If you haven’t considered hiring international students for your internships, you’re missing out on some of the most impressive talent in our candidate pool. Especially since hiring international students is way easier than you think.

To help set the record straight, let’s address some true-and-false statements surrounding the hiring process.

There’s so much paperwork -False!
Not for the employer. International students who are seeking off-campus jobs and internships are responsible for filing their own paperwork with their university and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. The international office at their school can provide guidance and support if they require it, so the employer doesn’t need to get involved.  

In addition, when reviewing candidates through SciTech, you can be confident that any international student who reaches out to you through us already has their initial paperwork taken care of, since we require all international candidates to have their 1-20 Form before they’re approved for the program. 

The only paperwork you have to provide is an official offer for employment. That will enable your international candidate to procure the CPT (Curricular Practical Training) they need to begin their internship.

The I-20 Certificate of Eligibility for Non-Immigrant Student Status authorizes an international candidate to procure off-campus employment. Once a CPT is added to that document, the student can start their job. 

It’s expensive -False!
In most cases, it’s actually more affordable to hire international students than non-international candidates, since a majority of them are exempt from Social Security (FICA) and Medicare tax requirements. Employers are encouraged to review the IRS Publication 519 for more info. 

Employers hiring international students have no financial obligation in relation to their I-20 Form, or their CPT .

AND when you hire any student through the SciTech Internship Program, you receive a grant that will reimburse you for half of what you pay them, up to $2,500 back. So it’s doubly cost effective!

I have to sponsor a work visa -False!
When hiring an international student, it can be up to three years before you would need to start working on a new visa. Their I-20 Form enables them to work while they’re in school. Students approaching graduation can apply for OPT (Optional Practical Training) which enables them to work off-campus for 12 months after graduation.

E-Verify Employers are also able to hire their international candidates for an additional 24 months if the student is pursuing a STEM degree, which every candidate in the SciTech Program is! 

If the three- year mark is approaching  and you’d like to offer your international hire long-term employment, then you can look into additional visa opportunities, such as a H-1B or a green card for permanent residence.

That decision is entirely up to you.

International students are highly qualified -True!
And they’re excited to prove it by making impactful and positive contributions at your company! Like Rohit Bagda who tested new cloud-based technology for Co-founder Darrin Edelman and his team at Token of Trust. By conducting serverless technology experiments for them during his internship, Bagda proved that stretching the company’s cloud capabilities was possible.

“This showed us another route where we could take our technology that’s both larger in scale and more affordable. And that has huge potential for us as a company,” Edelman said proudly.

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Or Duy Le, whose background knowledge of 3D printing was so robust, that during his internship, he helped the team at Delavan Ag Pumps select and install their own 3D printer, saving the company money by printing parts in-house instead of externally.

Le and his fellow interns were supervised that year by Pratyush More, who had also been an international student through the SciTech program and had since started working at Delavan full-time.

“We set out to hire one intern, maybe two, and through the interview process we found three great candidates,” said Neil Evenson, Director of Engineering at Delavan. “I’d say what we’ve learned, from this group specifically, is to keep an open mind and allow space for them to bring their skills to our company and help us.”

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With a lower cost to hire, no additional paperwork or sponsorship obligation and so much to gain from their experience and enthusiasm, you can’t afford to overlook the potential an international student can bring to your company.

More resources on hiring an international student are provide through the University of Minnesota’s International Student and Scholar Services page.

And if you haven’t already, make sure to select the “International Students are Eligible for this Job” option when posting your internships to SciTech.