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Can I hire a nanny who has a F-1 (J-1) Student Visa. Are there special rules?

SUMMARY:Since 1994, off campus work (including work in a private home as a nanny, SENIOR CAREGIVER, housekeeper, maid or other domestic work) is generally prohibited for F-1 and J-1 visa holders.

There are VERY limited exceptions to this prohibition. HomeWork Solutions’ clients may choose to have their newly hired foreign student/nanny’s employment eligibility verified using the DHS e-Verify program, also referred to as electronic I-9 verification.

When is it legal to hire a nanny on a F-1 or J-1 visa?

In ALL instances when a foreign student has been granted permission to work by the US Department of State (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services) the student will be issued a valid Employment Authorization Document (EAD).

The Social Security Administration issues Social Security cards to foreign students not authorized to work because they often need the number for a valid non-work reason (establishment of a bank account for example). The card will be marked “NOT VALID FOR EMPLOYMENT” to show that the individual cannot work. If the student does work, the Social Security Administration is required to inform ICE.



Social Security cards issued after April 2007 will be formatted slightly differently, with a separate line for first and last names. Additional anti-tampering measures will be taken. Previously issued cards WILL remain valid.

A foreign student typically needs professional legal assistance when applying for off campus work authorization, and the US Department of State must determine that the issuance of the authorization will not displace any citizen/green card holder employees. Some qualifying circumstances include:

  • Sudden Economic Hardship: This may include the loss of the sponsor’s financial support, sudden currency devaluation, or medical expenses.
  • A training program or paid internship that is directly related to the student’s field of academic study.
  • Post-Graduate Practical Training, intended to provide the student with practical training in their field of study.
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