Hiring International Students
New York University enrolls over 17,000 international students who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents. Most of these international students entered the United States with student visas, allowing them to pursue full-time study, often complemented by employment in their field of study.
In addition to their quality education at New York University, international students often offer multilingual and multicultural skills, making them attractive employees in the global workplace. Hiring international students enhances your company’s pool of diverse, skilled talent in a rapidly growing job market.
What do International Students look like at NYU?
At New York University, international students come from over 140 different countries and are enrolled in every school of the University, pursuing full-time studies from the undergraduate to the Ph.D. level. Most international students at NYU are graduate students who already have a degree and/or significant work experience before enrolling at the University.
International students enter the United States using one of two student visas. Most students are classified as F-1 students at NYU. A small number are J-1 students. The primary distinction between the two classifications is that F-1 students usually have private sources of funding, whereas J-1 students often have governmental or international agency funding. Many International students qualify for Optional Practical Training (OPT) or Curricular Practical Training (CPT), which allows them to work in the US during and after graduation without the need for corporate sponsorship.
Hiring International Students - With or Without Sponsorship
Regulations allow for practical training (OPT and CPT) for F-1 students and academic training for J-1 students. Both types of work allow for paid employment in the student's field of study at an off-campus location and neither requires you, the prospective employer, to complete any forms with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) or any other government agency. Some international students are eligible to work in the US for up to three years after graduation with a STEM OPT extension!
OPT and CPT Basics
Hiring a student approved for CPT or OPT is an excellent way to obtain exceptional, diverse NYU talent without the need for sponsorship.
Occupational Practical Training (OPT):
- An F-1 student has a maximum of 12 months of practical training, which can be used during and/or after the degree. Students with a STEM major may be eligible for an additional 24-month extension. This means you could potentially hire an NYU graduate without the need for sponsorship for three years.
- The application is reviewed and recommended by NYU Office of Global Services, with final authorization from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USClS).
- There is no paperwork for you, the employer.
- An F-1 student does not even need a job offer to get this work permission.
- Process can take 3-5 months
Curricular Practical Training (CPT):
- Typically happens during their academic studies as an internship. Position needs to count towards degree requirements and students need to receive an employment offer to be able to apply.
- The application is reviewed and recommended by OGS and the NYU academic department.
- An F-1 student can use CPT for as many times as it counts towards their degree (e.g. internship course)
- The only paperwork required for you, the employer, is the job offer.
- Process can take 5-10 days
A J-1 student has a maximum of 18 months of academic training to use during and/or after the degree, depending on the length of the degree program. The sponsor of the student's J-1 program (often NYU) reviews and authorizes the academic training. A written job offer is required, but there is no additional waiting time for processing by any government agency.
Do I Withhold Tax From the International Student Employee?
Yes, international students do have taxes withheld from income earned in the United States, with some notable exceptions. F-1 or J-1 students who have been in the U.S. less than five calendar years, are nonresidents for tax purposes. Most NYU international students will be classified as such. A nonresident student is exempt From FICA/FUTA (social security/unemployment) withholding.
Further, approximately 45 countries have tax treaties with the United States. Students from a tax treaty country may have part of their income exempt from Federal taxation. Students who claim this exemption must be able to prove eligibility under the tax treaty. Summaries of these treaties can be found in IRS Publication 901, which is available at the IRS web site.
What Happens After the Student Has Used All His/Her Training?
You will likely find the NYU international student to be an asset to your team. Although it is not possible to extend the training beyond the maximum period allowed by law, many NYU students qualify for and routinely gain an H-1 B employment classification. The H-1 B is for professional employment and allows for work up to six years.
The H-1B procedure has become simpler and cheaper (just $10 to register for the lottery - more only if the student is selected), but it does require the employer to plan ahead, so there is not a "gap" in the time the employee is allowed to work. The employer acts as the "sponsor" for the H-1B applicant and documents must be filed with both the Department of Labor and the USCIS. It is wise to begin the H-1B process at least three months before the student's training period expires.
How can our organization make it easier for International students who are eligible to work in the US to apply for jobs in our company?
Many times, outstanding international candidates are disqualified early in the application process due to confusion around standard questions like “Do you have legal authorization to work?” or “Will you need sponsorship?”. Simply changing this wording or allowing additional context for students to indicate or explain their OPT or CPT status could help provide clarity, and gain you a highly motivated, qualified applicant who is eligible to work in the US for up to three years.
Additionally, being flexible with the start date of a job can be helpful as F-1 students cannot apply for OPT earlier than 90 days in advance, and the USCIS has stated that it can take up to 5 months to review OPT applications.
Reprinted in substantial part by permission from the NYU Office of Global Services.
(CPT with F-1 Status)
Details and Duration:
- For part- or full-time internships (20+ hours a week)
- Authorized by NYU
- Work must be related to the major/field of study, count toward degree requirements and occur before a student completes their academic program
- Students are eligible after they complete two semesters or one full academic year of their program
Begin the Curricular Practical Training (CPT) application process 1-2 weeks before internship begins.
Provide an offer Letter.
- For students: Cost is included in NYU tuition/fees
- For employers: None
(OPT with F-1 Status)
Details and Duration
- Work does not have to count toward degree requirements
- Work must be related to the major/field of study
- Authorized by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) based on a recommendation from designated school officials at NYU
- Students can work up to 12 months at 20+ hours per week*
- Students are eligible if they’ve completed two semesters or one full academic year and have completed their academic program
*Students may be eligible to extend OPT for an additional 24 months if they are a STEM major
Begin the Optional Practical Training (OPT) application process at least 90-120 days before anticipated start of employment
None for OPT*
*There are reporting requirements for employers using the OPT STEM extension
- For students: $410 application fee (paid to government)
- For employers: None
(Company sponsored H1-B Status)
Details and Duration
- Valid for three years and can be extended for an additional three years for a total of 6 years
- Work must be related to major/field of study
Students cannot apply on their own or sponsor. They must work with an employer to provide documents required for visa sponsorship
Must follow easy steps toward H1-B sponsorship. Visit the US Citizenship & Immigration Services website to learn more
For employers: Varies between $1K -$5k (not including attorney fees)