Career Tips for International Students

ICAway’s Guide for Employers: Hiring International Students

Hiring Global Talent: The Why, The How and Next Steps

We believe that finding the right talent is harder than sponsoring a student. Hiring international students brings so many benefits to the U.S. job market. Therefore, ICAway is committed to advocating international students’ abilities to U.S. employers.

This guide provides a few reasons why employers should consider hiring international students.


Estimated reading time: 3 minutes


Top 3 reasons to hire international students

1) They are highly motivated and skilled.

The motivation of international students looking for jobs in the U.S. is off the charts! Motivated employees strive for more, take chances, and are valuable assets to every company. According to Gallup data, companies with a high level of engagement report 22% higher productivity.

2) They bring innovation.

Having had different upbringing and life experiences, international students bring a unique perspective to the table. This, in turn, fuels innovation and creativity. According to HBR, employees with a diverse background are 45% more likely to report that their firm’s market share grew over the years. Moreover, 70% are more likely to report that the firm captured a new market.

3) They help you grow business globally.

Understanding the subtle challenges in the use of English with non-native speakers, as well as the nuances of non-verbal communication, is critical to achieving business objectives when operating across cultures. International students have language skills and a deeper understanding of cultural differences. This makes them clear assets for companies with a global presence.

Hiring international students is not a gamble.

There is no need to treat the hiring of international students as a gamble. CPT and OPT are two forms of work authorization that allow employers to assess whether a student is a good fit for the company before committing to sponsorship.

  • Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is a form of temporary work authorization that allows students to work (either part-time or full-time) during the time of their enrollment at an institution.

  • Optical Practical Training (OPT) is a post-graduation period during which students can work. It is one year long for non-STEM degree holders and three years long for STEM degree holders.

What happens next?

Once the student’s OPT period has ended, the employer has the option to sponsor the employee so that they can continue employment under a different type of visa. The H-1B visa is the most commonly known one. However, depending on the candidate, there are other options available as well. If an employer meets certain eligibility requirements, they can petition for an EB2 or EB3 visa for skilled professionals or academics. This is also known as employment-based Green Card.

For more amazing points from the American HR community, who is an advocate for OPT, please visit SHRM Advocacy

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