Employers Guide to Hiring International Students

The purpose of this guide is to inform U.S. employers about F-1 and J-1 international student work authorization options. It includes a discussion on the new Optional Practical Training (OPT) STEM extension for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) students. We developed this guide so employers can understand the U.S. immigration process when having discussions with prospective employees about co-op, internships and post-graduation employment.

This guide is not intended to and does not serve as legal advice; it is for informational purposes only. UC International Services serves international students directly and does not give immigration advice or respond to questions from employers. Content is subject to change. Employers are advised to consult an experienced U.S. immigration attorney with any questions.

Why Hire International Students?

UC international students represent more than 100 countries and pursue a diverse array of degrees and career goals. They possess qualities that top employers seek:

  • Global perspectives with diverse viewpoints and experiences
  • Multilingual and cross-cultural communication skills that are vital for companies to compete in a global economy
  • Effective leadership and teamwork skills along with the ability to adapt to changes and persevere

Most international students are in F-1 or J-1 immigration status, which allows for off-campus work authorization benefits during and after the academic program.

The guide provides an overview of these work authorization options along with long-term employment visa options and resources. We hope the information will help to clarify and streamline the hiring process of international students.