When offering an unpaid position to an international student, no further paperwork is required beyond the Learning Contract. However, students should still consult with the International Student Program to see if immigration or labor regulations require employment authorization for their experience.
For paid positions, the student, school and Immigration will handle most necessary paperwork.
Obtaining authorization for international students to work in the U.S. is not as difficult as many employers think. Most international students are in the U.S. on non-immigrant visas (F-1 & J-1), and these students are eligible to accept employment in the U.S. under certain conditions. International students in college can receive paid employment through Curriculum Practical Training.
Employers will only need to complete the forms already required when hiring domestic students, namely the I-9 and filing for taxes.
- I-9: See a step by step instruction for employers on how to complete an I-9. For more information, visit the U.S. Citizenship and Information Services I-9 information page.
- Taxes: Unless exempted by a tax treaty, F-1 students earning income through any practical training are subject to applicable federal, state, and other local income taxes. Therefore, students must fill out a W-4 form. Information on tax treaties may be found in IRS Publication 519, US Tax Guide for Aliens, and 901, US Tax Treaties. Generally, F-1 students are exempted from Medicare and social security requirements. However, if the student is considered a “resident alien,” then Medicare and social security taxes apply. For more details on this subject please download the original NAFSA PDF file or contact the Superintendent of Documents’ website.
Our Process for Registering students for Curricular Practical Training (CPT):
- The student will complete the Internship Learning Contract with input from their faculty sponsor and employer.
- The student will bring the completed Learning Contract, their I-20 and their passport/ID to the International Students Program for CPT authorization.
- Authorization will be completed in 24 hours.
- On their first day of work, the student will need to bring their authorized I-20, their passport, social security card, and I-94 to prove their authorization. The student will also need to fill out a W-4, which is slightly different for international students than domestic students.
For more information, visit the International Student Program’s website. For questions, contact Aaron Colhapp, Director of International Student Programs, at 651.696.6078 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or Luyen Phan, Assistant Director of International Student Programs, at 651.969.6849 or email@example.com.