Student Employment for Non-U.S. Citizens

Below you will find a description of how to get an on-campus student job at Houghton.    International students should read the section below on Social Security before continuing.

  • Visit on campus employers and ask about open positions.
  • If an employer wants to hire you they will complete a form online with Student Payroll and you will get an email notification about next steps.
  • From that link, you can set up an appointment with Student Payroll (located in the basement of the Luckey Building), please bring along the following documents;
    • Passport
    • Social Security Card - (Or letter from the Social Security Administration stating that your Social Security Application is in process).
    • Completed employment paperwork - You will receive this at the Payroll Office.
    • I-20 (Internationals only)
  • The Payroll Office will give you a "Red Card," which you should take back to your employer.  At this point you may begin working.

Employment Regulations for Internationals

  • International students may NOT work off campus, but may only be employed in part-time positions at Houghton University or for Houghton campus vendors, such as Sodexo and Metz.  The only exceptions require DSO approval prior to beginning work and are as follows;
  • Students cannot work more than 20 hours per week while school is in session, but may work up to full-time during school breaks.
  • All international students are required to have a US Social Security Card before being allowed to work in the United States.  However, you may begin the process outlined above after receiving a letter from the Social Security Administration confirming your application for a US Social Security Card.  This letter may be taken to Payroll (see #3 above) in place of the actual Social Security Card.  NOTE: You will not be paid until the Payroll Office sees your physical Social Security Card, which usually arrives a week or two after the letter.

Getting Your Social Security Card

All international students must get a US Social Security Card before being allowed to work in the United States (including on-campus work), before getting a NY driver's license, and before opening a bank account with Community Bank on campus.  Unfortunately, the Social Security Administration will not let you apply for a Social Security Card until you've been in the US for 10 days.

The easiest way to get your card is to sign up to go on the trip to the Social Security office that will be arranged by the Intercultural Student Programs Coordinator.  If you plan to go on your own, make sure you take all of the below documents.  The nearest office is in Olean (a 45-minute drive away).  Be sure to allow yourself at least 3 hours for the roundtrip, as students often must wait in the office for an interview.

Directions to the Social Security office.

All students must bring the following documents to the interview;

  • Passport & I-94
  • I-20
  • Complete SS-5 Social Security Application
  • Proof of Student Status & Employment (This document may only be obtained from the Intercultural Student Programs Coordinator.  DO NOT leave Houghton without it!)

About 1 - 2 weeks after your interview you will receive a letter in the mail stating that your application is in process.  Take this letter to the Payroll Office (along with the other documents outlined on this page) in order to begin working.  You should receive your actual Social Security Card in another 1 - 3 weeks.