Campuses are responsible for ensuring that any individual who accepts employment with the CSU is authorized to work in the United States. The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (P.L. 99-603) (IRCA) prohibits employers from knowingly hiring any individual who is not authorized to accept employment in the United States, and from knowingly continuing to employ any individual who is not authorized to work in the United States.
The following documentation is required for CSU appointments. For additional information on student classifications, refer to
As required by the Constitution of California, every State employee, except legally employed noncitizens, must sign an oath or affirmation before he or she enters upon the duties of his or her State employment. This form must be completed by all employees, including individuals hired into student class codes 1870, 1871, 1872, 1874, 1875, and 1876. Noncitizens must sign the Declaration of Permission to Work contained in Section 2 of that form.
This document authorizes the release of all warrants (excluding refund of employee retirement contributions and payment of death benefits) to a designee. If the designee is an individual who resides outside of the United States, it should be noted that there are a number of restrictions that may prohibit sending United States currency to specific foreign countries, and that these restrictions may cause complications for the designee.
With the exception of individuals hired into student class codes 1870, 1871, and 1872 that are required to use the
SPAR document, all individuals are required to complete the EAR form.
Except for sworn peace officers, the fingerprinting of employees shall be done at the discretion of the campus President. Where employment is contingent upon fingerprinting, the campus must ensure that such offers of appointment include a statement indicating that the offer is subject to submitting fingerprint exemplars in accordance with campus or State policy.
The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA) requires employers to verify the employment eligibility of all employees hired on or after November 7, 1986 via completion of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) I-9 form. For additional information, refer to the Office Of General Counsel's immigration manual and the employer's handbook in the
Employment Policies section of the Systemwide Human Resources website.
Verification of employment eligibility is not required for employees hired on or before November 6, 1986, if they have been continuously employed by CSU since that date.
Individuals who are rehired within three years of the initial completion of Form I-9 are not required to complete a new form I-9.
The Act provides comprehensive lists of acceptable documents for employment eligibility on the back of the Form I-9. An individual must present a document or documents that establish identity and employment eligibility, however, the choice of documents from those lists is the employee’s alone. The campus may not require the employee to present additional or different documents than the ones chosen by the employee from those lists.
Within three business days of commencement of employment, or on the first day if employment will last for less than three days, the employee must present to the campus documentation of identity and work authorization.
If the employee presents a receipt indicating application for an acceptable document (e.g. a social security card), the actual document may be presented within ninety (90) days and the employee may commence employment in the meantime. The receipt must be for a document evidencing currently valid work authorization.
If an employee fails to present documentation within the time period allowed, the employee may no longer be employed.
Transactions are used to establish and/or update a PIMS database record for all employees. Each transaction is identified as a unique 3-character code. For more information, refer to
CSU Personnel/Payroll Documents.
Employees who are not citizens of the United States may require appointment coding information for mandated immigration and/or tax-related purposes only. This section is intended to address those coding requirements as it pertains to the employment history database.
Generally, noncitizens with valid work authorization documentation may be employed in all appointment types. Exceptions to this general rule are noncitizens under a J-1 immigration status and noncitizens hired as public safety officers:
Noncitizens under a J-1 immigration status may be employed in temporary appointments only.
Public safety officers must be either a United States citizen or a "permanent resident alien" who is eligible and has applied for United States citizenship pursuant to California Government Code Section 1031 - 1031.5.
For noncitizen appointments, the PIMS transactions should be completed in accordance with the required/conditional matrix for the applicable appointment transaction. Refer to
Item 825 for coding an employee’s noncitizen status.
Campuses are responsible for monitoring the work authorization expiration date, which can be obtained by reviewing the month and year field designated in
Item 825. If the work authorization for an individual is going to expire and subsequent valid work authorization has not been obtained, the individual’s employment must be terminated by the date work authorization expires. Valid work authorization for employment purposes is required regardless to an individual’s probationary, permanent or tenured appointment status.
If a noncitizen is from a country whose income may be subject to exemption under the terms of a tax treaty agreement, the "Exemption from Withholding" section of the EAR or SPAR document should indicate "PERM" (to indicate tax exemption), with the appropriate tax guide reference to justify the exemption (e.g., per Article "xx"). Eligibility for tax exemption may be ended based upon the tax treaty agreement or if the employee's immigration status changes at any time during the period of employment. The employee is then required to complete a new SPAR or EAR document to reflect the appropriate tax withholding information.
Campuses are responsible for administering federal income tax treaty benefits using either IRS Form 8233, Exemption From Withholding on Compensation for Independent [and Certain Dependent] Personal Services of a Nonresident Alien Individual, or Form W-9, Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification.
Campuses are required to report annual employee treaty benefit amounts on Form 1042-S, Foreign Person’s U.S. Source Income Subject to Withholding, using the campus’ Federal Identification Number (FEIN).
The State Controller’s Office (SCO) as pay agent, is responsible for reporting non-treaty employee wages on Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, and Form 941 Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return.
Contact your campus tax specialist for information in this regard.
The Internal Revenue Service may require that a noncitizen provide an employer's statement of earnings and taxes withheld for the current year when departing from the United States. If the employee is separating from campus employment, but is expected to return during the same tax year, the payroll office should compile the required information from the Payroll Warrant Registers or Pay History to provide the employee with the statement. If the employee is separating and is not expected to return, the campus may request the
SCO to issue an early W-2, Annual Statement of Earnings. Such requests should be directed to the W-2 Processing Unit, Payroll Services Division, as in accordance with current
SCO Payroll Procedures Manual instructions.
When the tax residency status of an employee under an F, J, M or Q non-immigrant status changes from nonresident to resident alien for tax purposes, their pay may be subject to social security, medicare and/or coverage under a retirement program plan (e.g., CalPERS or the Part Time, Seasonal and Temporary [PST] Retirement Program), based upon appointment type, employment category and other appropriate factors. Process a
Transaction 505 to update the Retirement System Account Code (Item 505), and the Noncitizen Status Code (Item 825).
Retirement account code selection is based upon several factors, such as tax residency status, appointment type and employment category. Refer to
Item 505 - Retirement System Account Code for additional information.
a. For employees present under an F, J, M or Q immigration status whose tax residency status is "nonresident" alien for tax purposes, the retirement account code would be one of the following:
00 - CalPERS-Survivors-Noncitizens
N - Nonmembers exempted from Medicare
b. For employees present under an F, J, M or Q immigration status whose tax residency status is "resident" alien for tax purposes, and whose employment began on or after April 1, 1986 the retirement account code would be one of the following:
TM - DPA PST, subject to Medicare
08 - CalPERS, subject to social security and Medicare
c. For employees present under an F, J, M or Q immigration status whose tax residency status becomes "resident" alien for tax purposes within a given calendar year, and for which retroactive FICA or Medicare tax is applicable to January 1 of that year, the retirement account code used to denote the retroactive tax portion would be one of the following:
NM - Medicare only, if individual is subject to PST Retirement Program Participation
NO - FICA, if individual is subject to CalPERS membership
d. If visa category = "Z" in Item 825, the retirement account code would be one of the following if employment began on or after April 1, 1986:
08 - CalPERS-SS/MED
NM - Nonmembers, subject to Medicare
TM - DPA PST Plan, subject to Medicare
e. Qualified For CalPERS Membership:
Noncitizens present under an F, J, M or Q immigration status whose tax residency status is "nonresident" alien for tax purposes and who are employed in appointments that qualify for CalPERS membership are subject to the 1959 CalPERS-SURVIVOR Benefit (Retirement Account Code = "00", Payroll Deduction Code = 077). These employees are exempt from Social Security and Medicare taxes. If the tax residency status changes to "resident" alien for tax purposes, or the immigration status changes (e.g., to an H-1B), the employee loses eligibility for Survivors Benefits. Process a
505 Transaction to update the Retirement System Account Code (Item 505), and the Noncitizen Status Code (Item 825).
f. Refund of CalPERS Contributions Upon Separation:
STD. 687 form is no longer required to be completed and refunds upon separation are not available through PIMS. Instead, the employee will need to follow the steps to complete the Refund Election Application with CalPERS to be issued a refund of retirement contributions. Noncitizens who are returning to a foreign country and are due a refund should contact CalPERS to order a refund application and to request their refund be expedited to them while in the United States. Note: Refund checks forwarded to foreign countries are paid only in United States currency.
For information on Systemwide Human Resources policy and procedures for appointment-related topics, please access the
Employee Policies and Programs web page.
HR 94-28 - Employment Policy
HR 94-29 - Employment Eligibility Verification
California Government Code Section 1031
The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986
CalPERS Circular Letter #200-028-16
Last Updated: March 7, 2023