International

Hiring an International Student

While study is their primary objective, international students can work on and off-campus under certain circumstances.

If you want to hire an international student, it helps to know more about the options and requirements based on their visa type. Most international students in the US are on

If you are hiring a student on a different status, contact our office for a consultation.


F-1 Students

International students are typically in the US on F-1 immigration status. F-1 students can work at the University of Cincinnati under the following scenarios:

  • On-campus jobs
  • Optional Practical Training (OPT)
  • Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

F-1 student status holders are permitted to have an on-campus job at their university for up to 20 hours a week while school is in session.

  • There is no hourly limitation during scheduled breaks (i.e. summer vacation, spring break, etc). 
  • This is not an average but a week by week total. 
  • F-1 students who are assistantship holders at 50% FTE are working the maximum hours allowed by law. They cannot accept additional appointments unless during scheduled breaks. 

When you hire an international student, you do not need to inform our office. However, the student must appear in the SuccessFactors onboarding system and the student must be onboarded by UC International prior to beginning employment.

Newly arriving graduate assistants must appear in Success Factors prior to their arrival on campus. Plan ahead and process new hires in a timely manner.

Optional Practical Training (OPT) is employment that is directly related to the student’s major area of study.

  • Every F-1 student who has studied full-time for at least nine months and is currently maintaining F-1 status can utilize OPT.
  • F-1 students are entitled to 12 months of full-time Optional Practical Training for each higher degree they obtain. 
  • Students with majors in Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics are eligible for up 36 months of OPT, which includes a 24-month STEM OPT extension. 

Optional Practical Training is available at these times:

  • During vacations, if the student is currently enrolled, eligible for OPT and intends to register for the next term or session
  • While school is in session (no more than 20 hours a week) 
  • After completion of all course requirements for the degree (excluding a thesis or equivalent) if the student is in a bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degree program
  • After completion of the course of study (all Optional Practical Training must be completed within the 14-month period following completion of the course of study). 

F-1 students authorized for OPT will have an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) with specific dates that they are employable.

You can hire F-1 students on OPT or CPT from other schools. In that case, the individual must be added to the iBearcatsGlobal database by completing the “Add New Person” eForm and submitting the “Other Immigration Statuses” eForm.

If you hire an employee who is on the 24-month STEM OPT extension, you must be aware of the following:

  • You will be required to complete the form I-983 Training Plan for STEM OPT Students
  • You will be required to help draft evaluations of training program progress at 12 and 24 months
  • DHS can make site visits to verify the terms of the STEM OPT Employment 

To continue employment past the date of EAD expiration, the student must receive a change of status which allows him or her to be employed (E-3, H-1B, J-1, TN, and O-1).

Video link: https://www.youtube.com/embed/9ggEEM9OY9M?rel=0

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) provides F-1 international students an opportunity to gain employment experience that is “an integral part of an established curriculum,” such as

  • alternate work/study 
  • internship 
  • cooperative education
  • required internship or practicum which is offered by sponsoring employers through cooperative agreements with the school 

The training must be a requirement or an integral part of the student’s degree. F-1 students on curricular practical training must show the following documents to prove they have the proper work authorization.

  • An I-20 endorsed by the student’s Designated School Official, authorizing the employment. The endorsement should, at the very least, list the University of Cincinnati as the employer and give the dates and number of hours of employment. 
  • An unexpired I-94 record marked “F-1” for “D/S”. 
  • An unexpired passport (unless passport exempt).

J-1 Students

J-1 students status are typically “sponsored” students (by either the US or home government).

There are two types of employment authorization available for students on J-1 status:

  • student employment - either an on-campus job or assistantship
  • academic training - related to the student’s field of study and in most cases occurs off-campus and for a specified period of time.

J-1 students are permitted to have an on-campus job at their university for up to 20 hours a week while school is in session.

  • There is no hourly limitation during scheduled breaks (i.e. summer vacation, spring break, etc). 
  • This is not an average but a week by week total. 
  • J-1 students who are assistantship holders at 50% FTE are working the maximum hours allowed by law. They cannot accept additional appointments unless during scheduled breaks. 

When you hire an international student, you do not need to inform our office. However, the student must appear in the SuccessFactors onboarding system and the student must be onboarded by UC International prior to beginning employment.

Newly arriving graduate assistants must appear in Success Factors prior to their arrival on campus. Plan ahead and process new hires in a timely manner.

Practical training for J-1 students is called “Academic Training.”

  • International students on J-1 visas are eligible for up to 18 months of academic training. 
  • Post-doctoral students are permitted three years of academic training. 
  • Some J-1 students are also allowed to work part-time during the academic program under Academic Training. 

Academic Training is granted in writing by the international office at the institution the student is attending.

J-1 students on Academic Training from other schools must be added to the iBearcatsGlobal database by the hiring department by completing the “Add New Person” eForm and submitting the “Other Immigration Status” eForm.

Video link: https://www.youtube.com/embed/9ggEEM9OY9M?rel=0