Hire International Students: Tips to Start Employing the Best People

To hire international students is one of the most common and legal under the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA) and the Immigration Act of 1990. Numerous students travel every year under a non-immigrant student visa and end up being residential citizens of the United States.

Getting the permission and the students for education or employment purposes are also easy thanks to the government procedures and amendments. Students can apply for either educational or employment opportunities in the United States with ease.

Now the hiring of international students can go through multiple ways and processes in the United States. Multiple conditions can benefit and suit the terms and conditions of the students and the agents.

With multiple demands in the market, the skills of students have evolved accordingly, and are eligible to work for multinational companies. And with the help of the technics or the applications mentioned below hiring international students will increase and provide guidance.

Some of how one can hire an international student are:

1.   Optional Practical Training (OPT)

Optional practical training or OPT is a program for 12 months for international students. Under this time-period, a student can opt for degrees or programs in both graduate and post-graduate.

This training period can be allocated to a student for a single program or degree only. Many students choose OPT multiple times for different programs and degrees.

Students with the authorized F-1 visa are eligible for applying for OPT and can also get multiple employment opportunities.

An OPT can be authorized by the Citizenship and Immigration Service (CIS) which provides innumerable benefits to the students.

Benefits can also include employment, degree, vacation, and many more.

The most important factor for international students in opting for OPT is employment. As the students will receive an important document known as the Employment authorization document (EAD) by CIS.

But for the issue of EAD, it also takes time of about two to three months only after which international students will get the employment date and duration in the United States.

OPT extension, is also a term for a period in which a student needs to decide their future by either getting a job or changing their visa status.

Many international students also get the chance to apply for OPT employment authorization by which they can train and work.

2.   Practical training of F-1 Students

Under this, international students get employment offers related to their field of education. Hiring international students who obtain an F-1 visa is quite common and interesting as one will be hiring a person with some basic knowledge of the field.

Now, practical training can also be done in two ways either by optional practical training or curricular practical training. Both distinguished types of training make the student eligible for future employment challenges and scopes.

Full-time and part-time both are allowed for international students but having a job application before going for a fixed employment offer is advisable.

3.   Academic J-1 Students

Hiring international students with J-1 means that the student has the legal right to academic training for 18 months.

Some students are also allowed to work part-time along with their academics and this is a very beneficial factor for both the company and the students.

Fortunately, J-1 students go through minimum paperwork which makes the process neat and quick.

The responsible officer (RO) is the one who grants the letter or the form of approval. The J-1 holder student must have a job offer before applying for an internship or temporary work to get approval.

The employment offer can also be part-time or full-time. For exception cases like the students going for 24-month before been before doctorate degrees are eligible for up to 36 months and the students applying for master’s or bachelor’s degrees are eligible for 18 months.

One of the important things to remember for both the student and the employment provider is that without work authorization an international student cannot begin their employment period.

The strictness under this note is seriously followed and is advised to follow for both student and employer.

4.   Curricular Practical Training

Curricular practical training or CPT is one of the very famous training programs which is termed for the employment of students attached to their studies.

An authorized document for the F-1 visa students planning for curricular-related employment in the future.

One of the other benefits of hiring international students is that they can work even during the period and 12 months of their OPT period as well.

The terms regarding the work hours are also mentioned for the OPT holders such as the students holding OPT before graduation may work for a maximum of 20 hours per week during their school term and 40 hours during their break period.

CPT employment is available for students only after the completion of their program of studies. Students must have a job or offer during the completion. An international student can work full-time and part-time during their active CPT.

Under CPT undergraduate students can work full-time for 12 credit hours and graduate students can work for 8 credit hours. Just like on the other hand, a graduate student researcher can work for 6 credit hours.

5.   Academic Training Period

An academic training period is a work authorization period for international students outside their campus. Academic training is also used as an exchange program by many colleges and universities.

According to federal regulations, an international student must have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree. For continued employment in the United States, an international student has to apply for an H1B visa that is a green card.

And before one applies for the green card they must have experience of a maximum of six years. The application of the visa goes through the employment providers or the company and the whole process must be undertaken by the company itself.

An academic training period is also opted by J1 visa holders under which an exchange program for training is used. Many candidates also get employment opportunities in the exchange program under the academic training period.


6.   Difference between F-1 and J-1 visa

When hiring international students, it is mandatory to know or have a basic idea about the different types of visas that are provided for their work and education permit in the United States.

When we talk about the F-1 visa holders, it must be known that the international students are non-immigrants aiming towards a specific degree and some exchange programs.

If hiring international students with a J-1 visa, one must be aware that the student has the status used for international exchange.

The earning income of these visa holder students is applicable for taxes such as federal, state, and local income tax.

7.   F-1 STEM OPT

F1 is the student nonimmigrant visa under which an international student gets multiple advantages. STEM is the field of study under the field of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Hiring an international student under OPT STEM means the student is eligible for an additional 24-month STEM-designated field degree. In the field of STEM only if a student gets the OPT, then they will get the opportunity same as OPT.

Students can apply for a STEM OPT extension no sooner than 90 days before the EAD expiration date.

Under the STEM degree, an international student can work at least 20 hours a week but cannot join any volunteer work under this.

As the application is initiated by the U.S Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) the application is valid and also takes around three to four-month time for approval.

Under this, the Department of Homeland security has the authorized right to visit the employer who has hired that international student.

In some cases, advance notice has also been given before the visit from homeland security.

An international student with the help of STEM OPT can only work for 20 hours a week. They also get training opportunities in the desired institute or company in this period and get employment opportunities.


Hiring an international student can be done through various modes. Many international students choose different programs that can help them get into an internship and even part-time jobs.

Hiring such international students are very profitable for companies as they can test and train them for future goals. Under training programs, students do get the opportunities to work campuses under their respective fields of study.

An F1 visa is a very common student visa in which students get employment opportunities and training periods. Many researchers students also get into exchange programs for to work.

Hiring international students do depend on the type of visa they have been on and the field of study.

That is the reason why such demands have increased for international students as hiring them has become easy.

Tisha Garcia

I write with any knowledge that I have about this world, the words that I write are the reflection of my thought and how I see the world. I have written blogs about diverse things and still tried to share some knowledge about the things that I have seen and gained. Written words are just an inside thought of my mind which I would love to share and explore more.