About On-Campus Employment

About Academic TrainingAbout Off-Campus Employment

International students who are in valid J-1 student status sponsored by UCSB and pursuing a full course of study can work on campus up to 50% time (20 hours/week or less) during the academic terms and full-time during the academic break periods (including summer break). On-campus employment at UCSB includes teaching or research assistantship, working at the UCen or Library, etc. Generally speaking, on-campus employment means that you will be receiving a paycheck from UCSB.

SEVIS regulations regarding on-campus employment for J-1 students require your J-1 sponsor (UCSB) to authorize all on-campus employment in writing before your employment start date. You must have written authorization from OISS to work on campus.

Before you begin any on-campus employment, you must request a J-1 On-Campus Work Authorization form OISS. You can request this through the UCSBGlobal platform. Make sure you have your employing supervisor's name and contact information ready, as you will be asked to enter this information. Once you submit the request, your supervisor will be asked to verify your employment information.

Once OISS approves your request, you will receive an on-campus work authorization letter from OISS to include in your Social Security Card application (see below).

*Unpaid internships/positions are considered employment and therefore require employment authorization. The only instance when working is not considered employment is humanitarian volunteering (e.g. cleaning up a road after a natural disaster). If you have any questions about whether a job requires employment authorization, please consult an advisor before engaging in the job/internship. 


  • The written authorization is only valid for a maximum of twelve months, or until the expiration date of your DS-2019 form, or the ending date of your employment, whichever is sooner.
  • You will need to obtain a new authorization for each year of on campus employment or if you change jobs.
  • When you complete your study program you are no longer eligible to be employed on-campus without special authorization (for example, academic training).
  • If your DS-2019 was issued by a program other than UCSB (such as Fulbright or IIE, Agency for International Development), you must contact your program sponsor for on-campus employment authorization.

Social Security Number Application for J-1 Students

Students are only eligible for Social security numbers (SSNs) if they are employed in the U.S.

Those employed on campus will receive on-campus work authorization letter from UCSB when their on campus employment e-form is approved in UCSBGlobal. Those employed through Academic Training (AT) will receive a work authorization letter from UCSB when their AT application e-form is approved in UCSBGlobal. These work authorization letters can be used for SSN applications. 

If a student is submitting the application during their first quarter at UCSB, then that student should wait at least 10 days after OISS has issued the authorization letter before applying for their number. If students apply before the 10 day waiting period, the Santa Barbara Social Security Office will not be able to verify their registration in the SEVIS immigration database.

The Santa Barbara office will then be required to send the application to their regional office where it will take a minimum of 30 days to issue the number. Students will need the following documents to apply:

  1. Form DS-2019 and I-94 (white card or printout from https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/)
  2. Passport
  3. One other form of identification (driver’s license, student card, health insurance card, marriage record, etc.)
  4. Properly endorsed UCSB Employer Authorization Letter 

Social Security Administration

122 W. Figueroa Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Phone: (866) 695-6285

Directions from UCSB/Goleta: If traveling by bus from UCSB, take the 24X bus to the downtown MTD Transit Center. The Social Security Administration is about one block from Transit Center.

Please see the Social Security Administration website for further details about applying: https://www.ssa.gov/ssnumber/

Your SSN is a sensitive document/number that should only be provided to authorized personnel or agencies.  Keep your Social Security card secure and do not carry it with you on a daily basis.