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Employing International Students

In addition to standard required hiring documents, eligible international students need to obtain a Social Security Number (SSN) in order to be legally authorized to work in the U.S. Eligibility requirements are listed on the Illinois Tech International Center website

It is extremely important that international students do not work before being approved; doing so is in violation of their immigration status. This is a very serious infraction that can mean immediate departure from the United States. If you have any questions about these regulations or processes, please contact Student Employment.

Once a student has accepted a job offer in your department, you can initiate the hiring process following the guidelines below.

1. Submit a Payroll/Personnel Authorization

The department starts the hiring process by completing a payroll/personnel authorization (PA). The supervisor or department coordinator will submit either an Electronic Payroll Authorization Form (EPAF), or a paper Payroll Authorization Form (PA) and job offer letter.

    • EPAFs: For most on-campus jobs, hiring departments can submit an EPAF in the MyIIT Portal. (See directions on the How to Hire Students page.) This will automatically generate a jojb offer letter that is printed by Student Employment. SEO will email the student to pick up the signed letter and take it to the International Center for their signature.
    • Paper PA: If hiring departments are not able to submit an EPAF, they will need to submit a paper PA form. If students do not have a SSN on file the department also needs to complete a Job Offer Letter for the student employee.


If you want to make changes to an existing job then a paper PAshould be submitted. Common examples are: FOAP changes, supervisor changes, and pay rate changes. Paper PAs are also required for stipends, and for working fellows. Do not make changes to an existing postion through the EPAF system or it will create a duplicate EPAF. Use the paper form.


A different hiring system is used for Teaching Assistants (TAs), Research Assistants (RAs), and Graduate Assistants (GAs), who are paid by stipend. Department coordinators will initiate the hiring process through a Decision Support System (DSS). To hire international students who do not yet have a Social Security Number, the coordinators will fill out the Job Offer Letter form, described below.

2. Determine if Social Security Number is on file

If students do not have a Social Security Number (SSN) on file the hiring process will take little longer. See information about the SSN Application Process on the International Center website. If the supervisor or department coordinator does not know if a student has already submitted their employment documents, they can start to enter an EPAF for the student using the student's CWID. The EPAF will show you what documents are on file. This information can also be acquired from Student Accounting.


If the student has a SSN on file, he or she needs to submit any other required hiring paperwork that is not on file. If a student has a SSN but it is not on file at IIT, he or she needs to submit that information to the Registrar’s Office here.


International students need to apply for a Social Security Number (SSN) before completing the hiring paperwork below and follow these instructions


When supervisors cannot submit an electronic PA form (EPAF) and have to submit a paper PA form, they will also need to submit a job offer letter form below, which will produce a hiring department job offer letter for student employees. The Social Security Administration requires a Job Offer Letter signed by the hiring entity (SEO) and the I-Center. See an example here.

  1. If a hiring department has already submitted an Electronic Payroll Authorization form (EPAF), they do not need to complete this form. The EPAF automatically generates this letter.
  2. For the job description, be as specific as possible (i.e.: responsible for filing, answering phones and emails, and greeting visitors).
  3. Clicking submit sends a completed job offer letter to Student Employment. SEO prints and signs the letter and emails the student to pick up the signed letter and take it to the International Center for their signature. This can take 2-3 days.


Student Completes Next Steps

After the EPAF or Job Offer Letter form is submitted, students will receive an email from with instructions for the next hiring steps. These steps are outlined below:

  • Student receives email from and picks up job offer letter from SEO. Student takes letter to the International Center for their signature. This can take 2-3 days. 
  • Student makes an appointment with the Social Security Administration.
  • Student brings job offer letter and other required paperwork to the SSA.
  • Student receives receipt letter from the Social Security Administration stating that they have applied for a Social Security Number. They are able to work on campus using the receipt letter on a temporary basis with the expectation that they will bring their actual Social Security Card to the Student Employment Office within three weeks (15 business days) to be verified. If they do not do this their employment will be terminated and payments will cease.
  • All hiring documents (SSN receipt, Illinois W-4, Federal W-4, Direct Deposit form, and I-9 documents) should be brought to Student Employment Office at the same time.
  • Once paperwork is submitted and processed, the student receives an authorization email stating he or she can begin to work.