Hiring International Students

Here are some important facts for Employers thinking about hiring international students. For more information, please contact the Office of International Students & Scholars.

International students and their dependents contribute nearly $13 billion to the U.S. economy each academic year and bring unique, social, cultural, and academic perspectives to American campuses and work environments. At the present time, 548 undergraduate and 608 graduate students from 84 countries are studying here at UCSB. International students can be an asset to any organization as interns and full-time employees.

Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

Curricular Practical Training is temporary off-campus employment authorization issued by UCSB to continuing F-1 students to participate in any internship, cooperative education or practicum required for their academic program.

  • There are no fee costs to the students or employer.
  • CPT is very similar to internship positions approved by UCSB Career Services in that positions are limited to 20 hrs a week during the school year, except during holidays and school breaks, when students can work up to 40 hrs a week.
  • CPT authorization is printed on page 3 of the student’s I-20 form (certificate of eligibility) and includes the employment dates and the employer information.
  • F-1 student must have a job offer before filing a request for CPT.

Optional Practical Training (OPT)

Optional Practical Training is work authorization issued by US Citizenship and Immigration Services to F-1 students who have completed a degree program in the US.

  • There are no fee costs to the employer.
  • OPT is valid for an initial 12 month period and may be extendable for an additional 17 months (29 months maximum) based on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) degrees.
  • F-1 students file a petition for employment authorization with USCIS and pay the processing fee to obtain an Employment Authorization Card (EAD) which includes their name, photograph and authorization dates.