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:
- International exposure and cross-cultural awareness
- Divergent thinking on global issues
- Variety of perspectives and experiences that reflect constantly changing business needs and globalization
- Adaptability to challenges and change, and flexibility in applying knowledge to today's ever-changing business environment
- Potential relocation to home country and reliable international liaison for employer
The three most common work authorizations available for international students include the following:
- Curricular Practical Training (CPT) for internships during the academic program
- Optional Practical Training (OPT) for one year full-time employment
- 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.
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 oiss.depaul.edu. 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
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 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 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 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). International Student and Scholar Services cannot advise on the H-1B process; please contact your internal counsel or an experienced immigration attorney for more information about the application process.
Useful Links and Resources for Employers
1. Finding an Immigration Attorney In Your Area: http://aila.org
2. U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services: http://www.uscis.gov/working-united-states/information-employers-employees/information-employers-and-employees
3. U.S. Immigration Guide for Employers: http://www.workpermit.com/immigration/usa/employees-guide-us-immigration
4. Foreign Labor Certification: http://www.foreignlaborcert.doleta.gov
5. U.S. Department of Labor: http://dol.gov
6. DePaul International Student and Scholar Services