College of Business > About > Centers & Institutes > Kellstadt Career Management Center > For Employers > Hiring International Students

Hiring International Students

Leveraging the global diversity of Chicago, DePaul University provides a window to the world through its international student population, immigrant communities and global partnerships as part of its Vision 2018. With this in mind, DePaul University welcomes employers interested in hiring our international students.

The employers who hire international students have appreciated the following:

  1. International exposure and cross-cultural awareness
  2. Divergent thinking on global issues
  3. Variety of perspectives and experiences that reflect constantly changing business needs and globalization
  4. Adaptability to challenges and change, and flexibility in applying knowledge to today's ever-changing business environment
  5. Potential relocation to home country and reliable international liaison for employer

The three most common work authorizations available for international students include the following:

  1. Curricular Practical Training (CPT) for internships during the academic program
  2. Optional Practical Training (OPT) for one year full-time employment
  3. H1-B Work Visa for full time employment beyond the one year OPT

Note: I-9 documentation must be completed for all employees including international students.

Hiring International Students is Easier Than You Might Think

While in School

Upon completing one academic year (i.e., three quarters) at DePaul University, eligible international students on an F-1 visa are legally allowed to seek internship opportunities as part of their Curricular Practical Training (CPT). Internships must be related to the student's field of study. Eligible students may be authorized for part-time internships during the academic year and full-time internships during the annual vacation term. A prospective employer is only required to provide an offer letter to the student specifying the detailed terms of employment. It is the student's responsibility to have the CPT authorized by the university's international office, a process that typically takes five to seven business days.

After Graduation

Upon graduation, eligible international students are legally permitted to pursue up to 12 months of full-time employment in their field of education as part of their Optional Practical Training (OPT). Students submit an application to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to apply for their Employment Authorization Document (EAD) during the quarter or semester prior to graduation or shortly thereafter. Some students may also be eligible for a 17-month OPT extension (within the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics). Once again, a prospective employer bears no responsibility but to treat international students just as the employer would treat domestic students when hiring decisions are made. Students are encouraged to seek guidance from their university's international office for questions about OPT eligibility and application process.

DePaul University international students are encouraged to consult with their advisor in the Office for International Students and Scholars for questions related to their CPT and OPT eligibility and application procedures. For general information please visit DePaul's OISS website at The information pertaining above is the current interpretation of immigration regulations. These regulations are subject to change.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) in Recruiting International Students

Can international students work legally in the United States during summer internships?

Yes, international students on an F-1 student visa are eligible for Curricular Practical Training (CPT) during the summer internship period. J-1 visa holders can acquire authorization called Academic Training (AT). Summer employment authorization is issued directly by the Office for International Student & Scholar Services ​at DePaul University and no additional steps are required from the employer.

Do U.S. employers have to complete any paperwork to hire a student on CPT or AT?

No, the employer does not need to complete any unique paperwork for international students (apart from standard hiring paperwork; e.g., I-9). The necessary work authorization paperwork for summer internships is undertaken by the student and the Office for International Student and Scholar Services​ at DePaul University

How do students obtain CPT?

Curricular Practical Training, employment authorization for a work experience that is a required or integral component of the student's program of study, is granted by a designated school official, an advisor in the Office for International Student and Scholar Services at DePaul University and requires an offer letter from the employer specifying the employer's name, work site address and dates of employment. There is no processing fee for the employer. ​

How do students obtain academic training?

Academic Training, a temporary employment authorization designed to provide students with an opportunity to apply knowledge obtained in an academic program to a practical work experience, is granted by a responsible officer or alternate responsible officer (ARO), an advisor in the Office for International Student and Scholar Services at DePaul University, and requires an offer letter from the employer specifying the following: employer's name, supervisor's name, work site address, dates of employment, position description and salary. There is no processing fee for the employer. ​

Can international students legally work in the U.S. after graduation?

Yes, F-1 students have full U.S. work authorization as part of Optional Practical Training (OPT) for up to 12 months post-completion of the MBA/MS program. J-1 students have full U.S. work authorization for up to 18 months as part of Academic Training (AT) work authorization. Employment must be directly related to the student's major area of study. ​

What is OPT and how it can be obtained?

OPT is a temporary employment authorization designed to provide students with an opportunity to apply knowledge acquired at DePaul University to a work experience that is directly related to the student's major area of study. Most students have a maximum of 12 months of OPT authorization, during which time they may transition to another visa type such as H-1B.

The employer is not responsible for filing any forms or fees. Students can obtain an OPT recommendation from a designated School official, an advisor in the Office for International Student and Scholar Services​​ at DePaul University, then mail the OPT application along with copies of other requested documents to USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services). Within approximately 90 days, USCIS approves the application and issues an EAD (Employment Authorization Document), a card which indicates the period of OPT.

Can international students work long-term in the U.S.?

Eligible students may be able to transition from OPT or AT to an employer-sponsored temporary working visa (H1-B). The International Student & Scholar Services office cannot advise on the H-1B process; please contact your internal counsel or an experienced immigration attorney for more information about the application process. ​

Can an international employees work permanently in the United States?

Yes. U.S. employers can sponsor a foreign national for permanent residency ("green card"), which allows them to live and work in the United States permanently. For more details please see USCIS guide on sponsoring an employee for an U.S. permanent resident status. ​


Useful Links and Resources for Employers

1. Finding an Immigration Attorney In Your Area:
2. U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services:
3. U.S. Immigration Guide for Employers:
4. Foreign Labor Certification:
5. U.S. Department of Labor:
6. DePaul's Office for International Student & Scholar Services​