The University of Texas at Dallas

Hiring International Students

Hiring international students can help to broaden company diversity, enhance knowledge of markets abroad and create opportunities for long-term employment relationships with highly motivated employees.

Practical Training in the U.S.

Practical training allows international students to engage in employment in the United States while they are pursuing their studies and immediately following their graduation. Below are the various types of practical training and an outline of employer responsibilities.

Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

CPT is a structured educational program granted by the university and that combines classroom learning with productive work experience in a field related to a student’s academic program.

Employer Responsibilities – CPT
  • Employer sponsorship not required.
  • Authorized by UT Dallas per semester. Employer must provide job offer letter to student to initiate CPT.
  • Allows part-time and full-time work.
  • Employment must be directly related to degree program.

Optional Practical Training (OPT)

OPT allows qualifying F-1 students up to one year of practical training authorization after completion of a degree.

Employer Responsibilities – OPT
  • Employer sponsorship not required.
  • OPT must be used after a student completes their degree.
  • Authorized by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS); student will receive Employment Authorization Document, known as EAD.
  • Post-completion OPT employment must be full time.
  • Students have a maximum of 12 months of OPT per educational level.
  • Employment must be directly related to degree program.

STEM Optional Practical Training (OPT) Extension

STEM OPT Extension allows an additional 24 months of work authorization. This extension is a possible benefit for F-1 students who have completed an eligible STEM degree (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) and who are in a valid period of post-completion OPT.

Employer Responsibilities – STEM OPT Extension
  • Employer sponsorship is not required; however, employers must provide training and complete form I-983 training plan and follow-up progress reports.
  • Student must have obtained STEM-eligible degree from an accredited U.S. college or university.
  • STEM OPT can only be used after the student completes initial 12 months of OPT.
  • STEM OPT employment must be full time.
  • Students must be compensated; volunteer work is not permitted under STEM extension.
  • STEM OPT employer must be enrolled in the E-Verify program.

Internship Information

International students on an F-1 visa are eligible to work off-campus in an internship position under Curricular Practical Training (CPT). Students are only eligible for CPT once they have completed 2 long (fall and spring) consecutive semesters in a university in the United States and they have met any UT Dallas policies for CPT authorization.

CPT can be authorized for one semester at a time and typically for a maximum of three total semesters. All international students participating in an internship must be enrolled in an internship course for academic credit.

As with hiring any other interns, employers are not required to hire international students at the end of the internship and are not required to offer sponsorship for the H-1B. International students, like all other students, are looking for practical work experience in their field of study and can be a great candidate pool for many employers.

Offer Letter

Employers making an internship offer to an international student must prepare an offer letter on the company’s original letterhead. The letter must include the following:

  • A statement that the position is an internship or CPT
  • The beginning and ending dates of the position (to coincide with the academic semester) *
  • The physical location (full address) where the student will be working
  • Supervisor’s name and title
  • Exact number of hours to be worked each week
  • Wages/hour
  • Organization’s EIN (necessary for students who must apply for an SSN)
  • Internship/job description

It is recommended that employers who need assistance or have questions regarding the offer letter contact the Career Center.

Once the student receives the offer letter, it can take the university several days to complete the CPT processing. The student brings the completed offer letter to his or her Internship Coordinator who approves the student to register in the appropriate internship course.

The Internship Coordinator then issues the student an approval letter and submits it to the International Student Services Office for final approval and issuance of the CPT I–20. The student is not permitted to begin work or training at the internship until he or she has picked up the new CPT I–20, which serves as the work authorization.

Other Internship Hiring Information

  • No sponsorship is required to hire an international student in an internship.
  • International interns may NOT work as independent contractors on 1099.
  • Employers are not required to pay Social Security or Medicare taxes. Employers are also NOT required to pay Unemployment Compensation taxes for any intern.
  • Workers Compensation taxes must be paid and Federal income taxes must be withheld.
Handshake company logo

Use Handshake to search jobs & internships, book appointments, register for events and more.

Students: You already have an account. Log in using your NetID & Password.

Alumni: Log in or create an account using your personal email address. Must provide NetID during account setup.

Employers: Connect with UTD through Handshake to post jobs, events, and interviews.