Q. What visa should I get?
A. Most likely F1. If you are doing paid residency, off campus, you can get CPT (Curricular Practical Training) to get paid. You would need to contact your program director, and an adviser from office of international students for this.
Q. Can I do 40 hours per week at my residency with F1 visa during the summer semester?
A. Yes. F1 allows for student to work up to 40 hours during summer semester/break. Under CPT, you would need to register for equivalent amount of units that requires you to do that much of off-campus work/training.
Keep in mind that more than 20 hours per week under CPT is considered to be full-time CPT, and if you do more than 12 months of full-time CPT, you cannot apply for OPT.
Q. Can I get Social Security Number on my student visa?
A. Yes, as long as you have a need for it such as to get paid for your work.
Q. I need to work more than 40 hours per week for my residency but CPT only allows 20 hours per week, what should I do?
A. If you can take units equivalent to the hours, you may apply for full-time CPT. As far as I know, this will be 12 units of residency at USC. The university policy may not allow you to work more than 20 hours per week – in this case, talk to your adviser. If your units only allow 20 hours per week, see if you can receive financial support in other form that is not work related. For an example, see if you can get paid for 20 hours per week, volunteer for rest of the hours, and if they would provide you some scholarship. If you do this, make sure your scholarship is not work based.