International students can only work in the U.S. after receiving authorization and with certain restrictions. It is your responsibility to know the rules and regulations of your status. Below is basic information regarding F-1, J-1 and H-1B visas. For more detailed information, contact International Students and Scholars Office.
F-1 students are typically allowed to work on-campus. In addition to jobs posted by Career Services, check with campus departments or businesses in the City or East Campus Unions for possible positions.
Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is employment authorization for internships directly related to a student’s major area of study.
Optional Practical Training (OPT) is employment authorization granted by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to gain work experience in a student’s academic major and typically done after graduation.
J-1 students are typically allowed to work on-campus. In addition to jobs posted by Career Services, check with campus departments or businesses in the City or East Campus Unions for possible positions.
Academic Training is employment authorization during and after completion of studies.
F-1 or J-1 degree-holders may be eligible for continued employment in H-1B status. H-1B applications are the sponsoring employer's responsibility.
Career Services and International Student and Scholar Services Office address questions regarding employment of international students and have produced an Overview of Options in Hiring International Students that can be provided to employers.
Yes and no. Most employers fall into four categories:
- Hire international students because they have international business.
- Hire international students for positions for which they cannot find qualified U.S. citizens or permanent residents.
- Only hire U.S. citizens or permanent residents as they do not wish to sponsor H-1B visas.
- Unable to hire international students due to relationships with the federal government (i.e. agencies or contractors).
If an employer is open to hiring an international student, they may:
- Hire the international student for an internship (CPT or Academic Training) or optional practical training (OPT).
- Employ the international student on a more permanent basis by petitioning the U.S. government for a H1-B. (authorizing 1-6 additional years in the U.S.)
Due to time, expenses, and limited H-1B availability, some employers will not hire students into CPT or OPT positions as they may hope to convert the intern into a full-time hire.
- Are you legally authorized to work in the United States for any employer?
- Will you now or in the near future require visa sponsorship?
Most international students are legally authorized to work in the United States for any employer (through CPT, Academic Training, or OPT). But most international students will eventually require visa sponsorship. There is no obligation for an employer to interview or hire international students.WHAT ABOUT UNPAID INTERNSHIPS?
International students may still need to seek authorization even if an internship is unpaid. The article "Legal Issues: International Students And Unpaid Internships" gives more information.