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W&M/VIMS Employment

Students in valid F-1 and J-1 status, with an I-20 or DS-2019 issued by William & Mary, are eligible to work for William & Mary or VIMS within certain limits.


F-1 students: Employment authorization is not necessary for W&M or VIMS employment during the academic year and official school breaks.

J-1 students: Work authorization is needed, but it's very simple to get. Once you have received a job offer to work at W&M or VIMS , please submit a J-1 On-Campus Employment Authorization application to ISSP at least two weeks before your employment begins.

*Note: Special work authorization is required for students after graduation.

Many types of work qualify:

  • Working for W&M or VIMS academic departments and offices
  • Graduate assistantships
  • Campus service providers contracted through W&M or VIMS, such as those found in the W&M food courts, bookstore, and other Auxiliary Services
  • Some W&M and VIMS partners
  • Some research organizations with which W&M and VIMS have special research agreements (such as Jefferson Lab)

W&M or VIMS employment does not extend to employers not contracted through W&M or VIMS (even if some of the work will take place on the W&M or VIMS campus). For example, Teach for America (TFA) sometimes hires student representatives to advertise this organization on the W&M campus. Because TFA is not contracted with W&M, this work would not qualify as W&M employment.

A good rule to follow: If the paycheck is from W&M or VIMS, it’s probably fine. If the pay will not be from W&M or VIMS, ask ISSP first.

Non-W&M or VIMS Employment/Earning Money

If you would like to work in a job that does not qualify as W&M or VIMS employment, F-1 students can do so through CPT or OPT.  Your work for CPT or OPT must be related to your major. J-1 students can consider applying for AT. Another option is to do an unpaid internship.

During Fall and Spring Semesters

F-1 and J-1 students may work up to a total of 20 hours per week during the fall and spring semesters. This total is the aggregate of all employment (i.e., one could work 10 hours per week in the Swem Library, and 10 hours per week in the dining hall, totaling 20 hours).

During Official Breaks

During Winter Break, Spring Break, and Summer Break, F-1 and J-1 students may work for W&M full-time (more than 20 hours a week).

After Graduation

Students may work for W&M or VIMS after graduation only if they have a valid work authorization such as Optional Practical Training (for F-1 students) or Academic Training (for J-1 students). Without this work authorization (or another type of work authorization), they cannot continue working for W&M or VIMS.

Finding W&M Employment

There are many options for W&M or VIMS employment. Many offices hire students a semester prior to starting work (such as in spring to start in the fall), so apply early. Some resources for finding a W&M or VIMS job include:

These are just a few of the places on campus that typically hire students. Some jobs are not listed online, so it may be helpful to contact the office or department directly to inquire about employment opportunities.

Additional Information
  • Office of Career Development & Professional Engagement: Use the office to update your resume; they have workshops and also many advisors who can help you. U.S. resume formats are often very different from international resumes, so it's important to update your resume to give yourself the best chance of getting a job. The Career Center can also help you practice interviewing, and more. School of Business students can also access the Business School's Career Services, and Law School students also have the Law School's Career Services as a resource.
  • Practicing English: If you're worried about your spoken English, it may help you to use some of the W&M's English language resources. These resources can help you feel more comfortable as you apply for jobs. However, it is generally not advised to list "practicing English" as a reason that you are applying for a W&M or VIMS job.
  • Unpaid Internships: An alternative to working on campus is participating in unpaid internships or volunteering. This can also help make gain valuable employment skills. The Office of Career Development & Professional Engagement has a great directory of internship resources (just remember that if an internship is paid, you need work authorization first) and the Office of Community Engagement also has a list of volunteer opportunities.
Once You're Hired

When you're hired as an international student for a W&M or VIMS job, there are special steps you need to follow to get paid. See our international employment resource.