Hiring International Students
Think you are prohibited from hiring an international student? Think again. Our international students attend Bryant through F-1 non-immigrant student visas and are eligible to accept internships and employment under certain conditions.
More than 250 students from more than 50 countries enroll in Bryant each year. Their outstanding Bryant education, multilingual abilities, and experience adapting to new situations make them an asset to U.S. employers. We urge you to consider hiring an international student from Bryant for the cultural and practical benefits he or she can bring to your organization.
Types of Employment
Curricular Practical Training (CPT) occurs while the student is enrolled in an academic program at Bryant. It is authorized by Bryant and includes curricular-related employment such as internships and practicum. The authorization is noted on the back of the I-20 (immigration form) and includes the name of the company, start and end dates of the internship, and the signature of the designated school official at Bryant. Bryant students must first be approved for an academic internship and then seek CPT authorization from International Student and Scholar Services.
Students who obtain CPT permission may work (and get paid) for up to 12 months full time. However, students who work this length of time give up their eligibility to work in the U.S. after they graduate. For the most part internships are 120-150 hours in length during the semester, or full time during the summer.
Optional Practical Training (OPT) for the most part (there are exceptions) occurs after the student graduates. It is authorized by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) based on a recommendation from the Bryant University designated school official. The student may opt to use all or part of his or her total practical training allotment of a maximum of 12 months. OPT can be authorized by the USCIS: (1) during vacation when school is not in session (full time employment is allowed); (2) for part-time work, a maximum of 20 hours per week, while school is in session; (3) after completing all course requirements for the degree; or (4) full-time after completion of the course of study. Students who have received OPT permission will be issued an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) by the USCIS. Their name, photo and valid dates of employment are printed on the EAD.
Students who obtain a degree in science, technology, engineering and mathematics may be eligible for an additional 17 months of OPT.
The average processing time for USCIS to issue the EAD is two or three months, and students may begin employment only after receiving the EAD which will indicate the starting and ending dates of employment. Therefore, we encourage employers who will be hiring international students for OPT to make the offer as early as possible, knowing that it may take more than three months for the government to issue the permission.
Students may do both CPT and OPT as long as the CPT is not full time and not for a complete year.
Continuing employment under H-1B visa
Federal regulations require that employment terminate at the conclusion of the authorized practical training. However, students on an F-1 visa with a bachelor’s degree may continue to be employed if they receive approval for a change in visa category, usually to H-1B.
Individuals may work in the United States for a maximum of six years under an H-1B visa. This visa is valid only for employment with the company that petitioned for them. They must re-apply to the USCIS if they wish to change employers. As soon as the initial job offer is made, they should petition for an H-1B visa if employment is likely to extend beyond the practical training period.
Cap‐Gap OPT can be granted if the student (1) is in a period of authorized post‐completion OPT, and (2) is the beneficiary of a timely‐filed H‐1B petition requesting change of status and an employment start date of October 1 of the following fiscal year. The Cap‐Gap OPT is an automatic extension of duration of status and employment authorization to bridge the gap between the OPT and start of H‐1B status. The automatic extension of OPT is terminated upon the rejection, denial, or revocation of the H‐1B petition.
Paperwork / Taxes
Fortunately, there is little paperwork for an employer who hires F-1 students. All paperwork is handled by Bryant University, the students, and USCIS.
Proof of work authorization
- Bryant University students in F-1 status who have been authorized to engage in CPT will present their I-20 with a notation indicating the dates during which CPT has been authorized.
- Bryant University students who have been authorized for OPT will have an EAD card issued by USCIS. This laminated card will include the individual's photograph and will provide proof of work authorization.
What about taxes?
Unless exempted by a tax treaty, F-1 students earning income under practical training are subject to applicable federal, state, and local income taxes. Generally, F-1 students are exempted from Social Security and Medicare tax requirements. However, if F-1 students are considered "resident aliens" for income tax purpose, Social Security and Medicare taxes should be withheld. Please consult the Tax Treaty information in the Internal Revenue Services Publication 519, U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens, and 901, U.S. Tax Treaties.