Summer 2023 and Fall 2023 Student Appointments

March 15, 2023

Dear Colleague,

As you plan your Summer 2023 and Fall 2023 student hiring, one of the challenges we hear from departments is the timely completion of I-9s at the start of each term. Below are a couple of items that may help with this process.

First, new hires/rehires may complete a form I-9 up to 90 business days in advance of the start date as long as the following conditions are met:

  1. Student has current work authorization that extends through the new appointment date
  2. Student has accepted an offer of employment and has a start date (e.g., student has received a letter and has accepted a GRA appointment starting 9/1/2023).
    1. As a reminder, you may send appointment letters to fully-funded PhD students who have guaranteed support in the fall even when the exact details of the student officer position are still to be determined. Most schools have developed an appointment letter for such students when the specific fall title (e.g. Teaching Assistant, Teaching Fellow, Graduate Research Assistant) is still to be determined. Similarly, when specific details of appointments such as the faculty supervisor or course title are not yet determined, it is permissible to note in appointment letters that these will be shared prior to the start of the fall semester in an email addendum.

For Fall 2023 appointments, this means that an I-9 for September 1 appointments can be completed as early as May 1 (90 business days before the start of the fall semester). While we cannot require anyone to complete an I-9 in advance—they have up to 3 business days from their start date to complete section 2—you can offer this as a convenience to the student.

Second, for students who are going to be rehired/reappointed, you can look at the Upcoming/Past Visa/Permit Expiration Date Report in the HR Manager Reports of the data warehouse to identify any students whose visa end date may need to be extended.

Finally, below is a sample email with a number of reminders for students that will help facilitate the summer and fall hiring process. Please feel free to add to or edit the email as you feel would be helpful for your students.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the HR Service Center using the Create New Incident Form or by calling (212) 851-2888.

Thank you.

Carmen DeLeon
Associate Provost for Academic Appointments

Jim Lindner
Associate Vice President, Human Resources Information Services

Zeid Sitnica
Associate Provost for Academic Appointments

--------------------DRAFT EMAIL FOR STUDENTS--------------------

Dear Student,

If you will be appointed as a student officer for the summer or fall term, or you expect to work on campus as a student casual, please keep the following in mind:

Form I-9

If you have not completed a Form I-9 with Columbia please ensure that you have the required original unexpired documents (copies/photos of the documents cannot be accepted) with you when you return to campus from spring break. The list of acceptable documents can be found on the USCIS website.

The I-9 may be completed as early as 90 business days in advance of your hire date. This means that if you will be working as a student officer or student casual starting on 9/1/2023, you may complete your form I-9 starting on May 1 as long as you have valid work authorization for the fall and have already accepted an offer of employment for 9/1. Note: the option to complete your I-9 in advance of your start date is offered for your convenience; we encourage you to complete this form before you leave campus for the summer if you can, but you have until 3 business days after your start date.

If you completed a Form I-9 in the Spring term, or anytime within the last 3 years, and the work authorization you presented will still be active in the fall, there is no need to complete a new I-9.

Social Security Number

If you do not yet have a U.S. Social Security Number and will be working for the University in the fall, you will need to apply for one. Please go to the ISSO website for information on how to apply for a Social Security Number. This can be done in late summer, but no more than 30 days in advance of your hire date.

Tax Forms and Other Hiring Documents

If you are being hired for the summer or fall term, your hiring department will send you a number of documents that must be completed prior to your hire being processed. You will not be able to be paid until all requested forms have been completed and submitted. These forms will include a Federal W-4 form and state tax forms.

If you are a Non-Resident Alien, you may be eligible for a tax treaty exemption. See IRS Publication 901 on U.S. Tax Treaties to see if your country is listed for students. Questions on your eligibility for a tax treaty benefit and how to complete Form 8233 may be directed to the Human Resources Processing Center (HRPC).


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