Employment & Tax

Tax documents

Interested in working in the U.S. during or after your program? 

There are multiple types of work authorizations available to F-1 and J-1 international students. Each type of work authorization has different rules, application processes, and timelines. Some are authorized by the NYU Office of Global Services in just a few days and others must be approved by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and take a few months. Please click on the links below to learn more about each type of employment.

Make sure to explore your employment options based on your status as an F-1 or J-1 student. Once you get a job or an internship, make sure you get a Social Security Number (if you don't already have one). And don't forget about your tax responsibilities!

Please click on the links below to learn more.


Tax Responsibilities

All international students and scholars are required to report to the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) each year even if they did not work during the prior year. You will not necessarily need to pay taxes; but reporting your presence in the US is a legal requirement.

➪ Consequences of Not Filing Your Tax Forms

Penalties for not complying with the filing requirement can include but are not limited to:

  • Denials of future requests for a Change of Status (especially to Permanent Resident)
  • Denials of visa renewals at American Consulates/Embassies
  • Fines and interest will accrue on unreported income and could result in more money being owed to the IRS in the future
  • If filed more than 3 years late, a refund will not be remitted by the IRS to the taxpayer

If you don't file your tax forms with the IRS by the tax deadline, or need to correct a mistake, you may be able to submit an amended tax return or mail the necessary tax documents even after the deadline date. Consult with a tax professional for assistance if you need to adjust a previously filed tax return.

Visit this page to learn more about:

  • When to File
  • How to File
  • Required Documents 
  • Get Free Assistance
  • Avoid Tax Scams and Fraud
  • Upcoming Tax Workshops

Check also:


Employment in the U.S.

During your time as an international student in the U.S., you may decide you want to get a job, whether it’s to lighten the load of your tuition, gain some work experience, or just have a little extra pocket money to spend.

Keep in mind, though, that as an international student who is in the U.S. on a visa, you can’t just go out and get any job you want. There are regulations you must follow. Working illegally will land you in hot water with the U.S. government. And nobody wants that.  

Visit also the Career Development page to make sure you have all the tools and information you need to be successful in your career.

Employment Options for NYU International Students

Be sure to carefully review the regulations so that you do not accidentally violate any laws or start unauthorized employment. Unauthorized employment is a serious violation of F-1 or J-1 status, so it is important to learn what employment is allowed before you consider a potential job or internship.


Review the Concept of Employment, Internships, and Volunteering

      ➪ What is Employment

Generally, employment is defined as providing services to a person, organization, or company in exchange for compensation. This includes not just salary, but other forms of compensation, such as free room and board. 

     ➪ What is an Internship (Paid or Unpaid)?

An internship is an experiential learning opportunity that takes place in a workplace environment. It allows a student to do one or more of the following:

  • Integrate academic learning with practical or “hands-on” experience
  • Develop or refine specific professional skills

To be considered an internship, rather than a part time job, the experience must have an intentional and significant focus on student learning and a defined beginning and end date. Internships often center around defined projects with clear objectives, rather than routine unit operations. 

Both F-1 and J-1 status allows students to apply in advance for "training" authorization for internship participation.

     ➪ What is Volunteering?

Volunteering is donating time with an organization whose primary purpose is charitable or humanitarian in nature, without remuneration or any other type of compensation. F-1 and J-1 students are allowed to do volunteer service as long as it is for humanitarian purposes. For example, it would be okay to volunteer at a local homeless shelter, charitable food pantry, or American Red Cross.

NOTE: Just because a position is unpaid (such as an unpaid internship), it might not be volunteering. If the work relates to your studies, it is likely considered training, and requires authorization. 


On-Campus Employment for F-1 and J-1 students

Got an on-campus job or want to learn more about if you can work at NYU? Review the information based on your F-1 or J-1 status for all the needed details:

A) F-1 Students can work on-campus if you:

  • are a full-time student in an NYU degree or certificate program for which you were issued an I-20
  • have a valid, unexpired I-20 from NYU
  • have a valid, unexpired passport
  • have an I-94 record indicating you are in F-1 status

There is no "waiting period" before you are allowed to accept an on-campus job. You must have a Social Security number before you can be paid. 

B) J-1 Students can work on-campus if you:

  • have a valid, unexpired DS-2019 from NYU (NYU is listed as the program sponsor in item 2 of your DS-2019)
  • are a full-time student
  • have a valid, unexpired passport
  • have an I-94 record that indicates you are in J-1 status
  • have a letter from your on-campus employer  

The letter from your on-campus employer should state:

  • your employer name and address
  • the number of hours you will work per week
  • the begin and end dates of your employment
  • the type of employment (for example, adjunct instructor or hourly student worker)

Before beginning work on-campus, you must bring all these items to the OGS during advising hours for review by an advisor. Once they authorize your employment and you get a J-1 on-campus employment letter, you may then begin to work. If you change jobs, you must submit an updated employment offer letter to the OGS. 


Requirements of Working On-Campus

If you are an F-1 student and you meet all of the criteria above, you do NOT need to obtain specific authorization from the OGS.  Speak to your hiring department's administrator to complete the necessary forms. 

If you are a J-1 student, you must get authorization from the OGS for on-campus work. 

As F-1 student or J-1 student:

  • You can work a maximum of 20 hrs/week during Fall or Spring semesters. During the Summer and Winter break periods, you can work over 20 hours per week
  • Your employment may take place at any NYU office or department (e.g., the NYU bookstore, graduate assistantships).

To learn about the on-campus hiring process for international students at NYU visit this page.


Off-Campus Employment 

Interested in working in the U.S. during or after your program? 

There are multiple types of work authorizations available to F-1 and J-1 international students. Each type of work authorization has different rules, application processes, and timelines. Some are authorized by NYU Office of Global Services in just a few days and others must be approved by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and take a few months. 


Off-Campus Employment for F-1 Students

Optional Practical Training (OPT)

Optional Practical Training (OPT) is a 12-month work authorization available to F-1 international students who have been full-time students for at least two consecutive semesters and plan to seek employment in the United States in their fields of study.

You can get a maximum of 12 months of OPT for each degree level you complete. 

You cannot begin work on OPT until you receive your approval in the form of an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) and it is within the dates listed on your EAD.

Eligibility:

  • You do NOT need to have a job offer in order to apply for OPT. 
  • You must have been a full-time student for at least one academic year in the US. 
  • You must currently be in F-1 status.
  • You must be in good academic standing and be making normal progress toward finishing your degree.
  • You must not have used more than 12 months of OPT in the past at your current degree level.
  • If you complete your academic program and travel internationally BEFORE applying for OPT, the OGS is not able to provide you with an OPT recommended I-20 (a necessary part of your OPT application).
  • If you are finished with your academic program, you can still apply for OPT as long as the government receives your application within 60 days of the date you finished your studies at NYU AND you have not left the US since completing your program.

☛ IMPORTANT | It takes around 4-6 months to get approved for OPT so please plan ahead. It takes this long because:

  1. Your academic department signs off on a request form (1-2 weeks).
  2. The OGS prepares your new I-20 (up to 1 week).
  3. The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) evaluates your application (up to 5 months).

You can use your OPT:

  • before you finish your studies (this is called Pre-Completion OPT)
  • after you finish your studies (this is called Post-Completion OPT)
  • or a combination of the two, as long as the total amount of OPT does not exceed 12 months.

➪ Pre-completion OPT

Pre-completion OPT is Optional Practical Training you use before finishing your program of study. Remember, OPT is employment that is directly related to your major field of study and is only for students in F-1 status.

☛ IMPORTANT | Refer to the OGS Pre-completion OPT page to learn when to apply, understand the process and prepare the needed documents.

➪ Post-completion OPT

Post-completion OPT is Optional Practical Training you use AFTER finishing your program of study. Remember, OPT is employment that is directly related to your major field of study and is only for students in F-1 status. Please see more information on post-completion OPT employment types for questions on the kinds of employment you can have while on post-completion OPT.

☛ IMPORTANT | Refer to the OGS Post-completion OPT page to learn when to apply, understand the process and prepare the needed documents. The NYU OGS website provides a useful When to Apply Calculator that will help you calculating the earliest date to apply, and choosing your start and end date. 

Review the OPT Frequently Asked Questions and additional information related to OPT below:


Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is a type of off-campus work permission for F-1 international students who are currently pursuing study programs in the United States and want to gain experience in their fields of study. 

CPT allows you, as an F-1 student, to accept off-campus employment as part of the curriculum of your degree program. CPT employment MUST be directly related to your major area of study.

CPT is not available after a student completes a degree program.

CPT is an academic experience, and is not intended to be used for regular on-going off-campus work. Students should be mindful to keep all records of CPT and the academic work related to CPT, and how that employment is integral to the degree program. Students will need to retain copies of all previous CPT I-20s when applying later for OPT.

CPT is typically done on a part-time basis (up to 20 hrs/wk) during the school year and on a full-time basis during vacation periods. 

To qualify for CPT, your program must have an internship elective or fieldwork/practicum requirement as part of the curriculum. Otherwise, read our instructions on Optional Practical Training (OPT).

Eligibility:

  • have a job offer directly related to your program of study.
  • have been a full-time student in the US for at least one academic year.
  • be in valid F-1 status.
  • be making normal progress toward degree completion and be in good academic standing.

In general, please note the following guidelines regarding CPT:

  • CPT cannot be used merely to facilitate F-1 student employment. 
  • Any activity authorized as CPT is subject to audit or review by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Department of Labor.
  • CPT must be directly related to the major area of study.
  • CPT requests must clearly show that it is curricular in nature and tied to a requirement to graduate from a program. 
  • International students cannot begin working until they have received written CPT authorization from OGS.

☛ IMPORTANT | Refer to the Curricular Practical Training (CPT) page to learn when to apply, understand the process and prepare the needed documents.


Curricular Practical Training (CPT) for MPH Students

At the NYU School of Global Public Health every student pursuing a Master in Public Health is required to complete the Applied Practice Experience (APE) which includes 180-hours of hands-on public health practice. 

The 180-hours should be completed in the Summer and after you have earned a minimum of 23 credits towards the MPH degree. 

MPH students should use CPT in the summer in between their first and second year with the option of renewal during the Fall in their second year. Remember, CPT is strictly tied to the Applied Practice Experience (APE)

MPH Students interested in obtaining the CPT need to submit Online Request to the OGS for an I-20 Authorizing You for CPT | Note: in this online form you will need to provide the name and email address of Ipsita Krishnan. 

Ipsita Krishnan, Program Administrator GPH Applied Practice ([email protected]) is the GPH point person that verifies that your CPT is tied to the curriculum and approves the CPT requests on behalf of the NYU GPH School of Global Public Health. 


Curricular Practical Training (CPT) for MS StudentsMS students are encouraged to conduct internships off-campus in the summer in between their first and second year with the option of renewal during the Fall in their second year. This will best prepare students for their thesis, which is a required component of our MS program. When searching and applying for internships, be sure to take into consideration how your experience will relate to your coursework and the aspects of your public health designation. 

MS Students interested in obtaining the CPT must follow this process:

  1. Contact your GPH Faculty Mentor | Send an email including all the relevant information and description about the off-campus internship to your GPH Faculty Mentor in the Department and copy in the email Ipsita Krishnan, Program Administrator GPH Applied Practice at [email protected]. The GPH Faculty Mentors will ensure that the internship is providing you with the required skills suggested by the Biostatistics Department. Your Faculty Mentor will communicate their initial approval to Ipsita.
  2. Submit Online Request to the OGS for an I-20 Authorizing You for CPT | Note: in this online form you will need to provide the name and email address of Ipsita Krishnan (not your GPH Faculty Mentor).
  3. Receive the approval from Ipsita Krishnan | Ipsita is our Program Administrator, GPH Applied Practice Office. She will verify that your CPT is tied to the curriculum and approves the CPT requests on behalf of the NYU GPH School of Global Public Health.

OPT vs CPT 

Review the main differences between CPT and OPT:

CPT

OPT

Your program must have an internship or fieldwork/practicum requirement as part of the curriculum

Your work needs to be in your field of study

Need job offer

Do not need a job offer

You have been a full-time student in the US for at least one academic year (Spring and Fall)

You can apply for OPT as long as the government receives your application within 60 days of the date you finished your studies at NYU AND you have not left the US since completing your program

Max. two semesters (Summer and Fall)

For GPH, max full time 1 year on OPT+ 24 additional months on  STEM OPT (total of 3 years)

Usually used for internships  during the academic year

Usually used for work after graduating

Approved by  OGS

Approved by USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services)

Takes 5-7 days to get approved

Takes 4-6 months to get approved

No fee

$410 processing fee to USCIS


Off-Campus Employment for J-1 students

Academic training

Academic training is a form of work authorization available to J-1 students, and is for paid and unpaid work off-campus. The training must be a direct application of your coursework and/or research to a professional position in your field of study. 

Academic Training can be divided into two basic categories:

  • Pre-completion - Training you do before you finish your degree.
  • Post-completion - Training you do after you complete your degree.

Eligibility:

  • Be a full-time J-1 student at NYU,
  • Have an offer for a qualified training position in your field of study,
  • Confirm that your primary purpose in the US is to study rather than to work,
  • Continue to follow the requirements of your academic program,
  • Have a valid, activated DS-2019 from NYU and otherwise be in J-1 status, and
  • Apply prior to starting the employment.

☛ IMPORTANT Refer to the Academic Training to learn when to apply, understand the process and prepare the needed documents.


Other Off-Campus Employment 

A. International Organizations (F-1 Students ONLY)

This type of employment is for students who have been offered an internship with a recognized international organization, such as the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and more.

This type of employment authorization is for F-1 students who have been offered an internship with a recognized international organization. Such organizations include the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the Organization of American States, and others. See a complete list of government designated international organizations.

Eligibility:

  • You must be a full-time student at NYU in lawful F-1 status.
  • You must have been offered an internship position by a recognized international organization.

☛ IMPORTANT | Refer to the International Organizations page to learn when to apply, understand the process and prepare the needed documents.

B. Economic Need

If you have lost your funding for your NYU education for reasons that are beyond your control, you may be able to request economic need employment.

In order to qualify for Economic Need work permission employment, you must:

  • Have been a full-time student at NYU for at least one academic year.
  • Have an I-20 or DS-2019 issued by NYU.
  • Be able to document that the circumstances which led to your economic situation were unexpected and beyond your control. Examples include evidence of unexpected currency fluctuations, the unexpected loss of employment, or unexpected medical expenses incurred by you or your financial sponsor.
  • Be capable of continuing full-time studies and maintaining F-1 or J-1 status while engaged in Economic Need work permission.

☛ IMPORTANT | Refer to the Economic Need page to learn when to apply, understand the process and prepare the needed documents.


Unpaid Internships and Volunteer Work

Got an unpaid internship and wondering if you can do it? Want to volunteer at a local charity you care about? Find out if you need authorization, and make sure you have the authorization you need.

1 - How the US Government Defines Unpaid Internship

To protect US and international workers from abuse, the US government says that if a person provides a service for which a person would normally be employed, the activity is considered work or employment. This means that the employer must then pay the person.

Some training programs where the trainee is under close supervision and provides no significant measurable work for the employer are exceptions to this rule. The exceptions are detailed on these documents from New York State and the US Department of Labor:

You can also review University policy on unpaid internships and volunteering

For further help in determining whether someone would be classified as a volunteer, see this NYU Unpaid Volunteer Questionnaire.

How to tell if your unpaid internship needs authorization?

Here are the basic criteria of an unpaid internship:

  1. The training is similar to one you would receive at a vocational school.
  2. The training is for your benefit.
  3. You do not displace a regular worker.
  4. You provide no immediate advantage to your employer, and their operations may even be slowed by your presence.
  5. You are not entitled to a job upon completion of your internship.
  6. You understand no wages or other benefits (like free lunch, Metrocards, etc.) will be paid or given to you.

If your unpaid internship does NOT meet all the criteria, OGS recommends you get authorization for practical training (either CPT or PRE/POST OPT for F-1 students or Academic Training for J-1 students). If you need help determining whether you need authorization for your situation, contact OGS.

2 - Volunteer Work

Any unpaid charitable work at a non-profit charity is fine and will NOT need any form of employment authorization.

The safer option, although it seems not to be your case, is doing unpaid internships for practicum hour requirement. In this scenario, students would be eligible for CPT and would be able to apply for work authorization. OGS always recommends obtaining work authorization through CPT as a protection.

☛ IMPORTANT | Refer to this page for the most up-to-date information. 


Social Security Number

A Social Security Number (SSN) is a unique, 9-digit number used for taxpayer identification, income reporting, and record-keeping purposes. Once issued, the number is valid for a lifetime. You should keep it safe and provide only as needed to US government agencies or credible financial institutions.

Learn more about receiving a SSN (eligibility, how to apply, when to apply) by visiting this page.

In general, F-1 and J-1 students who are authorized for employment can apply for an SSN. More specifically:

Learn more about receiving a SSN (eligibility, how to apply, when to apply) by visiting this page.


Individual Taxpayer Identification Number

The Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) is a tax processing number used by the US government’s tax division: the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). You need an ITIN if you are not eligible for a Social Security Number so that you can meet your tax filing obligations. An ITIN is used primarily for tax filing purposes and is not a form of work authorization. 

Learn more about receiving an ITIN (eligibility, how to apply, when to apply) by visiting this page.


Post-Graduation Plans

Congratulations on graduating! What comes next? Find out what your employment options are, what you need to travel back into the US if you're staying on to work, and alumni resources to keep you connected to NYU.

Option 1. If you decide to work within the US (Post-Completion OPT for F-1 Students, Academic training for J-1 Students), you can stay here for as long as your work authorization remains valid. 

Option 2. If you choose to instead leave the US without working

  • F-1 students can stay in the US for up to 60 days after completing studies.
  • J-1 students can stay in the US for up to 30 days.
  • If you do not plan to pursue any of the employment options above and will depart the US during your grace period, submit the End My F-1/J-1 Status eform and OGS will close your immigration record.

For more information, please visit this page.


Extend your OPT

Wondering if it's possible to extend your OPT? There are two ways you could potentially extend.

1 - STEM OPT

F-1 students who completed a bachelor's, master's, or doctoral degree in select government-designated science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) fields and are currently working with post-completion OPT may apply for the STEM extension of 24 months of additional employment if they have a job or job offer from an E-Verify employer and meet all the required criteria.

All the NYU School of Global Public Health graduate programs have been classified as STEM-eligible, allowing international students on an F-1 visa to apply for two years of additional employment in the United States after graduation if they meet the required criteria. Students in all concentrations within the Master of Public Health, Master of Arts in Bioethics, the new Master of Science in Biostatistics, and the Doctorate of Philosophy in Public Health degree may be eligible.

☛ IMPORTANT | Refer to the OGS STEM OPT page to learn when to apply, understand the process and prepare the needed documents.

Please review also Frequently Asked Questions for STEM OPT and and additional information related to STEM OPT below:

STEM Q&A with the NYU Office of Global Services


2 - Cap Gap Extension

The government has provided an extension of work authorization or legal stay for students on post-completion OPT or the STEM Extension of OPT, known as the "cap gap" extension, who filed a timely application for an H-1B with an October 1 start date. This does not apply if your employer has filed for consular processing. Your employer may ask you to request an I-20 from the OGS so that your work eligibility form (Form I-9) can be updated.

☛ IMPORTANT | Refer to the Cap Gap Extension page to learn when to apply, understand the process and prepare the needed documents.