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Picture of International Student Hiring International Students
Hiring international students who are studying in the United States on a student or exchange visitor visa can be simple and provide many benefits to the employer and to the student. These international students can work in their field of study during academic sessions, vacation periods, and after completion of study without the need to change their immigration status. Highly qualified foreign students bring to any organization new paradigms of thinking, multiple languages, culture and ethnic diversity, and adaptability.

Different categories for hiring international students:

Hiring for Internships: Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is defined by the United States Citizen and Immigration Services as employment that is an “integral part” of a student’s course of study. This work experience may be required by the student’s degree program or may be an elective if it is an important part of the program of study.

Employers: To hire a student who is on CPT, the company only needs to give a letter of offer to the student, then the student will provide his/her I-20 indicating he/she has permission to work for the company. Length of employment is based on the student’s education program, which is usually one semester.

Hiring for Full-Time Employment: Optional Practical Training (OPT)
Practical training allows international students to accept paid work in the United States. Practical training should allow them to gain experience in their field of study, which they normally could not obtain in their home country. Students with an F-1 visa status are eligible for up to 12 - 29 months of employment after graduation, depending on their area of study. Eligibility of a total of 29 months is for certain Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM) degree holders only. All other students not in STEM are eligible for up to 12 months of employment after graduation.

Employers: Employers should verify the international student possesses an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). Employment cannot begin until the student presents a valid EAD card.

Hiring for Full-Time Employment: H-1B Non-Immigrant Visa
The H-1B (Temporary Worker) is a non-immigrant visa in the United States under the Immigration & Nationality Act, section 101(a)(15)(H). It allows U.S. employers to employ foreign guest workers in specialty occupations. There is a 6 years maximum employment length limitation on H-1B; therefore, some international individuals who intend to remain in the U.S. often try to obtain permanent resident status during their H-1B period.

Employers: An employer should seek an immigration attorney for advice before petitioning for employee’s H-1B Visa.

For more information about specifics regarding hiring international students, please contact:
International Students and Scholars
Oklahoma State University
309 Wes Watkins Center
Stillwater, OK 74078

For more information regarding employing international students, please visit here.

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