Fortunately, there is little, if any paperwork for the employer of an F-1 or J-1 student. All paperwork is taken care of by the student and the Office of International Student and Scholar Services or the J-1 student's program sponsor. The employer is involved only in those cases in which a brief letter may be required to verify employment. Labor certification, prevailing wage attestations, or letters proving that no U.S. citizen was qualified for the position are not required of the employer when practical training, academic training, and economic hardship applications are filed.
Verifying Employment Eligibility (Form I-9)
Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA) requires anyone hired by a U.S. employer to complete an I-9 form and present proof of identity and employment eligibility. Students in F-1 status will present either an I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility) endorsed on the back (for curricular practical training) or an Employment Authorization Document (for optional practical training and economic hardship). The Employment Authorization document is a laminated photographic card that provides beginning and ending dates of employment authorization. Students in J-1 status will present a letter from their program sponsor authorizing the employment for a specific time period. These documents plus a valid passport are sufficient for I-9 requirements. Tax Matters
F-1 and J-1 students are subject to all applicable federal, state and local income taxes. In some cases, tax relief may be available to individuals from countries that have entered into tax treaties with the U.S. Information regarding tax treaties may be found by consulting Internal Revenue Service Publication 901, US Tax Treaties. F-1 and J-1 students are exempt from FICA (Social Security tax withholding) for their first five years in the US as students. This exemption is explained in Internal Revenue Service Publication 519, US Tax Guide for Aliens. The exemption is included in Section 210 of the Social Security Act, 42 USC 410(a)(19). Implementing regulations are found in 20 CFR 404.1036. Additional information on tax matters relating to international students.
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Last Updated: 5/5/10