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Employ an International Student

International students are a wonderful asset to any workplace. If you are looking to hire a UWO student who is in the U.S. on a student (F-1 or J-1) visa as an intern or employee, please see below for considerations and regulations.

Hiring a Current F-1 Student
 

F-1 students may legally engage in off-campus employment when they receive prior authorization from their University immigration advisor and when their work is related to their major. 

F-1 students may legally work over the dates an employer includes in the employment offer letter.  These dates are documented by the University immigration advisor on the student's signed, official immigration document (form I-20) so that the employer can be sure that employment has been legally authorized.  

This type of legal employment is called Curricular Practical Training (CPT). 

Please see this Letter to CPT Employer for additional information.

Hiring a Graduated F-1 Student

F-1 students may legally work in the U.S. for one year after graduation when they receive prior authorization from their University immigration advisor and when their work is related to their major.

F-1 students must apply for and receive an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) from the federal government prior to their employment start date.  F-1 students are not permitted to begin working until they have received their EAD, may not begin working until the start date on their EAD, and must stop working on or before the end date on the EAD.  An F-1 student's University immigration advisor advises on application for the EAD and the regulations with which the F-1 student must comply.  The process is isn't difficult, but receiving the EAD can take several months.

An F-1 student's University immigration advisor can advise employers on the basic regulations that are in place to ensure legal employment, to ensure employer and supervisor comfort with the process, and to ensure that an F-1 student doesn't work without proper authorization, including an assurance that position duties are permissible given the student's academic major.  Working without proper authorization, or performing too many duties that are unrelated to a student's major, can have severe consequences on an F-1 student’s immigration status.

This type of legal employment is called Optional Practical Training (OPT). 

Hiring a Graduated F-1 Student (24-month STEM extension)

F-1 students who have a qualifying STEM degree may apply for a 24 month extension of Optional Practical Training (OPT) known as STEM OPT.

STEM OPT may be authorized as an F-1 student nears completion of 12 months of OPT.  Employer responsibilities for STEM OPT are more extensive than for OPT.

Employer Responsibilities:

  • E-Verify: The employer must be enrolled in the federal government's E-Verify program.
  • Hours & Compensation: The F-1 student must work at least 20 hours/week and must be paid for the work.
  • Training Plan: The F-1 student’s supervisor must assist in completing the federal governments Form I-983 Training Plan and must sign a new Form I-983 whenever there are any material changes to, or deviations from, the Training Plan.
  • Annual Evaluations: The F-1 student and supervisor must complete Page 5 of the Form I-983 every year of employment.
  • Loss or Termination of Employment: The employer must report the termination of an F-1 student’s practical training or the departure of the student to the F-1 student's University immigration advisor (iss@uwosh.edu) within 5 business days of learning of the departure or within 5 business days of  the termination.
  • Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Site Visits: DHS is authorized to conduct site visits of employers that train STEM OPT students.  The visits provide a mechanism for DHS to ensure that STEM OPT students are engaged in a structured, work-based learning experience that is consistent with the goals of practical training and with the information supplied on the student’s Form I-983. Employers receive advance notification prior to a site visit.  More information can be found on the DHS’s Employer Visits Page .

Employers are expected to review and assist the student in completing any necessary documents, but it is ultimately the student’s responsibility to keep track of the required information and submit documentation to DHS to meet the required deadlines.

Not all academic majors associated with STEM are included in the federal government's list of qualified academic majors for STEM OPT.  The F-1 student's University immigration advisor will ensure that the F-1 student is eligible before approving STEM OPT.

The Department of Homeland Security has created this helpful infographic to help distinguish the responsibilities of students, employers and the Office of International Education.

Hiring a J-1 Student

J-1 students may legally intern or work in the U.S. for a period of time while studying or after graduation when they receive prior authorization from their University immigration advisor and when their work is related to their major.

Work may be part-time or full-time. 


J-1 students may legally intern or work over the dates an employer includes in the internship or employment offer letter.  These dates are documented by the University immigration advisor on the student's signed, official immigration document (form DS-2019) so that the employer can be sure that employment has been legally authorized.  

This type of legal employment is called Academic Training.

 



Contact Us

Office of International Education
Dempsey Hall, Room 202
Email: 
Phone: +1 (920) 424-0775
Fax: +1 (920) 424-0185

The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh — Where Excellence and Opportunity Meet.