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Employer Guide to Hiring International Students

The purpose of this guide is to inform U.S. Employers about:

  • International students’ F-1 and J-1 work authorization options
  • The ease of procedures and costs involved when hiring international students for internships or full-time opportunities after graduation
  • How the UF Career Connections Center can support employer’s recruiting efforts and the role of the UF International Center in the process


This guide is not intended to and does not serve as legal advice; it is for informational purposes only. UF International Center serves UF International students directly and does not give immigration advice or response to questions from employers. Content is subject to change. Employers are advised to consult an experienced U.S. immigration attorney with any additional questions.

Career Connections Center: How we support employers and international students

The University of Florida Career Connections Center is committed to an inclusive environment that  that reflects the diverse backgrounds and experiences of UF students, staff, and faculty.  Our mission is to educate and create connections for the University of Florida community to facilitate the holistic career development of students.

We offer a wide variety of employer services designed to facilitate employer access to talented students and alumni through events such as Career Showcase, Coffee Chats and Office Hours, Information session, Skills labs, Project Resume, Industry Institutes, and many others.  While we are unable to screen students’ immigration status on behalf of employers,  our career coaches are available to consult with employers on effective ways to recruit  International Students enrolled at UF.

International Center:

The University of Florida is proud to be a leader in fostering international understanding, and in developing the networks of students and scholars who collectively work to build a brighter future for the world. And the UF International Center’s (UFIC) mission is to serve and support the entire UF communication in this effort since 1991.

International students, and exchange students and visitors play an important role in the advancement of UF’s research and teaching missions. Their presence is key to enhancing UF’s tradition of global learning. We are pleased to provide the services that make it possible for them to be here, and to do our best to create a welcoming environment during their stay on campus.

The Benefits of Hiring UF International Students

UF International students represent 100+ countries and pursue a wide array of degrees and career goals. They possess qualities that top employers seek:

  • Global perspectives with diverse viewpoints and experiences
  • Multilingual and cross-cultural communication skills that are vital for companies to  compete in a global economy
  • Effective leadership and teamwork skills along with the ability to adapt to changes and problem solve  International Student Enrollment Report provides more information about UF students’ demographics and education pursuits.

The majority of UF international students are in F-1 or J-1 immigration status that includes off-campus work authorization benefits during and after  they graduate from their academic program. The remainder of this guide provides an overview of these work authorization options along with long-term employment visa options and resources. We provide  the information for your convenience to help  clarify and streamline the hiring process of international students.

Important Note:

Employers should note that a social security number alone is not sufficient proof of work authorization for international students. It is critical that employers confirm an international student’s work authorization prior to the employment start date to prevent any future liability for the student and the employer .

Trends in International Student Hiring

Here are some best practices to keep in mind when recruiting international students:

  • Hire international students for a short-term assignment or training in the U.S. and then relocate them to their home country to work at one of your global locations. This allows the employee to learn their company’s U.S. culture which will ultimately benefit your international business operations. We have students whose home country may be one of your emerging markets!
  • Have information explaining your U.S. and global opportunities available at on-campus recruiting events.
  • Partner with international student groups. Visit the Gator Connect to view a list of student organizations.

Employers who have questions about their international candidate’s ability to work in the U.S. should consult an immigration attorney.

This page is adapted with permission from International Student Services at University of Wisconsin-Madison and Career Center, University of California, Berkeley.

This document was originally published in 2000 with a grant from NAFSA: Association of International Educators Region XII. Revisions made in 2004, 2010 and 2016. Editors: Laurie Cox, University of Wisconsin, Madison; 2010 co-editors: Lay Tuan Tan, California State University Fullerton, Phil Hofer, University of La Verne & Junko Pierry, Stanford University; 2016 co-editors: Junko Pierry, Stanford University & Laurie Cox, Ball State University.