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International Students

Additional Job Search Tools

The Office of Career and Professional Development is happy to assist international students with career-related information, guidance, and resources. Visit us early in your academic career to develop plans specific to your unique career goals. It can be challenging to find a “sponsor friendly” employer so students need to begin the process early!

Here are some general tips to get started on your Job Search:
  • Schedule regular job search time and attend job search workshops (especially ones that emphasize business culture and etiquette).
  • Be sure to prepare a concise résumé that includes your language skills beyond English.
  • Practice interviewing. Focus on selling the skills that you have which are of value to employers.
  • Do not argue with an employer about hiring you. Some employers will not sponsor international students for various reasons. Move on to employers who are “sponsor friendly.” Talk to recent graduates, do an advanced search on jobs in Handshake or Career Shift, or ask your professors for hiring leads – there are many ways to find employers that are known to hire international students and sponsor H1-B status.

Employment Restrictions

International students can only work in the U.S. after receiving authorization and with certain restrictions. It is your responsibility to know the rules and regulations of your status. Below is basic information regarding F-1, J-1 and H-1B visas. For more detailed information, contact Office of International Student Admissions & Programs.

On-Campus Employment

F-1 students are typically allowed to work on-campus. In addition to jobs posted by the Office of Career and Professional Development or the Student Employment Center, check with campus departments or businesses in the Statesboro-area for possible positions.

Off-Campus Employment

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is employment authorization for internships directly related to a student’s major area of study. This is considered Academic Training and is employment authorization during and after completion of studies.

Optional Practical Training (OPT) is employment authorization granted by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to gain work experience in a student’s academic major and typically done after graduation.

H-1B Employment

F-1 or J-1 degree-holders may be eligible for continued employment in H-1B status. H-1B applications are the sponsoring employer’s responsibility.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do U.S. employers hire international students?

Yes and no. Most employers fall into four categories:

  • Hire international students because they have an international business.
  • Hire international students for positions for which they cannot find qualified U.S. citizens or permanent residents.
  • Only hire U.S. citizens or permanent residents as they do not wish to sponsor H-1B visas.
  • Unable to hire international students due to relationships with the federal government (i.e. agencies or contractors).

If an employer is open to hiring an international student, they may:

  • Hire the international student for an internship (CPT or Academic Training) or optional practical training (OPT).
  • Employ the international student on a more permanent basis by petitioning the U.S. government for a H1-B. (authorizing 1-6 additional years in the U.S.)

Due to time, expenses, and limited H-1B availability, some employers will not hire students into CPT or OPT positions as they may hope to convert the intern into a full-time hire.

What questions can employers ask about my visa status?
  • Are you legally authorized to work in the United States for any employer?
  • Will you now or in the near future require visa sponsorship?

Most international students are legally authorized to work in the United States for any employer (through CPT, Academic Training, or OPT). But most international students will eventually require visa sponsorship. There is no obligation for an employer to interview or hire international students.

Do unpaid internships still require authorization?

Yes. International students will likely still need to seek authorization even if an internship is unpaid. The article “Legal Issues: International Students And Unpaid Internships” gives more information.

How should I prepare my résumé to apply for positions?

U.S. resumes can be a little different from international résumés. For advice on how to get started, consider visiting our Résumés and Letters page or using our Résumés and Letters Guide. You may also make an appointment with your Career & Internship Advisor to help you get started and ensure your resume is application ready!

How should I begin identifying & connecting with employers?

Although job listings and employer websites are effective, international students should target employers who may be more interested in them than to just applying generally to positions. Two additional approaches may be helpful.

1. Creating Networks

Learn about opportunities outside of traditional job postings. Develop relationships with people who are then helpful in the job search.

LinkedIn is an online professional networking site. Users can search for people, employers and groups. Join the Official Georgia Southern University Linkedin Page to find alumni from your home country or academic background. Reach out to them for their advice. Also join groups related to your targeted career field, academic background, or industry.

2. Targeting Specific Employers

International students may have greater success when approaching employers who:

  • Have locations in the student’s home country
  • Seek to expand partnerships in the student’s home country
  • Hired international students in the past

Last updated: 12/18/2012