One week into her senior year, Natasha Reifenberg headed to an academic health conference in El Salvador, presenting a policy brief based in research she had been involved in for the last two years. An opportunity usually reserved for distinguished academics, the trip was just one of many highlights in an outstanding undergraduate career that includes internships at the Global Fund for Women and United Nations Development Program and independent research opportunities centered around women’s issues and rights. Reifenberg attributes her accomplishments to her education in Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters — particularly her philosophy major.
J-1 Employment Options
Employment is considered to be the rendering of services for compensation. This includes, but is not limited to, financial compensation, meals, housing, books or any type of reimbursement for transportation, lodging, etc. Employment is a benefit of the J-1 student status but one to which numerous rules and restrictions apply. Students may violate these rules and lose their immigration status by working off campus without prior, written authorization, working on campus for more hours than permitted, engaging in self-employment or other types of prohibited employment. Working or accepting employment in the United States without proper authorization is considered a serious violation of immigration status. J-1 students considering any type of employment in the United States must obtain written employment authorization on form DS-2019 from ISSA prior to beginning work. At the University of Notre Dame, this authorization may only be granted by a J-1 Program Alternate Responsible Officer in ISSA. All types of J-1 student employment require prior written approval from ISSA on form DS-2019. All types of J-1 student employment require prior written approval from ISSA on form DS-2019.
All students who plan to work in the U.S. must first obtain a U.S. Social Security number for employment and taxation purposes. Details about the social security card application can be found on the Social Security number (SSN) page.
Academic Funding, On-Campus Work, or Economic Necessity
Employment related to academic funding or regular on-campus work includes teaching, research, and graduate assistantships as well as employment conducted on the premises of the Notre Dame campus. Employment for economic necessity may include employment off-campus that is necessary because of serious, urgent, and unforeseen economic circumstances that have arisen since acquiring exchange visitor status.
Conditions and Limitations for J-1 Student Employment
- Students must be in good academic standing at Notre Dame.
- Students must be engaged and continue to engage in a full course of study as defined by the academic program.
- Employment is limited to no more than 20 hours per week total during the regular fall and spring semesters.
- Students may work more than 20 hours per week only during vacation periods and annual breaks, such as summer.
- Students are not permitted to continue on-campus employment after completion of the degree program or academic objective indicated on form DS-2019. NOTE: Employment Authorization for Academic Training is required to continue employment on-campus in J-1 status after completion of the academic program.
- Employment authorization can be only be granted for 12 months at a time but may be renewed annually.
- Employment authorization automatically ends when the academic program ends or the student withdraws.
- To qualify for off-campus employment for economic necessity, the student must be able to provide evidence that there is a “serious, urgent and unforeseen” need.
For a list of employers deemed to be on-campus for immigration purposes, please visit Eligible On-Campus Employers. If you plan to work on campus, please visit the Payroll Office in 724 Grace Hall for assistance completing any necessary forms or questions regarding your tax withholdings, tax treaties, etc. Please note, you will not be extended any tax treaty privileges until you have been issued your Social Security number and fill out the appropriate forms.
Employment for Academic Training must be directly related to the academic program listed on form DS-2019. Students may apply for Academic Training on a part-time or full-time basis and at any stage of the academic program and may engage in Academic Training before or after completion of the program. For more information, including information on eligibility and the application process, visit the Academic Training page.
When Francesco Tassi arrived at Notre Dame, he was sure he would major in finance. But a lecture on refugees set him on a different path — one that led him to travel through Italy for three months to study refugee integration firsthand. Tassi, who was born in Italy and moved to the United States in third grade, traveled widely in high school and spent time living with host families in several countries. Those experiences sparked a passion for learning about and understanding cultures.