Work on the Harvard campus is permissible as long as you are a degree-seeking student at Harvard University. You may begin working on campus at Harvard as soon as you arrive in the U.S. in F-1 or J-1 student status, up to 30 days prior to the start of classes. Employment is limited to 20 hours per week while school is in session, but you may work full-time during Harvard's vacation periods.
You are allowed to work on campus at Harvard up until graduation. If you wish to continue working at Harvard after you graduate, you must apply for and receive work authorization: Post-Completion Optional Practical Training (OPT) for F-1 Students or Post-Completion Academic Training (AT) for J-1 Students.
Acceptable employment includes: work required by a scholarship, assistantship or fellowship, work in the libraries, computer centers, administrative offices, and work performed on Harvard's premises for an outside contractor or firm as long as the employer provides direct services to students (for example, work for a food service company at Harvard).
J-1 students are required to report their on-campus employment to the HIO once every year.
Social Security Numbers
If you do not already have a U.S. Social Security Number (SSN), you will need to apply for one upon accepting employment on campus. A Social Security Number is a tax identification number that will be needed by your employer for payroll and taxation purposes. Please see Social Security Numbers for instructions.
On-Campus Employment at an Off-Campus Location for F-1 Students
USCIS has expanded the definition of on-campus employment to include jobs with employers that are educationally affiliated with Harvard University, provided that the job is associated with Harvard's curriculum or related to contractually-funded research projects and provided that the job is an integral part of students' academic programs (for example, research work at one of Harvard's affiliated hospitals may be acceptable for students in the sciences). Employment is limited to 20 hours per week while school is in session, but may be full-time during Harvard's vacation periods. Final permission is granted by the student's HIO advisor.