Hiring International Students
We want to help our recruiters succeed and create connections with our international students. We understand that there are a lot of misgivings around sponsorship, the amount of work for the employer, and possible challenges for organizations depending on the nature of their industry.
If you want to discuss options on hiring international students, please reach out! Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 320-308-2151.
Benefits of Hiring an International Student for an Internship
Hiring a St. Cloud State University international student for an internship can bring several benefits to employers, including:
- Diverse Perspectives: International students often bring diverse cultural backgrounds and different ways of thinking to the workplace. This diversity of perspectives can lead to innovative solutions and fresh ideas for tackling challenges.
- Global Networking: By hiring an international student, employers have the opportunity to expand their global network. These students may have connections and insights into markets and business practices in their home countries, which can be valuable for international expansion and collaboration.
- Language and Cultural Skills: International students typically have language skills and cultural awareness that can be advantageous in dealing with a global customer base. Employers can leverage these skills to enhance communication and relationships with international clients, partners, or customers.
Additionally, hiring international students for internships can contribute to a more inclusive and culturally aware work environment, which can be beneficial for the overall company culture.
More information on offering internships can be found on our Employer Internship Resources page.
Hiring international student for internships under CPT
CPT, or Curricular Practical Training, is a program that allows international students in the United States with an F-1 visa to gain practical experience in their field of study while still in school. It is a type of work authorization that permits students to participate in internships, co-ops, or other types of employment that are directly related to their major field of study.
Here are some key points to understand about CPT:
- Eligibility: To be eligible for CPT, students must have been enrolled in a qualifying U.S. institution for at least one academic year on a full-time basis. The employment must also be an integral part of the established curriculum or academic program.
- Authorization: CPT requires authorization from the designated school official (DSO) at the student's academic institution. Once authorized, the student can work for a specific employer for a specific period of time.
- Limits: There are limits on the duration of CPT. Students can engage in either part-time (up to 20 hours per week) or full-time (more than 20 hours per week) CPT, but working full-time for 12 months or more on CPT can make the student ineligible for Optional Practical Training (OPT), which is another important type of work authorization for F-1 students.
- Degree Relevance: The employment undertaken under CPT must be directly related to the student's major field of study. This requirement ensures that the practical experience gained aligns with the student's academic pursuits.
- Academic Credit: Some institutions may require students to earn academic credit for their CPT experience. This credit is typically awarded based on the completion of specific academic requirements, such as a report or presentation related to the work experience.
The employer will need to provide an offer letter to the student with the location/address of the internship site. There is no additional cost to an employer beyond paying the student if it is a paid opportunity.
Hiring international student after graduation under OPT
OPT, or Optional Practical Training, is a temporary employment authorization for international students in the United States holding an F-1 visa. It allows students to gain practical work experience directly related to their major area of study. OPT is typically used after completing a degree program, allowing students to apply the knowledge and skills they acquired in a practical work setting. Here are some key points about OPT that an employer should understand:
- Eligibility: Students must be maintaining their F-1 status and be enrolled in a U.S. school certified by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP). They can apply for either pre-completion OPT (before completing their degree program) or post-completion OPT (after completing their degree program).
- Duration: Students are allowed to work for a total of 12 months of full-time OPT per educational level. Some STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) degree holders may be eligible for a 24-month extension, making it a total of 36 months.
- Degree Relevance: The work undertaken during OPT must be directly related to the student's major area of study. This requirement ensures that the practical experience gained aligns with the student's academic background and career goals.
- Application Process: Students need to apply for OPT through their Designated School Official (DSO). Once approved, they receive an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), which allows them to legally work in the United States.
- Cost: There are costs associated with the OPT application process, including the application fee and potential attorney fees for assistance with the application. However, these costs are typically borne by the student and not the employer.
Employers should be aware of the regulations associated with hiring international students on OPT, ensuring that the employment terms comply with the guidelines set forth by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. It is important to understand the timeline constraints and potential OPT extension opportunities, especially for students in STEM fields. Employers should also be willing to provide necessary support to the student during the OPT period, including mentorship and guidance to help them integrate into the workplace.