International students wishing to study at U.S. colleges and universities may be eligible for F-1 visas.
- Students work directly through U.S. post-secondary institutions and students obtain the visas through consular interviews at U.S. embassy or consulate abroad.
- During their course of study, F-1 students may be eligible for internship with a U.S. employer, and will work with their Designated School Official at their university to obtain permission.
- F-1 students are eligible to work during the summers and vacations and part time after completing a school year of full time study with permission from the Designated School Official.
- After graduation, F-1 students are eligible for up to one year of practical training work authorization.
- They must work with their Designated Student Official and apply for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD before graduation.
- STEM degree holders may be eligible for another 17 months of F-1 work authorization if they work for an employer who participates in E-Verify.
Employers may use the F-1 student’s EAD to complete an I-9 employment verification form. A government receipt notice showing that an EAD card is in process is not sufficient. Employers may use a student’s properly endorsed I-20 Form from a Designated School Official for an internship.
- Employers must remember to re-verify the I-9 before the EAD will expire.
- Employers should be mindful if they want to hire the F-1 holder on a longer term basis, and consider options and timing such as the H-1B visa.
- Employers who participate in E-Verify may allow a STEM degree holder to obtain a 17 month extension of OPT.