Q: What is required of my company if we hire a current international student?
A: The student will ask you for a brief letter before beginning employment, and sometimes periodically after that. Students may need to update their I-9 more frequently than other employees, since their work authorization can only be granted one semester at a time.
Q: How should we handle the I-9 for an international student?
A: USCIS guidance on I-9s can be found here: https://www.uscis.gov/i-9
Q: Is this sponsorship?
A: No, you are not sponsoring the student.
Q: How long can students work under CPT?
A: CPT is authorized on a semester-by-semester basis. It can be renewed for as long as the student enrolls in courses that require the employment.
Q: What if I want to continue employing a student after they graduate?
A: International students may apply for a one-year work authorization called OPT. Students with a qualifying STEM major may apply for an additional two-year extension if they work for a company enrolled in E-verify (details about the STEM extension are here). Companies interested in continuing to employ an international student after the one or three years of OPT would need to sponsor the worker for a work visa, such as H1-B.
Q: Who can I contact with questions?
A: Calvin’s immigration coordinator, Brent Wilkinson, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 616-526-6897.