Employment | NorthWest Arkansas Community College

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Apply for Employment


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All International students may apply for on-campus employment.  However, the maximum employment hours per week cannot exceed 19 (NWACC policy or 20 or this would be a violation of immigration status for F and J Visa holders).    International students may apply for part-time employment at NWACC

If you receive a job offer then you must notify the International Programs Center as soon as possible and submit the On-Campus Employment Form to InternationalPrograms@nwacc.edu

Note: International students are not eligible for positions labeled “Student/Work Study” due to Federal Aid Laws.

International students on F or J Visa are allowed to participate in off-campus volunteer and service learning projects.  If students are expecting any compensation whether it be financial, grades, letters of recommendation, etc. they need to file a Curricular Practical Training (CPT) in advance with the International Programs Center.  Volunteer and service learning without any expectation of compensation that are done in an altruistic act do not require an application.

Example: Service Learning for a course grade requires a CPT approval.  Volunteer work for a student club without any grade nor financial benefit to the student would be acceptable.

The International Programs Center can assist students in obtaining a Social Security needed for employment.  Social Security Number is needed for on-boarding, orientation, or the first day of employment of a position.  In order to receive a Social Security ID number you must submit the following to the local Social Security Office located in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

  • Employment Offer Letter
  • Completed SS-5 Form
  • Passport
  • Visa
  • I-20 or DS-2019

Note: If awarded, please provide a photocopy to InternationalPrograms@nwacc.edu

The Internal Revenue Services (IRS) of the United States manages and process income taxes at the Federal level for all employees within the United States.  Any employment opportunity an International Student receives will require them to complete a W-4 Form.  This is a requirement of the IRS.  The W-4 Form will allow the international student to tell their future employer how best to tax them in benefit of the IRS.  If an employer does not have a new hire fill this out then it is best practice to notify the International Program Advisor. 

Once you have worked a calendar year whether it was for 52 weeks or for 1 week, international students are required to file taxes.  In order to do this, they will need to obtain their W-2 from their employer.  This is the form that will tell them how much they made, how much in taxes they have paid to the state and federal government.  If a student cannot obtain this document from their employer then they should notify their International Programs Advisor. 

International students are eligible to work off-campus for collegiate course work after their first year if approved in advance with the International Programs Center.  This entails either an internship, volunteering, and/or employment with the pre-approved expectation of college coursework for the employment.  If no college credits or grades are awarded for the off-campus work then CPT is ineligible.  Prior to applying please review the CPT Fact Sheet.

In order to apply for CPT please schedule an appointment with the International Programs Center and prepare the following documents:

Once international students have completed one full year at NWACC then they become eligible for off-campus employment.  Operational Practical Training (OPT) allows for students to work off-campus both before and/or after their studies have completed at NWACC.  The off-campus activities must be in correlation with the field of study and declared degree on I-20.  All F1 International students are eligible for a max of 52 weeks of off-campus activity during their tenure with NWACC.  OPT is approved at one year intervals and re-application is required if students wish to continue working and have not maxed out on employment hours on the 52 week maximum.

Pre-Graduation OPT

Students seeking Pre-Graduation OPT may apply as early as 90 days prior to their one year mark at our college.  If approved, students will be eligible to work off-campus for a max of 20 hours per week.

Note: Pre-OPT employment will have a 20 hour maximum and will utilize half-weeks of the 52 maximum.  For example, if a student worked 30 weeks on Pre-OPT then a student has utilized 15 weeks of their 52 week maximum of OPT.  When school is not in session (spring break, winter break, summer break) Pre-OPT students may work 40 hours per week.

Post-Graduation OPT

Students seeking Post-Graduation OPT may apply as early as 90 days prior to their graduation ceremony.  If approved, student will be eligible to work off-campus for a max of 40 hours per week.

Note: If students used Pre-OPT during their studies then they may not have as much time on Post-OPT.  Furthermore, Post-OPT students are allotted a maximum of 90 aggregate days of unemployment.  Anything higher would cause Termination.

To Apply for OPT, please schedule an appointment with the International Programs Center and bring the following items:

  • Completed OPT Application Form
  • Completed OPT Advisor Form
  • Completed I-765 Form
  • Completed G-1145 Form
  • Money Order for $410USD
    • Made Payable to “United States Department of Homeland Security”
  • 2 Passport Style Photos
    • In pencil, write your full passport name on the back and your I-94 Number.
  • Passport
  • Visa
  • I-94
  • All prior I-20’s
  • Prior Employment Authorization Documents (EAD) (if applicable)

International Students must have their Employment Authorization Document (EAD) in their position prior to beginning employment.

Once international students have completed 1 full year at NWACC then they become eligible to apply for Economic Hardship which grants them the ability to work full-time off-campus at any job available up to 1 year if approved.  However, their financial situation must have drastically changed since admission.  Examples of this include financial sponsor loss of employment, financial sponsor death, economic downturn, currency conversion issues, natural or political disaster or any other circumstances beyond the student’s control.

In order to apply, students must schedule an appointment with the International Programs Center and prepare the following documents:

  • Completed I-765 Form
  • Completed G-1145 Form
  • Completed I-912 Form
  • 2 Passport Style Photos
    • In pencil, write your full passport name on the back and your I-94 Number.
  • Passport
  • Visa
  • I-94
  • All prior I-20’s
Prior Employment Authorization Documents (EAD) (if applicable)