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Office of Visa & Immigration Service AdvisingEmployment for International Students

Visa & Immigration Service Advising (VISA) is the center of immigration-related services at ODU; there may, however, be instances when employment paperwork or authorization require additional work from another agency or office. We ask that you check with VISA first to find out if additional assistance is needed and, if so, from where.


I-9 Paperwork & Processing

All I-9 and tax paperwork verifying employment eligibility for non-immigrant employees is processed by Visa & Immigration Service Advising (VISA) in 2006 Dragas Hall, Monday to Thursday from 9.30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

If you absolutely cannot make it to VISA during the times above, please contact our office via email to request a specific time.

Please bring the following documentation:

  • Original documents that show employment eligibility. Examples include: passport, I-20 or DS-2019, notice of change of status if applicable, EAD (Employment Authorization Card) if applicable, and any relevant immigration document
  • Your social security card—if you do not have a social security card, we will assist you in applying for one
  • Your offer letter from the hiring department (on letterhead and with an original signature) stating the following information:
    • Student's full name and UIN
    • Employing department name, contact and phone number
    • Name of student's direct supervisor
    • Specific start dates of employment (month, day, year)
    • Job title and wages (student hourly or graduate assistant)
    • Number of hours the student will be working per week in this position (a maximum of 20 hours during Fall and Spring semesters)
    • Clear statement of how the position will be funded: Research Foundation or the University?
  • For payroll purposes, please bring a voided check or a pre-printed or electronic direct deposit form from your bank. Deposit slips and bank statements cannot be used

If a graduate assistantship is awarded, the student must request that his/her visa document be updated by VISA. In addition, if a student has a hold which prevents registration, I-9 paperwork will not be processed. Sponsored students will need special work permission from sponsoring organization before initiating employment paperwork. Some visa statuses require additional work authorization for employment eligibility.

I-9 forms must be completed before employment start date. Please contact our office if you have any questions.


For Hiring Departments:

Students must complete the I-9 form in person at our office before the first day of employment. Paperwork cannot be backdated.

Please ensure that all of these components are included in the offer letter:

  • Student's full name and UIN
  • Employing department name, contact and phone number
  • Name of student's direct supervisor
  • Specific start dates of employment (month, day, year)
  • Job title and wages (student hourly or graduate assistant)
  • Number of hours the student will be working per week in this position (a maximum of 20 hours during Fall and Spring semesters)
  • Clear statement of how the position will be funded: Research Foundation or the University?

Students may need an additional department letter verifying acceptance of an employment offer for the social security application. The VISA office will contact the supervisor if this documentation is required.

When completing the E-1SU or E-1SG, please refer to information on the Hiring Student Employee webpage or communicate with the Office of Finance to determine the correct start time for ODU hourly student employees and graduate assistants based on the University policies.

* Note that sponsored students will need special work permission from the sponsoring organization before we can begin employment paperwork.

Upon completion of I-9 paperwork, an employment eligibility form/yellow Slip will be issued providing the I-9 start date. The E-1S forms should be completed stating the I-9 start date (on section II) as it is listed on the Yellow Slip. On section III of the E-1S form (employment period field) list the dates the student will work during the semester, following the E-1S Processing Criteria Charts. The employment start date must be on or after the I-9 start date.


For F-1 Visa Holders




For J-1 Visa Holders




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