Skip to Content

International Student and Scholar Support

  • Skyline of Columbia

Employer Hiring Guide

As an employer, the process of hiring an international student can seem mystifying if you have never done it before. Whether you are a USC faculty or staff member who has questions about hiring a student to do on-campus work, or you are an outside company who is interested in hiring an international student, International Student Services is happy to serve as your guide regarding F-1/J-1 visa regulations and employment.

I work at USC and want to hire an international student:

Hiring an international student on-campus is very similar to hiring any other student. When completing the I-9 Form, the student will need to bring his or her passport and Form I-94, which can be printed by the student on the Customs and Border Protection website.

In order to successfully hire an international student, the student's passport and immigration document (I-20 or DS-2019) must be valid for the entire time of the hire. If this is not the case, ISS will notify you and your student hire.

International students can work a maximum of 20 hours per week during the school year, and a maximum of 40 hours per week during winter and summer break. 

If you have any questions regarding an international student hire, you can contact


I work somewhere other than USC and I want to hire an international student:

Hiring an international student does not always mean that you have to sponsor a work visa. There are several forms of work authorization that a student can pursue while on a student visa. For more information about how international students can work off-campus, please see our other sections about Curricular Practical Training, Optional Practical Training, and Academic Training

Quick facts about hiring an international student:

  • If a student is authorized for Optional Practical Training, Curricular Practical Training, or Academic training, he or she is eligible to work off-campus in his or her major field of study. In some cases, an employment offer is required before authorization can be given.
  • To get work authorization through Optional Practical Training, the process takes approximately 90 days, and can take up to 120 days for the Employment Authorization Document to arrive. Other than giving the student a job offer letter to send to the application processing center, there is no way to expedite this work authorization application process.
  • If you are interested in sponsoring a student currently on an F or J visa, consulting an immigration attorney is highly recommended. ISS can provide immigration attorney recommendations.


Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.