Employment of Non-Citizens


To comply with the provisions of the United States Immigration and Naturalization Act, as amended, and the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961, governing the employment of immigrant and non-immigrant aliens (non-citizens).


It is the policy of the University to employ immigrant and non-immigrant aliens within the provisions of applicable federal laws and regulations. Immigrants are those who have been granted permanent resident status, but who are not United States citizens. Non-immigrants are those individuals who are admitted temporarily for specific purposes and periods of time.

Immigrants (permanent residents) may engage in all forms of employment. Non-immigrants (non-residents) may be employed by the University only if permission to work in the United States has been authorized by the Immigration and Naturalization Service.

Non-immigrant Status: Non-immigrants who may be eligible to work normally fall into three categories: International students with F-1 visas, individuals with J visas, and H visas. F-1, J-1 and H-1 visas MUST be petitioned by the University of Virginia.

International Students with F-1 Visas: International students are aliens temporarily admitted to this country under Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) rules, to study at a recognized educational institution approved by the Attorney General of the United States. International Students can be identified by the symbol F-1 which appears on their I-94 (F-2 for spouses and children).

International students who are taking a full course of study and otherwise maintaining a valid F-1 status may hold any on-campus employment, limited to hours listed below. International students do not require INS permission to accept on-campus employment.

The F-1 visa normally limits the number of hours international students may work to 20 hours per week during academic sessions. Under special circumstances, certain F-1 students may qualify to receive permission for exception to the 20 hour per week limitation during academic sessions; contact the International Student and Scholar Programs (ISSP) for assistance. During the summer or when school is not in session international students on F-1 visas may work full-time.

Spouses or children with F-2 visas may not be employed (unless specifically authorized by INS and issued an EAD card.)

Non-immigrants with J Visas: Non-immigrants with J-1 visas (J-2 for spouses or children) are students, scholars, trainees, teachers, professors, specialists or similar persons temporarily admitted to this country under INS rules, to participate in a program designated by the United States Information Agency.

Non-immigrants with J-1 visas who are students may be employed in part-time employment on campus if work is authorized by their sponsor (this requires a confirmation letter from the sponsor the International Student and Scholar Programs.)

Spouses or children with J-2 visas must have permission of INS to seek employment in the United States before they may be employed.

Non-immigrants with H Visas: Individuals admitted to the United States as “workers of distinguished merit”, “temporary workers”, or “trainees”, under special circumstances may be employed at the University on a temporary basis. The INS approval notice must specify UVA as the employer.

Benefit Eligibility: Non-citizens who are employed are eligible for the same benefits as are other employees in comparable positions.

Non-immigrants on F-1 or J-1 visas who have been authorized to work are not subject to Social Security withholding (FICA) for a limited period of time. However, all non-immigrants must file Federal income tax withholding even if their income is otherwise exempt from taxation. The University is required to withhold the correct amount of tax from the individual’s paycheck. If the individual is tax exempt, he/she may receive a refund of all taxes withheld after filing an annual income tax return.

Non-immigrants on H-visas are subject to Social Security taxes and income taxes, unless tax exemption is specifically provided by treaty or convention.

Permanent residents (immigrants) and spouses or children (with J-2 visas) of individuals with J-1 visas must participate in Social Security and income tax withholding.

Visa Types:

A1Diplomat, Government Official and immediate family
Employment is strictly controlled. Any authorization for work must be approved through diplomatic channels, using FORM I-566. A1 students cannot work on campus unless they have received work permission as noted above.
A2Other Government Officials and immediate family
(same as A1)
U.Va. student who is enrolled full-time in an academic program, or who will be enrolled at U.Va. in the next semester, can work on campus with a current FORM I-20 issued by the UVA International Studies Office.

Non-U.Va. student, or a U.Va. student who has graduated, may work ONLY IF approved by the INS for "PRACTICAL TRAINING" and holding "EAD" card from the INS so stating the authorized dates of employment and only if the employment is related to the field of study in which the student just graduated.
H1Temporary Worker of Distinguished Merit and Abilities
H1ARegistered Nurse Employed by Petitioning Sponsor
H1BTemporary Worker in a Specialty Occupation
J1Exchange Visitor Program Participant
J2Exchange Visitor’s Dependent
KFiancé of US Citizen
May be employed, however the marriage must be concluded within 90 days of entry to the US at which time the K visa holder applies for conditional permanent residency.
O1Person of Extraordinary Ability
TNCanadian/Mexican Citizen under NAFTA
IMResident Alien
EADNon-immigrant with Employment Authorization Document