International Students

International Scholar and Student Services (ISSS), within the International Education Office, provides visa services and immigration counseling to non-immigrant international students and scholars. ISSS advises on issues concerning visa status, required course loads, and employment plus a variety of other services to help international students adjust to academia and life in Santa Cruz. Forms and advising for extending visa status, on and off-campus work authorization, SEVIS-transfer of schools, and other information is available. The International Scholar and Student Services office is located in 107 Classroom Unit and can be contacted at (831) 459-3550 or e-mailed at General Office hours are listed at

If you are a non-immigrant international student studying at UCSC, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services(USCIS) imposes additional regulations on your stay in the United States. You must comply with these rules in order to maintain your legal F-1 or J-1 status.

Please contact an International Student Adviser if you plan to do the following

  • enroll less than full-time
  • take a leave of absence
  • change educational levels, major, visa status
  • extend or shorten your studies
  • withdraw from UCSC
  • transfer to another U.S. school
  • work on or off-campus
  • travel outside the U.S. (even for a short vacation)

Also contact an international student adviser if you lose your legal documents (I-20, DS-2019, I-94, passport).

The following are some relevant U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services(USCIS) regulations for F-1 and J-1 international students:

  • you must maintain a full course load (minimum of 12 credits for undergraduate students) each quarter and stay in good academic standing
  • F-1 students may not work off-campus prior to receiving ISSS and/or USCIS authorization; J-1 students may not work on or off-campus prior to receiving ISSS authorization
  • your passport, I-94 (Arrival and Departure Record), and I-20 or DS-2019 Form must be current and valid. See the international student adviser for information on how to renew it
  • you may not withdraw from the university, take a leave of absence, or drop below full-time without consulting with the international student adviser about your status
  • youmust update your Residence address on MyUCSC within 10 days of change
  • new students must attend the mandatory new international student orientation at the beginning of the term
  • you must comply with all SEVIS regulations

On-Campus Employment Steps for International Students

All steps must be completed.

  1. You must be enrolled full time at UCSC (12 credits for undergraduate students).

  2. New students must attend the international student orientation and submit copies of documents to verify legal status (I-20 or DS-2019 issued by UCSC, passport, visa, I-94).

  3. You must update Residence address at MyUCSC.  This address must be your local, residential address in the U.S. It cannot be a P.O. Box, department address, or campus address (except dormitories).

  4. You must be registered in the SEVIS database. (The ISSS office will register your SEVIS record after ISSS verifies your full-time enrollment, submission of visa documents, and residential address.)

  5. J-1 students must complete the J-1 On-Campus Employment Authorization form and submit it to an International Adviser at the ISSS office prior to working.

If you already have a social security number, continue at step 9. If you do not have a social security number, please complete steps 6 through 8 next, then continue at step 9.

  1. Obtain the social security letter from the ISSS Office. Students can only obtain the letter after:

  2. F-1 students: Complete the first 4 steps, obtain an Employment letter from you campus employer, and submit to ISSS. The employment letter must specify that student has been offered a job.  It should also specify the dates of employment. Employment start date cannot be more than 30 days in the future. The Employment Letter must be dated within the last 30 days.

  3. J-1 students: Complete the first 5 steps. Note that the employment start date cannot be more than 30 days in the future.

  4. Bring the following documents to the Social Security Administration Office at 169 Walnut Avenue, Santa Cruz, (831) 426-8111:

  • Original I-20 or DS2019 issued by UCSC

  • Passport with I-94 and visa

  • Original social security letter from ISSS

  • Employment Letter from Employer(F-1)/J-1On-Campus Employment Authorization Form(J-1)

You will be required to fill out an application for the social security card. The card will be mailed to you.

  1. Students will be informed at the time the application is submitted of the date they can go down to the social security office in person to request his/her new social security number. The card will be sent to the student in ten days.  However, only the social security numberis required to complete the hiring process at UCSC.

  2. Once you have a social security number, bring the following  documents to the Career Center to complete payroll signup forms and receive a blue card:

  3. Original I-20 or DS 2019 issued by UCSC

  4. Original passport with I-94 and visa

  5. J-1 students ONLY: ISSS J-1 On-Campus Employment Authorization Form

  6. The Career Center enter will enter you in the GLACIER online tax system and give you a user name and password, then you

    a. Log in.

    b. Complete the required information.

    c. Print and sign the resulting forms.

    d. Give the forms to the Career Center payroll representative.

This completes the payroll sign-up process.

Revised 10/10/12