information on the ELC program, visit their website here.

Social Security Card

To maintain work eligibility on campus, all students are required to present a social security card (SSC) to the Student Employment office. For international students who do not already have a SSC, departments must complete this form and provide it to their international student employees. The student should then bring the completed form to the International Student Office to receive a letter of verification. Both the form and the verification letter can be submitted to the Social Security Administration office to apply for a SSC.

International Student Over-Hour Restrictions

International students have a maximum weekly work limit of 20 hours. Given that an F-1 or J-1 visa is designated for academic purposes, prioritizing school studies over employment is crucial. The U.S. Federal code limits how much international students can work. Consequently, exceeding the 20 hour limit, even by one minute, can lead to visa termination.

International Student Employees Flyer

Download a printable version below

Attached Documents