International Students

International Students bring a unique skillset to employers that include a global perspective, ability to conform to changing situations, and many times, multilingual communication skills.  Obstacles in seeking and applying for employment in the United States may include the lack of cultural understanding and/or the ability to communicate their status relating to immigration, hiring eligibility and articulating their skills and abilities.


 

Career Considerations

What do I know about myself?

As an international student, you bring many unique attributes and skills to potential employers. As you prepare to seek out internship and job opportunities, it is vital to consider how you might enhance your candidacy. It will be in your best interest to be able to reflect on, and be able to speak confidently about your skills, interests, and career goals. Practice doing so on a regular basis in both formal and social settings to feel comfortable.

You'll also want to consider, and be able to articulate, how your international experiences may make you a candidate who is uniquely qualified for a particular role or company. 

What are my options?

International students have a number of options when it comes to their future plans. Whether you are seeking employment in the U.S. or outside of the U.S., it is important to consult with the appropriate individuals on campus prior to seeking any form of employment (paid or unpaid) to you have a broad and thorough understanding of restrictions, requirements, and any deadlines that may apply. 

 

Managing Misconceptions

As an international student, you cannot be too informed. Employers may have misconceptions about what it means to hire international students, but as a well informed individual, you have the opportunity to alleviate some of the concerns they may present. 

 

Strengthen your English Skills

The ability to communicate effectively both orally and in written format in English with employers cannot be emphasized enough. Practice is key. 

 

Seek Employers with an International Presence/In Demand Industries

You may find that your best chances for success will lie with employers who have an international focus, or those who maintain offices in other countries. In many cases, your international experience and ability to communicate fluently in other languages while understanding cultural variances will be of great interest to these employers.

Certain fields in the U.S. are currently in major stages of development and growth. These industries are continually seeking skilled employees. Should you direct your academic pursuits in one of the directions listed below, you may find you have an easier time:

  • Computer Science
  • Business
  • Finance
  • Systems Programming
  • Accounting
  • Engineering
  • Hospitality and Healthcare 

Regardless of your choice of major and career field, you would be wise to determine how you will develop strong computer, quantitative, and scientific skills to best market yourself. 

Meeting with a Career Counselor can help answer some of the following questions about interacting with employers:

·       How do I inform a recruiter that I am not A US citizen?

·       How can I access mentors in the career fields that interest me?

·       How do I determine an organizations/business’s ability to offer sponsorship?

·       How do I prepare for an American-style interview?

Developing a Plan

·       Learn about your specific employment status; gain a comprehensive understanding of your VISA and CPT/OPT requirements, eligibility and guidelines

·       Review the federal employment laws

·       Participate in employer info sessions, career fair and campus recruiting

o   On-campus Job Options

§  Get involved in clubs

o   Interviewing for a US Employer

§  What to wear to an Interview (cultural differences)

·       Career Closet

o   Attend international job fairs

Laws and Policies

Employment

While in college, you have the incredible opportunity to gain experience on campus - and in some cases, off campus, as well. Prior to seeking employment, you must connect with the Coordinator of International Student Support to be made aware of any restrictions, deadlines, and requirements you may face. 

Training 

Training programs have been established to provide eligible international students with the opportunity to pursue experience prior to and immediately after completing their degree.

If a student is on an F-1 Visa Student Status, they can pursue: Curricular Practical Training (CPT), Optional Practical Training (OPT), and Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) OPT Extension

If a student as a J-1 Visa Student/Scholar Status: they are open to receive additional academic training. 

Employment After Graduation

UPDATE https://career.virginia.edu/blog/2015/jul/us-employment-regulations

Questions you may be asked by an Employer

An employer MAY ask:

  • Are you legally authorized to work in the U.S.? Will you now or in the future require sponsorship for an employment visa?
  • What languages do you read, speak, or write? 

An employer MAY NOT ask:

  • What is your visa type, nationality, or place of birth? An employer cannot ask for your country of citizenship.
  • What is your native language? 

Questions you may want to ask an employer

·       Do you hire international students?

Professional Associations

·     U.S. Citizenship and immigration Services

Information on how to apply for and get work authorization and application form you can download

 

Foreign Labor H-1B Program Data and Certification Data Center

The Department of Labor is required to provide a list of employers who have submitted Labor Condition Applications. The Search page allows you to view the H1-B Labor Certification Database and also access the Online Wage Library for prevailing wage determinations

Career Development, Job Search, and Networking Resources

Internet-based system that compares information from an employee's Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, to data from U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Social Security Administration records to confirm employment eligibility.  It can be used to search for employers who provide sponsorship.

Advice and resources for international students seeking employment in the United States.

A source of advice for International Students living in the USA. 

Information includes living, studying, speaking, writing, travelling in the U.S. and more!

Resources for international students and their job search in the U.S.

Resources for international students and their job search in the U.S.

Database of US firms who have known openings and are willing to offer H1-B opportunities to international professionals. Fee for access.